DNA Frequently Asked Questions

Below are a series of common questions we get at the CSA in regards to DNA testing. If you still are needing information, feel free to contact us.

1. What type of DNA is required in the CSA?

All Sires (including AI sires) and donor females must be DNA tested before their progeny can be registered. These are the required tests for each type:

All Sires: Parentage DNA Test on File and a TH result reported.

(A TH result can either be from a TH test or being “free by pedigree” due to both dam and sire being considered TH free.)

Donor Females: Parentage DNA Test on File

ET progeny: Parentage Verification (DNA must verify to both dam and sire)

Parentage tests either can be GGP-100K, GGP-30K or Basic SNP in order to qualify.

All other testing is voluntary if you would like to order. For more information, please visit our CSA DNA Requirements page

2. How long does DNA testing take?

It is a 21 calendar-day turnaround from the day that the lab has received your sample(s) for all tests until you can expect to see results.

3. a) How will I know my tests are finished? 

b) Where can I find my results?

Once the lab has completed the DNA tests, they will be reported directly to the CSA. You will be notified by email with a certificate of the results attached. If you do not have an email on file, a copy of the results certificate will be mailed to you. You can also find the results in the DigitalBeef registry at any time. Simply pull up the profile of the particular animal and select its “DNA” tab.

4. What happens if there is a problem with testing?

A couple of problems can arise in testing. Occasionally, a sample will “fail” testing meaning no results can be obtained from the sample. In the case that a sample fails, you will be required to send in a new sample and are responsible to pay for the retest. The new sample will still be subject to a 21-day turnaround. This is why if you are needing results for a specific deadline, we suggest allowing plenty of time as sometimes a retest is needed. Two common reasons for a retest are a “contaminated sample” or a sample with not enough DNA material. Please ensure your samples are free of manure or other debris and to include plenty of hair follicles (40-50). A secondary problem that might occur is “disqualification of parents”. In the event that this happens, you will be notified directly by the office.

For more information, visit the Neogen's Failed Sample Fact Sheet

5. How come my bull was not DNA’d when I purchased it?

While the CSA strongly encourages its members to DNA bulls before they are sold and delivered, it is not a mandatory CSA rule. Please be sure to confirm if your bull has been DNA’d before using him for breeding. You can confirm a bull’s DNA records in the online registry or by contacting the CSA registry directly.

6. What kind of DNA samples can I test?

Testable samples include: blood, hair, tissue and semen. Please send hair and blood samples in Geneseek cards to avoid additional fees. Tissue must be sent in TSUs. TSUs, hair cards and blood cards can be ordered with the CSA office. 

7. Can a hair sample be tested without a hair card?

As of June 1 st 2020, all hair samples not sent in a Neogen hair card will be subject to a $5 “Loose Hair Fee” on each sample that is submitted in. Each hair card contains a unique barcode that is used for traceability purposes at Neogen. Be sure to order hair cards prior to making DNA requests in order to avoid delays in testing. You can order hair cards, blood cards and Tissue Sampling Units (TSUs) by contacting the office directly or by submitting a DNA Order Form.

8. How long can I store my sample before it expires?

If you store your blood and hair samples in a card, it won't expire as long as it is kept in a cool and dry place. For TSUs, it is recommended to only store them at room temperature for up to one year before they should be frozen as long term storage. Ensure that there is still plenty of preservative solution in the unit and keep them away from direct sunlight to avoid sample spoilage.

9. What do I do if I’m not sure of a calf’s parents?

It happens more than your think! If you are not completely certain who a calf’s parents are, you are obligated to complete a parentage test on the calf. If there is more than one potential sire or dam, please advise the office at the time of placing the request. Since animals cannot be DNA’d until they are in the herdbook, we ask that you just “record” the calf in DigitalBeef and list one of the potential sires/dams at this stage. Once the parents have been confirmed from testing, we will have the calf upgraded to registered and can issue you a registration certificate.

10. How do I know where to send my samples?

Once the CSA has set up your DNA order (either by completing and submitting a DNA Order Form or contacting the office), you will then be given a requisition form to correspond with the request. The lab’s address will be located on the top-right corner of this form.