If you're squeamish, don't watch this video.This is a "two hands up the rear" kind of procedure. 🤣
Today was the day! The AI for the girls is done. As bizarre as this sounds, I was fascinated.
Just my luck -- I picked the hardest cow to grab video of. 🤦♀️
Since they're Dexters, everything is smaller and it made this process a bit more challenging. The other three went MUCH faster than this particular heifer. It is obviously *not* a painful procedure, but their instinct is to push sort of like a bowel movement. This is normal for any cow being AI'd, but the target area is *much* smaller on our girls than, for example, an Angus. To simplify the procedure, the other two heifers got a bit of epidural so they couldn't feel quite so much. It helped prevent them from pushing the insertion tool out of place. Four year old Pippa was a cake walk -- she's bigger both from age and calving.
The procedure starts by wiping any poo off the vulva. Pushing that inside would potentially cause infection so wiping it off is prudent. Then one gloved arm goes up the rectum. If I understand correctly, that hand is used to find and hold the cervix. I'm told her cervix is about an inch long and the diamater of my pinky so... yeah, that's a pretty tiny target. The metal tool in the opposite hand goes into the vulva and passes through the rings of the cervix. It's a tall order to hit such a tiny target! But when the tool has passed the rings of the cervix, the plunger is depressed and this places the semen exactly where it should go.
The bull we chose is named Roy. Roy, meet Clover, and Ruby, and Fern, and Pippa. I feel like there should have been some Barry White music playing in the background or something 🤣🤣🤣
And now we wait.
In 21 days we will have to watch for signs of estrus. If we see the signs, we'll know it didn't take. At 30'ish days we can ultrasound to confirm pregnancy. We may go that route since we don't have a clean up bull.
Praying hard we get 4/4 🙏
While the vet was here, everyone got their vaccinations updated. Two of the cows got treated for pinkeye. Stumped me how they were symptomatic since they all had a pinkeye vaccine last fall but the flies are *HORRIBLE* this year (that's where stupid pinkeye comes from 😑). Apparently there's a strain in Middle Tennessee that isn't in the commonly available vaccines so several vets in the area got together and had a custom vaccine made. We should be all covered now for that strain with the custom vaccine. The two symptomatic cows got an antibiotic treatment and should be all good in short order.
We also had Diamond's testicles looked at via ultrasound just to make sure what was going on since he didn't develop normally. There was a chance that he could have intestines in his scrotum and that would have made castration *much* more complicated. Thankfully, it's just a tiny testicle like we thought. He will be castrated this fall once the flies are killed off by frost. That will reduce the risk of losing him to fly-borne infections.
Busy, busy morning with the vet, but hopefully the main event will take! Can't wait for spring calves 🥰