Dairy Herd Health and Productivity Service

Beef suckler tests

Regardless of your feeding system, blood testing remains a rapid and cost effective method of 'Asking the Cow's what they think of their ration before it is too late.


Pre-planned blood sampling of groups of cows at strategic times in the key. Groups of no less than five cows - which are representative of the herd - should be sampled.


  • A metabolic profile test should be carried out once the cows have been on full winter rations for at least 2-3 weeks to check the adequacy of the base ration.

There are two main periods for testing for block calving suckler herds:

  • Sample a group of the first cows due to calve in the last fortnight of pregnancy before calving starts.
  • Follow this with a repeat blood test 2-3 weeks after calving.

Samples to submit

Please submit two Lithium Heparin (green) vacutainers from each animal.

Tests Analysed

  • Energy - NEFA, BOHB
  • Protein - Albumin, Globulin and Urea-N
  • Minerals - Magnesium and Phosphate
  • Trace Elements - Copper and GSHPx (selenium)

Information Required

  • Details of expected or recent calving date for each animal.
  • Body condition scores, and body weight (if practical).
  • Current ration details, including forage analyses where available.


Transport of Samples

Transport of Samples

If you need further information regarding testing get in touch with us at the office.

Dairy Herd Health and Productivity Service

  • Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies

Contact details



Easter Bush Campus

Post Code
EH25 9RG


  • 9-00am - 5.00pm