Ask the Vet

Pregnant Cow Still Cycling

Cows, with a viable pregnancy, will still sometimes go into heat. Preg check her to be sure of the status. (DTN/Progressive Farmer photo by Victoria G. Myers)

Question: I bought a cow that was artificially inseminated and diagnosed as safe in calf. She was in standing heat about a month before her due date. I called the breeder, and he said she may have aborted. I was not very happy, but then she calved a few days before her due date. Now I have to eat crow. How could this happen?

Answer: Pregnancy does not stop a cow from cycling. It is not common, but I have seen this on several occasions, including on my farm. If a cow has been diagnosed as pregnant and shows heat, never assume she is open until she has been rechecked. You could end up selling a pregnant cow. I have also seen problems when owners put these cows on estrus-synchronization programs. If a cow has not just recently calved, have her preg-checked before starting to sync.

(VM/AG)