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Vaccinating Heifers & Palpating Cows
3 September 2008
page two of two
Once the heifers have received their vaccination and ear tag they are released into the pasture where, like the bull calves before them, they will be fed high protein feed for a set period of time.
A crowd of heifers show off their new ear tags.
With the heifers out of the way the cows are now sent down the chute to be palpated by the vet. This procedure is a test for pregnancy. Learn more about palpating cows.
By inserting a gloved and sleeved arm deep into the cow's rectum, the vet can perform an internal examination to determine if the cow is pregnant and, if pregnant, how far along she is. If found not to be pregnant (called an "open cow"), the cow may be culled from the herd and sold at auction if believed to have a problem preventing future pregnancies.
Needless to say, palpating cows is a very messy business for the vet. The white bottle at right is lubricant applied to the arm prior to entering each cow. This very young dog-sized calf experienced the cattle pens for the afternoon as it waited for its mother to be checked out by the vet.
A full and uncompromisingly hot day at the pens ends for cattle and cowboys alike with the herd being shepherded back to the pastures under the late afternoon sun.
Florida Cattle Ranch by Bob Montanaro
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