Dairy producers have options for pregnancy diagnosis, Matt Lucy, University of Missouri dairy reproduction specialist reminded audiences at the Dairy Cattle Reproduction Council’s 2011 Annual Meeting. For example, the traditional method of manual palpation is widely practiced. In some areas, ultrasound is performed so that more information is collected and pregnancies are detected sooner after insemination.

The use of blood pregnancy tests to measure pregnancy-associated glycoprotein (PAG) is also a viable option for pregnancy diagnosis that can be used after the fourth week of pregnancy. Johan Vosloo of Country Dairy, New Era, Mich., shared his on-farm experiences with using these tests. The PAG tests are based on well-understood physiology, and are commercially available from at least three suppliers at competitive prices. 

An appropriate method for pregnancy diagnosis depends on the objectives of the reproductive program and considerations that are unique to each individual farm.

Source: August 2012 Dairy Cattle Reproduction Council Newsletter