Since arriving in Mississippi things have been crazy - in a good way! I have stayed plenty busy, hence the lack of blogging!
My lab mate, Katie, and I have been learning how to ultrasound cattle. Did you know cows can be ultrasounded just like humans? There are several reasons why producers ultrasound there cattle.
1. To evaluate carcass characteristics like rib eye area and back fat.
2. To evaluate heifers to see if they have reached puberty and have began cycling.
3. To evaluate the pregnancy status of females. This can be done as early as 28 days after breeding! You can see the fetus' heart beating, just like you can on human ultrasound images - pretty cool!
Katie and I have been ultrasounding ovaries in heifers to see if they are cycling and ready for breeding.
When looking at an ultrasound screen, there are several key things to know.
1. Black is fluid.
2. White is bone.
3. Grey is tissue.
Ovaries are shaped like almonds or ovals. There are follicles present on the ovaries and when timing is right, they ovulate and an egg is released. The follicles look like black circles inside the ovary on the ultrasound machine.
Here are some images of ovaries from the ultrasound and pictures of me ultrasounding!