DNA parentage testing

Take the guesswork out of matching calves to parents, reduce stress at calving time and identify your best calves with our GeneMark DNA parentage testing service.

Increase your herd’s genetic value by using DNA profiling to: 

  • reduce the risk of inbreeding
  • identify calves with high breeding worth
  • maintain up-to-date records with full parentage on young stock.

We use these G3 DNA profiles, together with the G3 DNA profiles of the bulls you used for artificial breeding, to determine the parents of young stock. 

Choose from two types of DNA parentage tests:

  1. Whole herd DNA parentage testing — get a G3 DNA profile for every animal on your farm so you can match your current season’s calves to their sire and dam each year.  
  2. Individual animal DNA parentage testing —  get a G3 DNA profile and parentage information for selected animals on your farm.  

Whole herd DNA parentage testing also:

  • reduces the stress at calving time
  • reduces the risk of inbreeding
  • provides up-to-date records that help increase Breeding Worth (BW) and ancestry information over time.

Whole herd DNA parentage testing can also increase your herd’s market value. 

Prevent expensive mistakes caused by mis-mothering

Studies have found that about 25% of calves are mis-mothered, mis-tagged or mis-recorded. This means you may accidentally cull the offspring of your top-performing cows or those sired through our artificial breeding programme, while retaining calves of little genetic value. Stop this happening with whole herd DNA parentage testing, which provides accurate parentage information for each season’s calves. 

Reduce inbreeding

Inbreeding can make your herd less productive. Whole herd DNA parentage testing correctly matches calves with their parents, reducing the risk of inbreeding.

Increase your herd’s market value

Buyers may pay more for animals that have been accurately matched to their parents, as it provides a true picture of their breeding worth.

Make a long-term commitment

The benefits of whole herd DNA parentage testing increase over time. Test annually to get the greatest benefits — the more years you test for the more animals you will have full parentage information about. That means you’ll have up-to-date records and accurate BW information, which adds value to your herd. 

We compare the G3 DNA profiles of the calves with G3 DNA profiles of the bulls you used for mating and see whether there’s a match.

Knowing a calf’s sire means:

  • you get more accurate records and a true Breeding Worth (BW) for the animal
  • you can make informed breeding, selling and culling decisions
  • you can confirm the parentage of calves born with uncertain sires
  • you reduce the risk of inbreeding
  • your animals may be worth more.

You can also get G3 DNA profiles for selected cows to confirm that you have correctly identified a calf’s mother. 

The only equipment you need is a GeneMark Allflex applicator gun and some GeneMark Allflex punch kits. Each punch kit contains 10 tissue sampling units (TSUs). 

Using the applicator gun is as simple as using an ear tagger — no special skills required.

Store the samples in your freezer till you're ready to courier them to our laboratory.  We even supply the courier bag. 

See Collecting the tissue samples for DNA parentage testing for a step-by-step guide to how to collect, store and courier tissue samples.

Include a completed Whole Herd Submission Form or a completed Individual Animal Submission Form, depending on which test you are doing. Use a new submission form for each group of animals you test and for each LIC participant code you want to be charged to.  

Whole Herd Submission Form

Individual Animal Submission Form

For more information on how to sample your animals safely and effectively, see:

Guide to using the GeneMark Allflex applicator gun and the GeneMark Allflex tissue punches

For details on maintaining your applicator gun or fixing common issues, see:

Allflex applicator maintenance & troubleshooting guide

Order sampling equipment

You can order sampling equipment  by:

  • calling 0800 GENEMARK (0800436362)
  • completing the Allflex applicator and punch order form
  • contacting your local LIC rep.

GeneMark account for whole herd parentage testing

You must have a GeneMark account to carry out whole herd parentage testing. Complete, sign and send us the GeneMark Whole Herd Account Application Form to get you started on whole herd DNA parentage testing.

GeneMark Whole Herd Account Application Form

Animals to sample for the first whole herd DNA parentage test

For the first whole herd DNA parentage test collect tissue samples from:

  • every calf you are considering keeping
  • all previous season’s progeny
  • all your dams (including those you plan to cull) 
  • natural mating bulls you used in the most recent mating season. 

Animals to sample for subsequent whole herd DNA parentage tests

For whole herd DNA parentage tests in the following and subsequent years collect tissue samples from:

  • every current season’s calf you’re considering keeping
  • brought-in dams
  • natural mating bulls you used in the most recent mating season.

Animals to sample for individual DNA parentage tests

For individual DNA parentage testing collect tissue samples from:

  • the calves whose parentage you want to confirm
  • natural mating bulls you used in the most recent season
  • any dams you want to include in matching. 

