Pre Mating Bloods

Trace element testing at least a month prior to mating (what you may often hear called “pre-mating bloods”) is an excellent way to check that your herds levels are adequate and that any supplementation you have given in Autumn has been effective.

The main elements/minerals that we test for are Selenium, Cobalt, Iodine, Copper and Magnesium.
- Selenium is important for immune function and helps prevent mastitis and retained membranes
- Cobalt (B12) ensures appetite is maintained and that energy intake is fully utilised
- Iodine affects metabolism and deficiency in this can result in anoestrous cows, low conception rates and stillbirths
- Copper is an important mineral for many biochemical processes in the body. Deficiency can affect nerves, bones, tissue formation, reproduction and growth in young stock
- Magnesium assists with calcium homeostasis, reducing milk fever incidence. It also improves pasture digestion and milk production in early lactation

Blood testing pre-mating will ensure that any deficiency will not go undetected and be a limiting factor to a successful mating period through poor oestrus activity and conception rates. Those that are looking to compact calving spread, this is a vital factor to consider as part of your mating plan.

Blood tests are a great way to ascertain the mineral status of your herd prior to mating. A representative sample of cows of varying ages that have been on the dairy platform for over a month is best. From here, your Vet can analyse what may be needed immediately prior to mating, and what will get you through the rest of lactation.
Sarah Briggs, BVSc