Top Tips for Taking Blood and TSU Samples

Sample failure can often be prevented by ensuring the sample collection process is correct.

With mail time, DNA testing can take around 2 months. FedEx’ing kits from ASA to members, and from members to the lab, can cut down this time. However, if a sample fails this time is doubled.

Below are tips for taking blood and TSU samples.

Please find the Down to the Genes article, “Common Reasons for Delays in DNA testing”, in the October issue of the Register for more information.


DNA Updates: Pricing, Kits Sent FedEx, and More

DNA and genomic testing provides valuable insights to animals in a relatively short period of time.  By using genomics, breeders can have EPDs as accurate as cattle with 20 or more progeny records (depending on the trait).  All this can be accomplished while the calves are still nursing. The DNA services at the the ASA have grown and the ASA is putting in measures to continue to make our customer services more efficient and more accurate. 

Here are some recent changes to the DNA services:

    1. Billing at the time of kit or DNA test request started Sept.1.  In order to more efficiently and accurately bill for DNA tests, the ASA is now billing at the time of the kit or DNA test request. Keep in mind, this means members may be billed twice if kits are ordered twice for the same animal.  Billing up front gives members a chance to correct any mistakes prior to the test being ran. Billing up front is also more efficient allowing for more ASA staff time spent uploading results or on other customer service needs.
    2. New DNA pricing:  To cover the ASA’s cost, members will be charged $1.00 per blood card, $2.00 per sample pull, and research fees ($1/minute) associated with DNA work outside the regular procedures, for instance misidentified samples or samples showing up to the laboratory without proper paperwork.  A sample pull refers to the process where a DNA sample that was previously tested needs to be pulled from the archive for a newly requested test. Many DNA results are available as “add on” content from genomic tests (for instance coat color). These “add-on” results would not be subject to the sample pull charge.
    3. Automatic 3-day FedEx shipping for kits.  Due to delays in transit times, the ASA will now automatically ship kits via 3-day FedEx, charged to the member account.  Members can request to use US Postal service but the default will be for FedEx 3-day shipments starting Monday, October 1. 
    4. Genomic data schedule and review.  With the IGS Multi-breed Genetic Evaluation powered by BOLT, all genotypes available by Monday will enter into the evaluation which is completed and published that weekend.  If genomic data is completed on a Wednesday, the parentage results may be uploaded into Herdbook that week but the genomically enhanced EPDs will not be available until the following week’s evaluation (9 to 10 days later).  Also, the genomic data goes through a quality control process prior to entering the genetic evaluation. Some of the genotypes will be removed as they do not meet the requirements for the evaluation. If breeders notice animals that are missing genotypes, please notify the ASA ( for next steps to resolve these cases. This schedule and QC process are more reasons to start testing as early as possible.   
    5. New staffing.  Robin Marston recently joined the DNA department and will help with DNA customer support.  Marston has previous experience working in another breed association’s DNA department and is very familiar with seedstock breeders, DNA services, and working with genotyping companies.  Marston joins Lilly Platts and Riley Foster to provide ASA members with timely and quality DNA services.

Please email or call 406-587-4531 with any questions.


How to Order a DNA Kit

If you’re getting ready to do some DNA testing on animals, here are the instructions on how to request a DNA kit from ASA.

#1 – Gather information on the animal. If the animal is registered, provide ASA with a registration number. If the animal is unregistered the following information is needed to generate a DNA kit/paperwork: animal tattoo, sex, sire and dam’s registration numbers. NOTE: If you wish to run a GGP-HD/GGP-LD panel on the animal it MUST be registered/on file with ASA prior to requesting a DNA kit.

#2 – Call/email/fax ASA to request a DNA kit. Indicate whether you wish to have a blood blotter card(lab prefers) or hair collector card(additional $3.00/animal fee) mailed out. You may use the DNA kit request form located on, fill out and send to ASA. ASA will then generate/mail out your DNA kit.
Office – 406.587.4531      Email –    Fax – 406.587.9301

The mailed kit will include a blood blotter/hair collector card*, instructions and a self-addressed envelope with the lab’s address.
*NOTE: If you already have a hair/blood collector card on hand, contact ASA and provide the barcode on the card, along with information from #1. Paperwork will be generated and either emailed/faxed, with a standard 24-hour turnaround.

#3 – Indicate testing to be completed on sample:

  • GGP-HD*(includes parent verification(PV) and diluter) $90.00
    *required on all AI sires and Donor Dams
  • GGP-LD(includes parent verification(PV) and diluter) $50.00
    -recommended for herd sires and replacement heifers
  • Parent Verification(PV) $30.00
    -required on purchased embryos or when the applicant on the registration is not associated with the owner of the donor dam
  • Genetic Defects $25.00/each
  • Horned/Polled $50.00
  • Coat Color(homozygous black) $20.00
  • Red Charlie(RC) – $7.00
  • Diluter(silver diluter) $20.00
  • Oculocutaneous Hypopigmentation(OH) – $25.00
  • BVD-PI $5.00

Bundling discounts apply if you request the following testing at the same time:

  1. GGP-HD, Horned/Polled, Coat Color – $135.00 ($25.00 discount applied to account once all results completed).
  2. GGP-LD, Horned/Polled, Coat Color – $100.00 ($20.00 discount applied to account once all results completed).
  3. Parent Verification, Horned/Polled, Coat Color – $90.00 ($10.00 discount applied to account once all results completed).

#4 – Once you receive your DNA Kit, collect the sample and mail it, along with the ASA paperwork, to GeneSeek, Inc., 4131 N. 48th St., Lincoln, NE 68504.

Ordering a DNA Kit

To order a DNA kit, follow these steps:

1) Email or call ASA with this information:

  • ASA registration number*
    *If the animal is unregistered we will need the tattoo, sex, sire and dam’s registration numbers
  • If you wish to have the GGP-HD testing ran the animal must be registered/on file with ASA in order for a kit to be sent
  • Testing you wish to have done
    i.e., GGP-HD, parent verification, genetic defects, horned/polled, coat color, dilutor, etc. Click Here for the pricing list.
  • You can fill out the DNA kit request form and email/fax/mail it to ASA with the above information which we will use to generate your kits.  Click here for the pdf version.

2) If you have a blood blotter(lab prefers) or hair collector on hand for the sample, we will need the above information in addition to the barcode off of the card.  We can then generate the paperwork to go along with your sample to GeneSeek. The only animals that should not use a blood blotter card are twins and requests for BVD-PI testing.

Remember, if you mail a sample to the lab, GeneSeek, without proper ASA paperwork it will delay the animal being placed into testing and you could be accessed additional fees.

If you have any questions let us know at