Stories of life on our farm in Northwest Georgia where every day is an adventure in this beautiful spot that God has entrusted to our stewardship.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Siobhan is AI'd, Part II

Siobhan, our Dexter heifer, 19 months old
Wednesday morning about 10 a.m., Mitch came from Bickett Genetics to give Siobhan her shot of Lutalyse (prostaglandin) to bring her into heat.  We had to wait at least 48 hours for him to do the AI, unless we saw good evidence of "standing heat," such as her standing still for T-Bone to mount her.  So I spent the morning sitting on the tailgate in the shade, observing Siobhan's and T-Bone's behavior for signs that Siobhan had come in heat.

They did a lot of head rubbing and butting.  That's one indication.

Siobhan put herself into the cattle chute several times, and although T-Bone didn't mount her, he sure glued his head next to her tail while they both stood there.  That could be another indication.

They were quite companionable.  Siobhan had mucus secretions from the vulva and dirt smeared on her rear end which could be a sign that she has been mounted.  Yet another indication.

The end of Siobhan's back, just in front of her tail, seemed sunken in with the tail head elevated.  This happens during a cow's heat because of pelvic rotation.  One more good indication.

About noon I decided that just as    "a watched pot never boils," perhaps a watched heifer never heats!  So I got the tractor and bush-hogged the field adjoining the round pen, peering in at the cattle every time I passed.  Nothing much changed.

Finally about 6:30 p.m., Mitch came to do the AI.  He said it's not unusual in weather like this (our thermometer said 98° but it was predicted to be 100°) for mounting behavior not to occur and for signs of heat to be suppressed.  We had the wrong kind of heat!

I put a lead rope on Siobhan and she followed me into the head gate, neat as can be.  Mitch commented on how docile she is.  (That's my Dexter girl!)

So Siobhan has been bred to Taco, and next month will tell if it took.  Hopefully we won't see T-Bone mounting her because that would mean she isn't bred and is coming back in heat.

With any luck, we now have two pregnant cows on the farm!


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  2. Thank you for the pictorial on what to look for when a cow goes into heat. This was very helpful for someone like me who is interested in learning about pasture based farming. Thanks for sharing this.

  3. You're very welcome, Gordon. IWe're just learning, too, and other peoples' blogs have been so helpful to me. I'm glad I could "pay it forward!"


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