Well, the romantic Valentine's Day weekend for Maya paid off! We received confirmation yesterday from Biotracking that she is indeed pregnant.
There are several ways that one can determine if a cow is actually bred. The first clue is when she does not come back in heat within 21 days after being inseminated. While this gives a pretty good indication that a cow has been bred, it is certainly not conclusive. Another method is to palpate the cow. This is usually done after three months after the breeding has taken place. If a cow is palpated before that time, they stand a greater chance of aborting the calf. One can also have an ultrasound taken of the uterus to determine if the cow is pregnant but this is a little more expensive than palpation and requires a veternarian who is skilled in the use of the ultrasound equipment. A very inexpensive and reliable method of determining a bovine pregnacy is by use of a blood test through Biopryn. Biotracking involves taking a blood sample from the cow and shipping it to the lab for testing to confirm a pregnancy. It must be done at least 30 days after insemination and at least 90 days post calving. It measures the presence of Pregnancy-Specific Protein B (PSPB) in the blood circulation of the animal. The PSPB is a protein is produced by the placenta of the growing fetus.
Looking back, I now believe the first time we AI'd Butter, we must have AI'd the wrong cow! We thought Butter was in standing heat and called my nieces husband out to AI her which he did based on our word. However, when Maya came in heat three weeks after we AI'd Butter, it was pretty evident that we had AI'd the wrong cow! Oops!
Butter came in heat about a week after Maya was AI'd. This time we got it right! Butter has also been confirmed pregnant through biotracking.
Since this is my first adventure with artificially inseminating my cows, I am quite pleased that we have been so successful with this venture. Maya's calf is due the end of November and Butter's calf is due the first week in December.
Now that I have pregnancy confirmation on Maya, I am listing her for sale. I have a number of heifers that I will be breeding this year and with the purchase of two new heifers in November of this past year, I need to sell off some of my older stock. It's always bittersweet for me when I sell an animal as I get so attached to them, but I know this is something I need to do.