Stories of life on our farm in Northwest Georgia where every day is an adventure in this beautiful spot that God has entrusted to our stewardship.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

How to Order Genetic Testing for Your Dexter at Texas A&M

Back in April I did a post on How to Register Your Dexter and another on How to Photograph Your Dexter.  The second post was published as an article in the Summer 2013 issue of The Dexter Bulletin.

At the time I did those posts, I promised one on getting genetic testing for your Dexter.  As long as Siobhan is keeping us waiting for her calf, I might as well fulfill my promise!  This will serve as a refresher for ordering the testing on our calf.

(1)  Decide which lab you want to use for your testing.  Until recently the ADCA exclusively used Texas A&M (TAM) for official testing results.  In the Summer 2013 issue of  The Dexter Bulletin we were informed that ADCA testing options will soon be expanded to include UCDavis (UCD).  Pricing is similar at both labs and as soon as TAM adds Polled to their testing, the available tests will be identical.

At the time I ordered Siobhan's test the only option given was TAM, so that's what I'll use for this post. That is what is currently shown on the ADCA website, although it will be updated once all the details are ironed out.

(2)  Go to the ADCA Home page.  Look in the left hand column and click on the link for DNA Testing.  It appears at the bottom left of this screenshot.

(3)  You will be taken to this page:

(4)  Read this page carefully and refer to it as needed while completing the paperwork.

(5)  Click on the link that says Please download the new testing forms and instructions.

(6)  You will be taken to a page where you will scroll down to see four different forms.  I printed all four pages to make things easier, and I checked each item off as I did it to make sure I did everything I was supposed to!  Page 1 contains the instructions.

(7)  Page 2 is the Animal Information Form.  Fill it in for each animal you are registering.  Note that you can put "Pending" of the animal is not yet registered.  Although there is a separate Order Form for ordering tests, there are columns on this form to X off the tests you are ordering for each animal.  Be sure to include your name at the bottom of this page!

Here is our form filled out with Siobhan's name.  I didn't order a color test (Red or Dun) because I know, due to her sire's and dam's colors, that she is heterozygous for red and black.  Remember to include your name at the bottom!

(8)  Page 3 contains pricing information and a sample form to show how tests can be bundled to save money.  There is a warning to Please place each hair sample in paper envelopes or zip bags labeled with complete animal/owner identification!  This page also gives the mailing address and reminders to include the Animal Information form, Order Form, Check payable to ADCA, and the envelope containing the Hair Sample.

(9)   Page 4 is the Order Form for the individual tests you want for each animal and is where you will calculate your total cost to TAM.  Be sure to include your name at the bottom of the page!

Here is our completed page 4.  Be sure to include your name at the bottom of the page! (The reason I keep emphasizing this is because I was so focused on getting all the other information right that I kept forgetting that last little detail!

(10)  You've got the paperwork done!  You're almost there . . . all you have to do is pull tail hairs!  The ADCA website used to have directions for doing this which I printed off.  It's a good thing I did because now I can't find the directions ANYWHERE on the website!  So here are the directions:

These directions are quite clear.  I have just a few tips to add:

  • This is not something you suddenly decide to do when you're petting your cow in the field.  
  • At the very least you need a handy tailgate if you're doing this out in the field or a folding chair if you're doing it in the barnyard.
  • A helper makes things much easier.
  • Depending on how tame your animal is, you might want to use a head gate or at least halter and tie it.
  • Take the instructions when go until you've done this enough times to do it in your sleep.
  • I have to chuckle at the reminder to be sure to keep the root ends after you cut off the excess hair, but I'm betting that reminder is there because someone sent samples with the wrong end of the hair!
  • Be sure not to touch the hair bulbs unless you want human DNA mixed in with your cow's!
(11)  Get a large envelope and address it to the lab of your choice.  Be sure to include:
  • All the forms you have filled out.
  • A check made out to the ADCA for the total amount of testing you are ordering.
  • All envelopes of hair samples fully identified with:
  1. Your name
  2. The animal's name
  3. The animal's registration number (if known)
  4. The animal's date of birth
  5. The animal's tattoo number
  6. The animal's gender
  • Plenty of postage on the envelope!
Stick the envelope in the mail and try to be patient.  Soon you will get an envelope back with great forms like this:

(12)  The last step is to send copies of your test results to the ADCA Registrar, Jill Delaney.  You can mail them or email them.  I scanned the documents for my records and simply attached copies to an email asking Jill to attach the results to Siobhan's records.  Here is Jill's contact information:

Jill Delaney
1325 W Sunshine #519
Springfield, MO 65807
(952) 215-2206

You're done!  Your Dexter is registered, photographed, tested and in the ADCA database!  What more could any Dexter ask from its owner?

So quit complaining Siobhan, and go have that baby so I can get it tested!  

No comments:

Post a Comment

I LOVE comments so please take a minute and let me know you were here! Sorry I have to use Captcha, but I hope you'll comment anyway! Comments make my day! :)