Increase your herd’s productivity and value with regular herd testing — the only way to accurately identify how your cows 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.
Make informed breeding and culling decisions with an understanding of your herd’s breeding worth (BW) and production worth (PW). Herd testing helps you track and monitor your herd’s performance and assess how effective your management decisions have been.
Prove your herd’s worth
Regular herd testing increases the market value of your herd, by giving you more reliable BW and PW figures. Buyers are likely to pay more for animals with a proven history of both PW and BW.
Improve the quality of the national herd
Herd tests play a vital role in improving the quality of the national herd. Data from herd tests is used to identify productive animals that can be selectively bred to provide genetic gains for the dairy industry as a whole.
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 having at least four herd tests a season to provide comprehensive information for on-farm decision making, whether you choose a classic or a single test.
Classic testing (taking two samples) produces the most reliable results because it provides a more representative, 24-hour production sample from each cow.
If you milk twice a day but choose a single test, morning testing is more reliable than afternoon testing because cows usually produce more milk in the morning. This means that morning samples are larger and provide a more accurate picture of a cow’s performance.
More herd tests during a season means a more accurate assessment of each cow’s PW and BW. If you want to sell your herd — or to sell individual animals — an accurate assessment of PW and BW is particularly important.
For more information read our Understanding Herd Test Data and Accuracy page.
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 you are new to herd testing, 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 to help you with the test. Our assists 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.
Herd Testing is a regulated activity and LIC is compliant to the following standards:
- New Zealand Standard: Dairy Herd Testing (NZS 8100:2015)
- General requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories (NZS ISO/IEC 17025:2018)
- Quality management systems – Requirements (AS/NZS ISO 9001:2016)
If you want to know more about these standards or the LIC Herd Test quality policy please contact us on 0800 834 843.