3 Reasons Your Dairy Should Be Using Milk Pregnancy Testing

Milk pregnancy testing from Dairy One is an accurate, simple, and cost-effective way to determine the pregnancy status of a cow. It works by identifying pregnancy-associated glycoproteins (PAGs) in milk. It can be used to determine pregnancy status as soon as 28 days post-breeding and it is accurate throughout the gestation period. Milk pregnancy testing uses the same milk sample taken for component and milk quality analysis. Finding open cows has never been easier, or more convenient. 

Knowing the pregnancy status of your cows is critical to any reproduction program. The following are a few reasons why you should consider using milk pregnancy testing from Dairy One to get this key information about your cows.  

Increased Profit for Dairy

You can increase your profit by identifying open cows sooner. Milk pregnancy testing can detect pregnancy at 28 days post-breeding. Open cows will be eligible for re-breeding quicker which will reduce calving interval. Using milk pregnancy for the second pregnancy check helps to find cows that had early embryonic death. This occurs most often between days 28 through 56 and affects about 17% of cows. Finding these cows will allow them to get back into a breeding program quicker. A 1% improvement in pregnancy rate is valued at an average of $30 per cow per year.  

Finally, using milk pregnancy testing before drying off can help avoid drying off an open cow. Studies indicate that it costs between $4 to $8 a day to house an open dry cow, in addition to any treatment costs. Finding just one open cow will save hundreds of dollars in costs. 

Increased Efficiency in the Milking Parlor

Milk pregnancy testing is easy to perform for dairy farms. It can be done on DHI sample day with no additional work for you. It also reduces stress for the cow by eliminating the need to disrupt the normal flow of her day. Milk pregnancy testing is also labor-efficient and extremely convenient. This allows you to save time and labor and still receive accurate and timely results. These can add up to a huge value for your farm.  

The Animal Health Diagnostic Laboratory at Dairy One can get the results of the milk pregnancy test back to the dairy one to three days after the samples get into the lab. Turnaround time and the test’s accuracy allow you to make more timely decisions on each cow.  

I have used Dairy One milk pregnancy test for over 5 years now with great results. It allows me to check cows earlier and shorten my days open on cows that do not come back present. I use the milk test first then do a follow-up recheck bi-monthly with my vet to check for twins. I have found it to be both beneficial and profitable to use this service. I am also impressed with the quick turnaround on results from the lab. I highly recommend this service as part of a profitable dairy.
Todd Hayton
Carthage, NY

Bringing additional value to the dairy from the milk sample

Your DHI milk samples offer a wealth of accurate and timely information that allows you to make informed decisions and creates opportunities for your dairy, in addition to confirming pregnancy. Results can be used to provide component information such as fat, protein, and milk urea nitrogen (MUN) values. They also provide somatic cell count, a key piece of any milk quality program. Finally, it can even be used to screen for the presence of Mycoplasma bovis in your herd.   

All this information is an important part of your toolbox for cow care and profitability on your farm. A milk sample taken by a trained Dairy One DHI Field Technician gives you an easy, fast, and accurate way to get that information. For more information, please email [email protected], or call or text 607-257-1272. For details about services offered by the Animal Health Diagnostic Laboratory, email [email protected].