Bovine and Equine Reproduction

The Outdoor Vet offers the following reproductive services; breeding soundness examinations, estrus synchronization, artificial insemination and pregnancy determination by ultrasound and palpation.

Breeding Soundness Exam (BSE) for the bull:  Simple in-the-field test used to evaluate a bulls physical health, ability and his semen quality.  An exam should be done before every breeding season.  Many things can change in a year whether it’s a traumatic injury affecting your bulls ability to perform or an infectious disease picked up from your or a neighbors herd.  Do not risk losing a years calf crop by skipping a BSE.

BSE for the mare: With breeding fees and semen prices in the hundreds to thousands of dollars, reproductive tract palpation, ultrasound, uterine culture and uterine biopsy are paramount before breeding your mare.  A mare’s reproductive tract changes every year and affects her ability to carry a foal so yearly BSE’s are important for horses too.

Estrous Synchronization:  By manipulating estrous cycles, cow herds can be bred on a planned schedule instead of breeding them as they randomly come into heat. This is only used on herds that artificially inseminate.  We monitor and manipulate the mare’s estrous cycle as well to know when she will accept a stallion or conceive with artificial insemination.

Artificial Insemination (AI) for both cattle and horses:  AI is more labor intensive than natural breeding but it definitely has its advantages.  With AI, a producer can breed cows to a superior bull without the cost of buying and maintaining him.  No more busted fences, fighting or vet bills for injuries. Most importantly the risk of sexually transmitted diseases virtually disappears.

As discussed above, mares can be monitored by observation and ultrasound to determine when to order cooled semen or take her to the breeding farm.

Preg Checking:  Another one of our most defining occupational activities!  Pregnancy testing by palpation is also an essential part of a successful and profitable cow herd.  Folks wanting to be efficient and make some money on their investment cannot feed a cow all year that is not producing a calf that can be raised and sold or used as a replacement.  Determining the stage of pregnancy is also very important in reducing calf-hood disease such as scours and pneumonia.  By knowing a cows stage of pregnancy, a producer can arrange for calves to be born in clean, dry pastures or lots when their immunity is at its lowest, protecting them from infectious agents common to the rest of the herd.  Once the calves have had adequate colostrum or immunity passed to them from their mothers they are ready to be turned out with the herd.