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Fall Processing: Why Do Preg Checks?

October 7, 2020
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Preg Check Time is a frustrating time to learn that your bull is subfertile or infertile. Rather, have a semen test performed on your bull(s) prior to the breeding season.

Fall processing is right around the corner!  It is an exciting time to appreciate the progress your spring-born calves have made! And of course, an integral part of fall processing is pregnancy diagnosis. There is time and expense associated with moving cattle through the chute and having them checked, so I think it makes sense to take the opportunity to pause and reflect on why we recommend the practice. What do we gain by performing preg checks?

Measures reproductive health in the herd and flags problems early

  • Low conception? consider bull infertility, cow infertility (infectious?), and nutrition issues
  • Broad range of gestational stages? consider infectious causes of early embryonic death/early return to heat, whether too many poor breeders are being kept rather than culled, if the bull might have low libido/chronic lameness/other issue, and if too few bulls

Improves farm profitability and helps to guide management decisions

  • Culling of open females permits efficient use of farm resources – especially feed and bedding over winter
  • Confirmation of reproductive status (preg/open) and fetal sex may be valuable for marketing purposes
  • Allows identification and selling of late-calvers to improve calf crop uniformity
  • Provides the opportunity to create different calving groups (early/late) for more intensive calving supervision
If facility limitations have previously prevented you from taking advantage of this service, please do not hesitate to ask us about our mobile chute and gate system!

– Dr. Shannon Walsh

If you have any questions on these or other topics, please do not hesitate to contact one of our Veterinarians.


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7707 Mill Rd., Guelph ON N1H 6J1
1139 Settlers Rd., Sheffield ON L0R 1Z0
455 Dobbie Dr., Unit 2, Cambridge ON N1T 1T1
7643 ON-6, Arthur, ON N0G 1A0


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