For more information have a look at our herd test information booklet.
Notify us of any milking regime and herd changes
Please ensure all your herd test details on the date confirmation letter included with this booklet are correct and up-to-date.
If your milking regimes or any other details change throughout the season, it is essential you let us know at least two weeks in advance to ensure sufficient equipment is delivered and your shed is set up in time. You can notify us of any changes by emailing [email protected] or calling our Herd Test team on 0800 837 843.
If we aren’t notified of herd or regime changes, and an extra delivery for equipment is required, an additional delivery fee of $195.00 may be charged.
Two weeks prior to each herd test, we’ll send an email reminder for you to check all details, if nothing has changed simply reply “no changes required”.
If your herd switches to a variable milking regime (3in2 or 10in7), be sure to let us know. If required, it is best to tweak your milking times to fit in with your herd test as we aren’t able to setup and deliver a herd test around some milking times. Setup and pickup windows are outlined below:
For AM testing: Samples and equipment need to be ready for pickup by midday.
For PM testing: Setup by LIC needs to be completed by 2pm.
If herd test staff arrive on farm to find an unadvised change and are unable to set the shed up, the test will need to be rescheduled or cancelled and a late date change or cancellation fee will be applied.
Key tips for a successful herd test
The vacuum should be raised to 48kPa for low lines, 50kPa for milk lines above the cow or 45kPa for goats. Switch to ‘Constant’ if available.
It is your responsibility to put an approved sanitiser rinse, followed by a clean water rinse, through the milking plant once the milk meters are installed. Additional wash trays/flasks are provided for this purpose.
- Ensures all milk lines are clear and clean prior to commencing the herd test.
- Enables you to check all meters are working correctly. All the wash flasks should be filling to a similar level with water. If not, then there may be examples of rubberware being reversed, blockages, or seal/ nozzle issues. These can then be corrected prior to the first milk samples being taken.
Leave caps off wash flasks when putting back in trays.
Suitable placement of trays in the dairy shed
To ensure the integrity of the sample, it is important that samples are stored in a clean, cool, shaded area away from potential contaminants, and heat sources like machinery and direct sunlight until they are collected.
Foreign objects on the flasks can impact the measured weight of flasks (volume inaccuracy) and introduce health and safety issues. The need to handle dirty trays can pose cleaning challenges of the flasks - dirty equipment in, can result in dirty equipment out, despite best efforts to clean and this impacts other customers.
If herd test equipment is not cleaned to a suitable standard or trays are dirty when collected from farm, a cleaning fee of $195.00 may be charged.
Minimum sample limits
Towards the end of the milking season, milk production reduces. For herd testing to provide a result, the sample needs to meet a minimum of 20ml, which equates to 3.64L per animal. If your animals are producing less than this and a test result cannot be attained, your samples will be given an abnormal code 1 (insufficient sample).
If you’re planning to herd test towards the end of the season we encourage you to undertake a classic two sample (PM & AM) test to ensure the best chance of having sufficient volume to get a result.
Herd testing information can be used later in the season to identify cows to dry off early. DairyNZ SmartSAMM guide recommends animals producing less than 5L are dried off.