DHIA Test - worth it?

Discussion in 'Dairy Goat Info' started by Bilrite Farms, Mar 26, 2008.

  1. Bilrite Farms

    Bilrite Farms New Member

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    With rising costs for everything we are looking at trying to cut some costs. One thing that we keep coming back to is our milk test costs.
    This would be our 4th year on test and we have managed to get milk stars on many of our animals and like finding out the components too. Our testing fees alone for last year were over $1100!Our tester charges double because we have two herd codes (ND and Alpines). We have looking into getting a tester locally but haven't had any luck yet. I guess I'm wondering what those of you on test get out of it? Is it worth the time/money?

    If you'd rather send a PM that would be great - any and all feedback is much appreciated!!!

    Trisha
     
  2. Agape Oaks

    Agape Oaks New Member

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    WOW! $1100 is test fees??!!That seems like a lot to me. I'm very fortunate- my tester charges me nothing & then I don't charge anything to the lady I test for. Maybe you need to get a friend or something to do test for you? I enjoy milk test & like getting the numbers & seeing what happens with changes in feed etc.....for $1100, I don't know that I could do it either!
     

  3. BlissBerry

    BlissBerry Guest

    Trisha and I have had this DHIR discussion before. :D

    I think there are major issues with your milk tester and if it was me I would not use this tester. Records are incorrect, charging for both herd codes and several other problems with this tester would cause most people to quit DHIR testing.

    I also pay about $1500 a year in test fees. However I use a cow tester through MNDHIA, am on Standard DHIR and do a Verification Test for Breed Leader status. I love my tester. He is a great man and even though he is in his 70's he continues to test my herd. He loves to test my does... he says I'm the easiest herd he tests. :D

    Sara
     
  4. Sondra

    Sondra New Member

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    if you have to pay travel time etc. it could get to be cost prohibitive at least for me I am a tester tho haven't been asked to do any tests. but I don't have a tester anywhere close by so needless to say am not on test. No way would I be able to pay 1100 a year.
     
  5. Bilrite Farms

    Bilrite Farms New Member

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    Yeah - I've bounced this topic around with Sara many, many times. We are on 1x test
    and it does include our verification test also.

    So what is a reasonable amount to pay? I guess if I wasn't having so many errors I might
    find it easier to pay that amount too.

    I have been looking for another tester or getting a neighbor/friend to help out.
    Unfortunately it isn't as easy as it would seem in our area and asking someone
    to drive 30 miles 1x-2x a day even just once a month isn't working out so well but
    I'll keep at it.

    LOL -Sondra, I'd love to have you test but with travel it might only be a 1x a year test with you :)

    Whew... goats aren't ever easy are they.

    Trisha
     
  6. Leo

    Leo New Member

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    If I had over $1000 in milk test fees I probably wouldn't do it either, but I would still like to find out components and send that off myself.

    It's so hard to find someone willing to be a tester sometimes.
    Megan
     
  7. Odeon

    Odeon New Member

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    I actually switched from Standard test this year to Owner/Sampler to help defray the costs. I am still eligible for milking stars, just not top 10 (which isn't a concern for me, as I consider DHIA more of a benefit for MY use). I thought about dropping, but I value those records too much to consider it.

    I also did not get a seperate herd ID for my Nigerians. Yes, it does skew the herd averages, but I refuse to pay for 2 fees to my DHRPC. I do have my Nigerians on a seperate string than my LaManchas tho.

    I see NO REASON why a tester would charge double for your having your Nigerians seperate from you other breeds, that is insane! I am also a DHIA tester, and I charge mileage and a per/animal fee. Thats all any tester should charge. Do you have a neighbor you can have take the training and test you???

    Ken
     
  8. Bilrite Farms

    Bilrite Farms New Member

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    Thanks Ken:

    We are not even in contention for top 10 so I don't worry about that at all :) The numbers are for our use in our herd. I was looking into just running one herd and 2 strings and we may just go to that next year. I know that they want the two herd codes for USDA and to help establish numbers at ADGA but it is getting to a pretty costly way to get them.

    Trisha
     
  9. Odeon

    Odeon New Member

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    Well when ADGA wants to pay the additional expense, I will seperate my Nigerians into a new herd ID! LOL :rofl
     
  10. Ravens Haven

    Ravens Haven New Member

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    I am very greatful for my tester, she is my best friend, Terry. She doesn't charge me a thing to come over and test goats every month, no matter how hard I try to pay her. It only cost me around $350 last year to test goats, of course I only had 7 at the most on test. It is very worth it to me, I love seeing what these girls are doing and it being recorded. I hope one day to have a Top Ten doe.

    Autumn
     
  11. If you are just doing it to know numbers why not weigh your own milk and record weights yourself? You will get more accurate weights because you can weigh every single milking. Once you get in the habit of weighing milk and writing it down it just takes seconds. I tally up numbers once a month.
    Then you can send off samples a coupe times a year if you want component numbers.
    Becky
     
  12. Odeon

    Odeon New Member

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    Becky, DHIA is SO MUCH more than just milk weights and somatic cell counts. I use my records to track my breeding dates, it tells me when to dry off does, and I track kidding info as well. I use it as a history to see how my breeing program is going; if a certain sire has increased or decreased production in it's offspring in comparison to the dams. The value of DHIA is what you put into it.

    Ken
     
  13. NubianSoaps.com

    NubianSoaps.com New Member

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    Well you know how I will answer Trisha :) So what do you use the information for?

    To cull out does who are not milking well enough to earn their star?
    To cull bucklings out of does who do not earn their star?
    To get the extra money in sales of predeposited animals from your website?
    How much extra do you make on your ND with her star as compared to a doe without her star?
    How many more bucks do you sell out of dams who have their stars compared to not, or compared to those with show records or high appraisal scores?

    You of course don't have to answer these questions, but in my herd adding a star to my does paperwork would not make me more money in the end. New people want clean, tame, pretty animals. Breeders who buy from me are doing so on pedigree and appraisal scores. Top breeders don't buy from me and still wouldn't even if I had top ten animals. So why spend money trying to attract people who in reality wouldn't buy? Nope.

    And when I look at Nubians, I am apparisal first, showwins second as long as I know their show circuit...like I don't buy from folks with FS84 just because she is a CH...and last milkstar...in fact when I bought my buckling from Sara, I didn't even know she was a top ten doe :) Knew her appraisal scores, her families scores, her CH status, her national scores (well until Tim bugged me about it I really didn't have it written down) and lastly found out what a great milker she really is. Vicki
     
  14. But you can track all of these yourself with good records and time spent comparing them. More work yes but if you are trying to cut costs it ususally invloves more work :)
    Becky
     
  15. Shame on you Vicki :) :) :)
     
  16. NubianSoaps.com

    NubianSoaps.com New Member

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    Yeah I know. But over 20 years in Nubians I know which bloodlines milk and which don't, just had no idea she was a such a "special" girl :) What I loved about her more was that she was raised from a doeling by Sara, not a purchased pre-done prima donna. Vicki