You wouldn't buy a car without verifying it matched the title would you?
DNA could save you from making some expensive mistakes, so it's best to have it done prior to purchase.
We get calls from buyers that learned the hard way why it's better to know before you buy. Cattle can be registered incorrectly either by accident or on purpose but you shouldn't be stuck cleaning up a mess. Making sure the cattle are tested prior to purchase is just smart business. This won't tell you if the cattle are healthy but it can tell you if they match their papers and will screen for the four genetic defects known to the AHA. We require DNA on all the purchases for our ranch, partnerships and any purchases where we represent the buyer. It's the best $50 you may ever spend in the cattle business.
So what happens if they don't have it done prior to purchase? You can require it as part of the purchase agreement. If the seller refuses to DNA test the cattle it might be best to move along to a seller than will test the cattle. Refusing to test is a HUGE red flag. Like selling a used car but not letting a mechanic crawl through it first. However, if you do proceed with the purchase the best advice would be to pull a sample as soon as you can. If they are in the chute or at the vet for any reason grab a sample. TSU samples are good for a very long time if kept in the back of the fridge and well labeled. It's better to have the sample and not need it than need it and not have it. If you don't believe me ask anyone with a bull that can't get an AI permit because the cow died and now they can't get a DNA sample off the Dam.
You can order tests by either calling the AHA or through their myHerd website. A DNA request sheet will be immediately emailed to you which you print off and then the sample is attached and mailed back to the address on the bottom of the page. It's that easy!
If your calf fails a DNA test the registration papers will be placed on hold and any offspring of the animal in question will also be placed on hold. While the papers are on hold you can't sell/transfer the animal or register offspring until you get the problem cleared up. This is like buying a car without a title, you have spent money on something now that's only worth a fraction of what you paid and you can't do anything with it. We learned from personal experience on this...more than once.
Buyer beware, I get calls from all over about questionable things seen on social media regarding animals and their papers or lack there-of. If you go to a sellers' location and can't touch the original papers or you aren't buying from the person listed as the owner or their representative or they refuse to DNA test the cattle you wish to purchase...you should proceed with extreme caution.
I have a word of advice, if you don't know enough to know exactly what you are doing ask for help from someone either not involved in the transaction or a local professional (Ag agent, Ag teacher or vet.) You can always call the AHA, visit their website or call a reputable breeder in your area. Ask yourself can you afford to learn a hard lesson? That's usually how people find us...after the fact. Good breeders have their paperwork in order and nothing to hide. Our customers come back for the simple fact that everything is straightforward and easy, the way it should be. We want to help put good people with great mini Herefords!
*** The AHA (the mini Hereford registry) REQUIRES ALL BULLS born after Jan 1, 2011 to have DNA on file in order to register offspring. This includes natural service (pasture breeding.) ***
We do not advise anyone to purchase a bull or a cow bred to a bull that hasn't already had their DNA submitted and accepted (passed.) Don't be stuck with bred cows and then find out the bull doesn't match their papers. Don't buy anything bred to a bull that doesn't have their DNA on file already. ASK FOR PROOF!
AHA rules change July 13, 2021 and you need to know the changes coming for your herd.
Check out the "What the P is on my papers!?! page for more DNA rule changes coming July 13, 2021.