How accurate is the test?
The tests are 96.7% specific (over 40 days from service), and 97.6% sensitive.
Do I need to take additional samples?
No. The existing NMR sample can be used, reducing cost and hassle in the milking parlour.
Can I do intermediate testing, between recordings?
Yes. Boxes of 10 samples are available for this purpose, containing all the required paperwork and free postage. Contact customer services for more details.
How do I select which animals are going to be pregnancy tested at the milk recording?
The Milk Recorder has the required software; there are two options:
- Manual; provide a list to the Milk Recorder, of the cows you want to put forward to pregnancy test, and they will select the animals for you. Check that the cow has been served at least 35 days.
- Auto Select; here you can ask the Milk Recorder to go for Days after Calving and / or Days after service. You can choose what the criteria should be e.g. 150 days after calving or 70 days after service.
Whatever option you choose, the Milk Recorder will be able to tell you how many animals have been selected, and if you wish to revise the list (removing animals if required), that is part of the service.
Can I use other milk samples?
Yes, if you use other ad hoc testing services from NMR, e.g. Essential Sampling, just download the sample submission form from this website – found in my NMR, and add it to the sample box with your other paperwork, letting us know which samples to test for PD. No additional samples are required.
Will I know how many animals will be tested each month?
The software used by the Milk Recorder will let you know how many animals have been selected, at the end of the recording.
Do I have to do anything prior to the service starting?
We would recommend that you allocate some time with the NMR Area Field Manager to ensure that as much fertility data is recorded (Service and PD information), so that animals are not tested in error. We also encourage you to work with your vet to determine the optimum fertility management programme for your herd.
Does the test show how many days into gestation the animal is?
No, the test only shows that the animal is pregnant, it gives no indication of the stage of gestation, so if an animal has been served several times, a decision on farm will need to be made to decide which service to use, to then schedule the correct Drying off date.
Does the quality of the milk sample affect the test result?
Poor quality samples may compromise the accuracy of the test result. Ensure the animal is correctly identified and milk carryover between samples is minimized (milk recording jars should be completely emptied between cows); long milk tubes need to be cleared between animals.
Does this mean we don't need a Vet or PD scanner to PD the animals?
No; this is seen an additional check, backing up what happens already on farm, identifying animals that might have reabsorbed the embryo after being confirmed in calf - currently 7-10% animals will do so prior to 100 days from service.
Does the milk test still detect PAGs after early embryonic death or after abortion?
Yes; PAG's will circulate in milk for a certain period of time - research shows up to 7 days after early embryonic death, and longer after an abortion later in gestation; up to 15 days, as the animal reaches 200 days gestation.
Is this service 100% accurate?
No service is 100% accurate. Specificity and sensitivity figures indicate a very low (2%) inaccuracy rate, which is comparable with rectal palpation. Animals can also suffer embryonic loss after a positive PD result (around 7%).
For further information on our Milk Pregnancy Testing service, please contact Customer Services