Signs of a cow's pregnancy: by month, alternative methods of determination

There are many ways to determine the pregnancy of a cow on your own without any special equipment and laboratory tests. Of course, it is always better to entrust this matter to a professional, but sometimes this is not possible. Moreover, all these folk methods for determining pregnancy are absolutely safe, so there is no need to fear for possible harm to the health of the animal. On the other hand, they cannot guarantee 100% accuracy of the results.

What is pregnancy

A cow's pregnancy is a state of pregnancy in an animal that occurs after ovulation, ovulation, and successful artificial or natural insemination. The fertilization period in cattle lasts about a month and does not always bring the desired results - in such cases, the cow remains spring, which entails certain problems.

It is not so easy to visually determine the pregnancy of an animal, however, this must be done as early as possible, since pregnant individuals need special care. They are transferred to a different diet, including a complex of vitamin supplements and better quality feed, and they also carefully monitor the hygiene of the animals themselves and the stables. Moreover, each stage of pregnancy in a cow involves a certain set of procedures for caring for animals, ignoring which can lead to the development of pathologies in the unborn calf. On the other hand, all efforts will be in vain if the cow remains spring after unsuccessful insemination.

That is why it is so important to know the pregnancy of a cow at an early date, preferably in the first month. To facilitate the work of caring for cattle during pregnancy, it is recommended to keep an individual calendar of pregnancy and calving of cattle.

Important! Cattle pregnancy lasts about 10 months. During this time, cows are not only looked after with great care, but also carefully protected from abdominal injuries.

How to determine if a cow is pregnant at home

There is a whole range of methods to determine the pregnancy of a first-calf at home. In order to obtain more accurate results, it is recommended to use not one of them, but several, combining visual inspection with the study of animal behavior. Additionally, you can carry out simple tests that do not require special laboratory equipment.

The most accurate results are shown by clinical methods for diagnosing pregnancy, however, with due experience, you can conduct fairly reliable external studies on your own.

How to identify a cow's pregnancy visually

Determining pregnancy in cows at home solely by external signs is not an easy task, but it is quite possible to do it, especially if you additionally observe the behavior of the animal. The following signs indicate that the cow is pregnant:

  1. The cow's coat becomes silky smooth. This is due to hormonal changes in the animal's body during pregnancy.
  2. In the early stages of pregnancy, dark discharge begins to appear from the genitals.Subsequently, they become more viscous and transparent.
  3. Transparent crusts form on the skin in the genital area, which remain after liquid discharge from the vagina.
  4. In the first month after fertilization, an abundant bleeding can be seen on the genitals of the cow and the inner side of the tail.
  5. In the later stages of pregnancy, the pregnancy of a cow becomes obvious even for an inexperienced person who does not work with cattle - the general contour of the abdomen changes in a fertilized animal. The right side of the abdominal cavity is noticeably enlarged.
  6. Beginning in the middle of pregnancy, the udder of a pregnant cow gradually increases. Towards the end of the term, it becomes more elastic and even firm, which is especially noticeable in primiparous cows.
  7. In a pregnant cow in the middle of pregnancy, the legs and abdominal wall begin to swell.

The behavior of the cow after successful fertilization also changes. According to folk omens about the pregnancy of heifers, pregnant animals become noticeably calmer and more careful, they stop jumping and lift their tails. Movement generally slows down and gait becomes clumsy. The animal tends to separate from the rest of the herd and graze alone, at some distance. At the same time, the appetite of a pregnant cow is greatly increased.

Important! A pregnant cow does not have a second heat state.

For milk

There are two ways to check a cow's pregnancy at home according to the state of milk:

  1. A drop of milk is added to a glass of clean cold water. If it spreads over the surface, it means that the cow is still spring after mating. Fully dissolved milk indicates that the animal is pregnant.
  2. 5 ml of alcohol is mixed with the same amount of fresh milk. If the cow is pregnant, the milk should be curdled.

How to find out if a cow is pregnant at home using a test

You can also determine the pregnancy of a cow using a special express test, which gives more accurate results than a variety of folk remedies. You can buy it in specialized livestock stores, which greatly facilitates the diagnosis of the animal - you do not need to call a professional veterinarian for this. The advantages of this method also include its performance - the average research time is only 15-20 minutes.

A rapid test on cows is used, mainly to determine early pregnancy (2-3 weeks). The test is carried out as follows:

  1. A special powder is poured into a test tube or a test solution is poured.
  2. Then add 10 ml of cow urine to the substance and observe the reaction.
  3. If the color of the urine changes and sediment settles on the bottom of the tube, it means that the cow has been fertilized successfully.

Rectal and manual method for determining the pregnancy of cattle

The rectal method for diagnosing cow pregnancy is more suitable for examining animals in the early stages, but not earlier than one month. Too early diagnostic procedures can trigger a miscarriage in cattle. It is safest to entrust the pregnancy analysis to a professional veterinarian, but in general, the rectal method can be used independently. The main thing is to observe all safety precautions.

