PregCheck30™ and Your Farming System

You can use PregCheck30 to obtain accurate pregnancy information for your particular calving pattern.
The examples below show how PregCheck30 can be used in different situations.

How to incorporate PregCheck30 into your farming system

You can use PregCheck30 to obtain accurate pregnancy information, including estimating conception dates and optimal drying-off periods for your particular calving pattern. The examples below show how PregCheck30 can be used in different situations.

1.  PregCheck30 is most useful when groups of cows for mating and calving are easily defined and identified.

2.  You can use PregCheck30 if calving is less defined. However, you need adequate mating records that identify cows at least 30 days post-mating.

3.  Because PAG levels are very high in late pregnancy, you can also use PregCheck30 with groups of cows prior to culling decisions to avoid culling pregnant cows thought to be empty - or drying-off empty cows thought to be pregnant. The new farmer sampling option offers a flexible and convenient way to do this.

Whatever your farm management system and calving pattern, TasHerd can tailor specific programs for you, identifying the best times to do PregCheck30 milk pregnancy tests to allow you to estimate conception and drying-off dates.

Seasonal Calving Example

This example shows seasonal calving planned to commence in early August and continue to mid October. AI goes from 1st November to the end of November. Bulls are in for a month from December 1st. Cows are dried off June-July.

Example of seasonal calving

With this system a PregCheck test can be done at the following times to maximise the data:

1.  A PregCheck early January will pick up all cows over 30 days since the beginning of AI. This early January test may also pick up a few early bull pregnancies. There is no need to submit cows for PregCheck at this herd test that have not been AI'd. Calving dates can be estimated from AI records.

2.  A PregCheck early February on those cows not previously diagnosed pregnant, or not submitted for testing at the first PregCheck, will pick up those cows pregnant to the bull matings in December. If an average conception date of mid-December is used as a guide, the optimal time for drying-off these cows can be estimated.

3.  A final PregCheck on all cows can be done in April, or really any time prior to drying-off as long as it is at least 60 days after the bulls come out, will detect those cows that have slipped as a result of early foetal loss.

4.  It is important to remember that 10% to 15% of cows diagnosed pregnant before about 60 days of gestation will lose their pregnancies inside the first 2 months or so of pregnancy because of early foetal loss. This is a natural occurrence and is higher in herds on a high grain diet. Therefore it is important to ensure those cows diagnosed pregnant (by whatever method) are rechecked prior to calving to avoid drying off cows that have slipped.

5. If cows are dried-off as a batch and it is not critical to know individual conception dates, then only one PregCheck is required to determine whether or not cows are pregnant. This test can be done any time, as long as it is at least 2 to 3 months after the last potential mating date (that is after bulls come out in most herds). Under normal circumstances there should only be 1 or 2% of cows that slip after this and these can usually be picked up by heat checking (tail painting/observation etc) prior to calving.

Using this system, decisions can be made about:

  •   estimated calving dates calculated from PregCheck30 results and mating records
  •   drying off according to estimated calving date
  •   culling cows found to be not pregnant

  • Split Calving with a Spring & Autumn Calving Group

    A similar system for determining pregnancy status can be used for autumn calving and TasHerd can draw up specific programs for your farm management system, identifying the best times to do a PregCheck30 milk pregnancy test to allow you to estimate conception and drying-off dates.

    Herd Recording - The convenient option

    Milk samples collected for routine herd recording can be used for pregnancy testing through TasHerd. This is how it works.

    1.  Firstly, identify cows that are 30 days past their last known mating date (a minimum of 12* cows).
    2.  Collect milk samples as part of your normal herd recording process – making sure there is no cross-contamination of samples.
    3.  Clearly identify samples with your unique farm and cow IDs (as you normally do for the herd recording process).
    4.  Inform TasHerd that you require a PregCheck30 test by ticking the 'Preg Test' box at the top of your Input Sheet and then indicate which cows you want tested by either writing a 'P' next to each cow's Id on the sheet or use a highlighter pen to mark the cow.
    5.  TasHerd will perform the test in its lab and have the results back to you within 3 to 5 business days of receipt of your samples.
    6.  Once you have your test results, you may contact us for free technical support if needed.

    For true flexibility

    Farmer Sampling is a convenient option if you do not herd test or if you need to test cows outside your herd recording periods.
    Simply take milk samples yourself at any time and submit them for testing when you choose. You can submit a minimum of 12* cows for testing at any time. Here’s how it works:

    1.  Just let us know that you wish to have some milk samples tested and we'll arrange to get some sample bottles to you.
    2.  Select the cows (that are at least 30 days post-mating) you wish to test (a minimum of 12* cows).
    3.  Take samples for milk pregnancy testing during milking (i.e. mid-milking samples). To do this, ‘break’ the line to one quarter for a moment and strip a few squirts onto the ground, then put around 30ml into the tubes provided. Do not collect milk samples for pregnancy testing before ‘cups-on’ or after ‘cups-off’. Only mid-milking samples will give accurate measurements.
    4.  Clearly identify samples with your unique farm and cow IDs.
    5.  Chill the samples (but don't freeze them) and send them back to us, either by post or give them to your TasHerd herd recorder.
    6.  You should receive your results within 3 to 5 business days - either by post or email (whatever you prefer).
    7.  Once you have your test results, you are welcome to contact us for free technical support.

    * Note that TasHerd will process less than 12 samples, but a minimum fee (equating to 12 samples) will be applied. In the event that we have other samples to test, we will pool your samples with them which will avoid the minimum fee.