So Quinlan decided to jump in and help Brandon out by learning how to take a blood sample from our heifers. This way, only a month later after AI, we can test for pregnancy. We will know if the AI worked before they get bred their next cycle from the bull. It will help us choose which heifers we will keep as replacements. The easiest place to get a blood sample from a cow is under her tail. There is a large vein that runs by the vertebrae. In order to get a blood sample, the tail has to be lifted up, exposing the underside. As a 6/7 grader, Quinlan doesn’t have the ooomph to do that, so Brandon held the tail.
It almost looks like Brandon has a spiky Mohawk, but it’s just the heifer’s tail… The heifers are caught by their head and neck in the squeeze chute. Theoretically, they aren’t supposed to be able to back up. After she is restrained, you enter the back of the chute and lift her tail. The test tube is put into a needle guard which is then poked into the center of her tail. If you hit the vein, the vacuum in the tube sucks it right out.
Push the test tube into the needle and you should have your 2-3 cc’s of blood in a second. Don’t pull it out by accident or you lose your vacuum. Of course, veins can be tricky, and sometimes they have to endure more stabs just like humans.
The number of the sample and of the heifer are written on the test tube. They’ll be mailed off to a lab that will tell us the results.
Glad to see Quinlan trying new things… especially when he turns out to be pretty good at it! Waylon got in there and took a few samples too. It’s amazing how well these young whippersnappers can be! Could they be our next vets?Find me here!