Goat herd testing

Increase your herd’s productivity and value with regular herd testing — the only way to accurately identify how your goats are performing.

Herd testing identifies:

  • high producers you can use for breeding
  • poor producers that need to be dried off or culled
  • animals with mastitis that need treatment, drying off or culling.


The samples are sent to our laboratories in Christchurch or Hamilton and tested for: 

  • volume
  • milkfat
  • protein
  • lactose
  • somatic cell count.  

We use the data to create a number of reports which we send to your MINDA account.

Book a herd test 

To book a herd test contact your LIC rep or contact your local Herd Test Depot.

Set up the shed and take the milk samples

Our staff will set up the meters in your shed before every herd test. We use meters that have been specially calibrated for goats. 

If it’s your first herd test they’ll do a shed inspection beforehand and talk you through the process of taking the milk samples. We provide written information as well.  

You can also book a Herd Test Assist Technician to help you with the test — contact your LIC rep or contact your local Herd Test Depot

Storing the samples

Store the samples in a cool dry place, away from direct sunlight and other heat sources such as chiller units or compressors, ready to be collected.

Collecting the samples 

Our staff will collect your milk samples and send them to our laboratories for testing. They’ll also collect the meters — though you need to dismantle and wash the meters yourself.  

Getting the results 

You’ll get a preliminary report called a Lab Strip in your Member Services account a day or so after the test. The Lab Strip includes all the raw data from the test.

You should receive a full report with a comprehensive analysis of your herd’s performance within four days of the test. A full herd test report includes a 24-hour individual somatic cell count which identifies animals with both sub-clinical and clinical mastitis.

A classic test involves taking samples from an afternoon milking followed by a morning milking. For a single test, samples are taken either from a morning or an afternoon milking.

We recommend a classic test for goats, as it provides a more accurate picture of your herd’s performance. 

We recommend having at least four herd tests a season to provide  comprehensive  information for on-farm decision making.

Our staff will set up the meters in your shed before every herd test. They’ll also collect the meters — and your milk samples — once the test is finished.

If it’s your first herd test they’ll do a shed inspection beforehand, advise you on how many brackets to buy and talk you through the sampling process. 

You can also book a Herd Test Assist Technician to help you with the test. Our technicians are trained in all aspects of herd testing and can help with a wide range of tasks, from changing flasks to washing the equipment after you’ve finished the test.  

To book a Herd Test Assist Technician contact your LIC rep or local Herd Test Depot.

Save time with our EZ Link handheld scanners, which link the barcodes on the herd-test flasks with each animal’s tag number. All you need to do is enter the tag number into the device, rather than writing it on the flask by hand.

You can speed up the process even more by pairing the scanner with an EZ Link EID wand. Use the wand to scan the tags and send the number automatically to the handheld device —  there’s no need to enter the number into the device yourself.  

Ordering EZ Link devices

Order EZ Link scanners and wands at the same time as you book your herd test. You can also order them after you’ve booked the test, though if you’re new to EZ Link don’t leave this too late — we need time to show you how to use the device.  

We provide customer training to first-time EZ Link users before the test. Our staff can also stay in the shed on the day of the test if you need more help.

We charge additional fees for:

  • booking a Herd Test Assist Technician
  • booking EZ Link scanners and EZ Link EID wands.

If you cancel within 30 days or reschedule within 7 days of your herd test date you’ll be charged a fee to cover the costs associated with planning and scheduling a test.

Herd Test prices

Prices effective from 1 June 2021.

Herd test frequency (within one season)

Service fee

Sample fee - Classic test *

Sample fee - Single test**

Herd test frequency (within one season) 1st herd test

Service fee $360

Sample fee - Classic test * $2.35

Sample fee - Single test** $2.15

Herd test frequency (within one season) 2nd herd test

Service fee $360

Sample fee - Classic test * $2.35

Sample fee - Single test** $2.15

Herd test frequency (within one season) 3rd herd test

Service fee $185

Sample fee - Classic test * $2.35

Sample fee - Single test** $2.15

Herd test frequency (within one season) 4th and subsequent tests

Service fee $85

Sample fee - Classic test * $2.35

Sample fee - Single test** $2.15

* Samples collected at both evening and morning milkings.
**Samples collected at either the morning or evening milking.

Herd test cancellation and date change fees

Days out from booked herd test

Date change

Cancellation

Days out from booked herd test 0-10 days

Date change $135.00

Cancellation $235.00


Arrange a herd test

Increase your herd's productivity and value – arrange a herd test today.

Contact your local LIC Rep

Or, get in touch with your local Herd Test Depot.

Arrange a herd test

Increase your herd's productivity and value – arrange a herd test today.

Contact your local LIC Rep

Or, get in touch with your local Herd Test Depot.