We already have G3 DNA profiles for all our artificial breeding sires. We also have G3 DNA profiles for many of the sires from other genetics companies, including CRV Ambreed, Semex and Samen. 

We use these existing DNA profiles to match your calves to their sires.  

If we don’t have a profile for a sire you’ve used from another genetics company you’ll need to send a straw of semen to our laboratory so we can create one.  

Call us on 0800 436 362 to find out if we have a DNA profile for a non-LIC sire. 

To DNA parentage test your whole herd you must:

  • have a GeneMark account. Complete, sign and send us the GeneMark Whole Herd Account Application Form to get you started on whole herd DNA parentage testing. The form offers several payment options — select the option you prefer.
  • have a booking with our GeneMark laboratory.
  • Contact your FSM or call GeneMark on 0800 436 362 to book a testing date with our laboratory. You must send your tissue samples to the laboratory by this date.
  • have up-to-date calving records in MINDA
  • have up-to-date mating records in MINDA.

To DNA parentage test individual animals you must:

  • have up-to-date calving records in MINDA
  • have up-to-date mating records in MINDA.

You don’t need a GeneMark account or a laboratory booking to DNA parentage test individual animals.

You’ll get the results of whole herd" testing within four to five weeks. You’ll get the results of individual animal testing within six weeks.

We’ll email the results to you and we’ll also upload them to MINDA.

We provide a free Field Assist to first-time GeneMark whole herd customers (terms and conditions may apply). The Field Assist will help you take the tissue samples and ensure your records are up to date. You should be available on the day to help the Field Assist. 

For subsequent whole herd tests you’ll be sampling fewer animals and you should be able to do it yourself — or you can hire a Field Assist to help you. 

Individual animal testing is less time-consuming and in most cases you’ll be able to take the tissue samples yourself.

We use the same tissue samples as we use for DNA parentage testing to test for the A2 geneotype or to detect the BVD virus

See Collecting tissue samples for A2 geneotype testing or BVD testing for more information about how to combine the tests.

Whole herd parentage testing - dairy cow

Whole Herd Parentage Testing matches current season’s calves to your GeneMark® G3 profiled dams and sires by DNA analysis.

Price per sample (GST excl.)

DNA Profile Only (dams, natural mating bulls, previous seasons progeny)

Price per sample (GST excl.) $26.52

DNA Profile & Parent Search* (current seasons calves only. LIC sire
profiles will be provided by LIC)

Price per sample (GST excl.) $26.52

*G2 compatible with G3 for transitioning herds only, customers must provide calf birth dates and dam calving dates.

Batch processing

Current season's calves can be sent in multiple batches for processing. Note that for the second and subsequent batches, the $95 fee applies in addition to the $26.52 sample fee.

Specifically:

Batch 1: $26.52 per sample

Batch 2: $26.52 per sample + $95 batch fee

Each subsequent batch (batch 3; batch 4; etc.): $26.52 per sample + $95 per batch fee

Whole Herd Optional Extras - dairy cow

Price per sample (GST excl.)

DNA Profile & Parent Search (previous seasons progeny)

Price per sample (GST excl.) $30.60

A2 + Profile/Parentage

Price per sample (GST excl.) $36.72

Uncertain Sire Search (dams requiring sire verification only)

Price per sample (GST excl.) $10.20
(Excluding $26.52 profile fee)

Additional Search (additional analysis after initial profiling and parent search)

Price per sample (GST excl.) $10.20

BVD + Profile + Parentage (tissue sample)
(calves must be older than 35 days)

Price per sample (GST excl.) $39.22

Individual animal parentage testing

Offers DNA parent verification on selected animals.

Price per sample (GST excl.)

DNA Profile Only (dams, natural mating bulls, previous seasons progeny)

Price per sample (GST excl.) $36.72

DNA Profile & Sire Search (LIC sire profiles will be provided by LIC)

Price per sample (GST excl.) $36.72

Additional Search (Additional analysis after initial profiling and parent search)

Price per sample (GST excl.) $15.30

A2 tissue test + Profile/Parentage

Price per sample (GST excl.) $46.92

Flexible payment options available 

Flexible payment options make whole herd DNA parentage testing the right choice whatever your financial circumstances.  Choose from a number of interest-free payment options to suit your business needs. 

Indicate which payment option you want when you complete your GeneMark Account Application Form.

genemark logo

Book a DNA test

Take the guesswork out of matching calves to parents.

Contact your LIC rep

To book contact your LIC rep or call 0800 GENEMARK (0800 436362).

genemark logo

Book a DNA test

Take the guesswork out of matching calves to parents.

Contact your LIC rep

To book contact your LIC rep or call 0800 GENEMARK (0800 436362).