The rectal method is palpation of the uterus through the rectal wall. During the entire process, the helper must hold the cow by the horns. You can also place the animal in a special cage to restrict its movement.

The procedure looks like this:

  1. Before starting the study, the hands must be thoroughly soaped, after which one is injected into the rectum.
  2. Then you need to gently feel the cervix, which is located at the bottom of the pelvic region. It is quite dense and elongated. Only in the last stages of pregnancy is the cervix located behind the pubic edge of the pelvis.
  3. Based on the location of the uterus, other parts of it are found, including the ovaries.In a spring heifer, the body of the uterus is in the pelvic cavity, and its horns are the same size. A characteristic groove is clearly felt between the horns of the uterus. The entire uterus can be taken in the hand, and it reacts to touch with a weak pulsation.
  4. In the first month of pregnancy, one uterine horn noticeably increases in size. The ends of the uterine horns are displaced into the abdominal cavity. In the third month of pregnancy, the groove between the horns of the uterus disappears.
Advice! Before a rectal examination, hands must be thoroughly disinfected: all burrs are removed, the wounds are smeared with iodine, and the skin is washed with an alcohol solution. They put on gloves, and lubricate with petroleum jelly to facilitate access.

The manual method of research is probing the belly of a pregnant cow on the right side. The procedure is carried out according to the following scheme:

  1. A fist is brought to the right side of the abdomen and applied to the skin 40-50 cm below the hungry fossa. This place is located just behind the costal arch.
  2. After that, you need to make a few neat thrusts, without applying much force.

In this way, the location of the embryo is determined and the cow's pregnancy is confirmed. The accuracy of the procedure depends on the timing of the analysis - the study must be organized early in the morning before the cow begins to eat. Otherwise, fetal movements can be easily confused with the work of the gastrointestinal tract, along which food moves.

It is also important to remember that a few days before delivery, the fetus moves to the birth canal and is difficult to palpate during this period.

Important! This method for diagnosing pregnancy is carried out in the last stages of pregnancy.

Clinical methods for determining cow pregnancy

Clinical methods for determining the pregnancy of a cow are used starting from the 30th day after mating. Most often, biochemical laboratory research or ultrasound analysis is used for these purposes.

In the first case, the hormonal composition of the animal's blood is examined. In this case, it is important to wait at least three months from the date of the previous pregnancy. Otherwise, the analysis will show the result of the last pregnancy.

Ultrasound equipment for determining pregnancy in a cow can be used no earlier than one month from the beginning of pregnancy. The device can cause miscarriage in the heifer.

Important! The advantages of this method include the ability to determine pathologies in the embryo.

Signs of pregnancy in a cow by month

It is possible to determine the pregnancy of a cow at different times by the following criteria:

  1. In the first month, pregnancy is indicated by bloody and clear vaginal discharge, shiny and smooth coat, and calmer behavior. At the same time, there is no leak. In the first month, the uterus can be grasped in the hand during rectal examination; during the procedure, the corpus luteum is clearly felt.
  2. In the second month, the uterus moves to the entrance to the pelvic region. The horn, in which the amniotic sac is located, increases markedly.
  3. In the third month of pregnancy, the horn with the amniotic bladder continues to grow. During the examination, you can feel the fetus in the uterus.
  4. In the fourth month, the uterus moves into the abdominal cavity, during the examination, the location and shape of the fetus is clearly determined, as well as the placenta, which by this time reaches 2-3 cm. The blood vessels clearly pulsate.
  5. In the fifth month of pregnancy, the cervix is ​​noticeably enlarged, which occupies most of the abdominal cavity. The placenta also grows, reaching 4-5 cm. The abdomen visually increases in size, the udder is filled with milk.
  6. At the sixth month, the uterus descends into the peritoneum, and at this stage of pregnancy it is already difficult to probe the fetus.
  7. In the eighth month of gestation, the cow is palpated various parts of the calf during palpation. The uterus is located in the pelvic region.
  8. At the ninth month, a clear swelling of the udder becomes visually noticeable. The lower abdominal wall also swells. The size of the placenta is 8 cm. The fetus moves to the pelvic region.
Important! The absence of heat is not always indicative of a cow's pregnancy. It can also indicate the presence of a number of diseases.


In order to unambiguously determine the pregnancy of a cow, folk signs may not be enough. It is important to take into account all the signs of pregnancy in cattle: a change in the behavior of the animal, the appearance of the coat, the contour of the abdomen, etc. If it is difficult to visually establish the pregnancy of a cow, you can always conduct a home test on the milk or urine of the animal. If this does not help, then they switch to more thorough research methods - rectal and manual. It is recommended that these procedures be performed by a specialist, however, if you are careful, you can do everything yourself.

It is very important to check the cow for pregnancy as early as possible. This will allow you to prepare in advance for the pregnancy of the animal and take all measures to ensure that the cow during this period feels as comfortable as possible and does not become exhausted after pregnancy.

For more information on how to determine pregnancy in a cow at home, see the video below:

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