Embryo Transfer

STEP 1. Pre-Flush Preparation

Prior to flushing the Donor Dam, the Donor Dam should be DNA Tested. The results of this test are then used to verify the parentage of the resulting calf. By DNA testing the Donor Dam at this step you are ensuring her DNA information is available when you are ready to register the calf without delay.

(Occasionally the donor dam is not available for DNA testing when the calf is ready to be registered. For example, the dam may die before its ET calf is born. If this does happen, contact Holstein Australia and speak to the ET Officer)

How to get a Donor Dam DNA Tested. (click here)

STEP 2. Flush the Cow

Holstein Australia recommends you fill out a Flush Form as soon as the flush procedure has taken place. (Your local veterinarian may use their own “Flush Form”. The same details need to be completed on their form.) (The “Flush Form” is also called the “ABC Form” These are the same form)

The “Flush Form” comes in triplicate when ordered from Holstein Australia Office. The original (white) form is forwarded to HA Office, 1 copy (yellow) is held by the owner and 1 copy (pink) is taken by the veterinarian practitioner who performs the flush, implant and/or freeze. If downloading from the web, complete the form and make 2 copies. The original is required to be sent to HA Office.

The “Flush Form” identifies the donor dam, sire/s used, along with details of every embryo recovered.

Embryos, once recovered, are either implanted immediately into a recipient, or frozen for later use. When frozen, they are stored in identified straw/s. Frozen embryos can be thawed and implanted at a later date. The details of each of these steps must also be recorded on a “Flush Form”. This means a farmer may have to complete a “Flush Form” on several occasions.

First, after original flush, fill out the “Flush Form”, recording ALL embryos recovered and whether each embryo is implanted or frozen.

For implanted embryos a second “Flush Form” is not required.

Embryos that have been frozen and stored require a new “Flush Form” to be completed and forwarded to Holstein Australia Federal Office each time an embryo is thawed and implanted into a recipient dam.

A separate form is required for each donor dam but several embryos from the same flush can be placed on the one form.

When completing the second form please make sure you provide the original recovery date as well as the date of transfer into recipient.

The following summarises the information required in order to complete the “Flush Form”:

Donor Dam’s full identity - Including Full Name & Herdbook number

- Note: Just writing “Daisy” as an Identification is not enough

Sire’s Identity - Use Herdbook Number and Full Name

- NO Nicknames please eg. “EMORY” is NOT a NASIS code

- If there are two sires used both sires must be identified.

- Holstein Australia does not permit more than two sires to be used at one time.

Breeding (AI) and Recovery (Flush) dates.

1. Total number of Embryos’ recovered.      (Note: complete for flush only)

2. Total number of Embryos’ implanted.      (Note: complete for flush only)

3. Total number of Embryo’s frozen.           (Note: complete for flush only)

Record the identity of the embryo

If frozen the straw, in which embryo is stored, has a label with an identification code. It is this code which is to be recorded on the “Flush Form” to identify the frozen embryo. Some straws may have more than one embryo in it and this also needs to be recorded. Please note, it is a requirement of Holstein Australia that no more than one embryo is implanted into a recipient.

For fresh, or thawed and implanted embryos, the Recipient Cow Identification needs to be provided. (This identification can be an Ear tag Id, Tattoo, Herd Test Number, Nickname, Herdbook number if registered, etc. This is sufficient to identify the recipient cow.)

The completed form should be forwarded to Holstein Australia. Holstein Australia recommends you send in this form as soon as possible after the flush has taken place.

If the “Flush Form” is sent in early, the details will be available when the calf is born and subsequently registered. This makes the registration process easier by reducing the number of possible errors.

Holstein Australia recommends you provide full name and herdbook number when providing the donor dam and sire’s identification, along with the original recovery date.

There is a charge when submitting the original “Flush Form”. Subsequent forms submitted regarding thaw and implantation of embryos will not incur a charge.

It is required that you supply details of ALL embryos recovered during the flush on the first “Flush Form”. If you supply extra information regarding a flush (eg. More embryos than originally specified) after the “Flush Form” has been submitted, extra charges will apply.


The “Flush Form” is supplied in triplicate. 1 copy is kept with the owner (Yellow), one to the practitioner (Pink) and the original to Holstein Australia, PO box 489, HAWTHRON BC 3122. (You may also print a form from the web, then photocopy the completed form twice. The original form to be sent to HA Office)

STEP 3. Parentage Verification

After the calf is born, you are able to register your calf. It is easier if a farmer registers the calf and requests a DNA Testing Kit at the same time. There are two exceptions to this. The first is when two sires are used during a flush and the second for IVF calves. Please see below for more detailed instructions for IVF and two sire flushes as in both cases, the calf cannot be registered until it has been parentage verified.

Holstein Australia requires ALL ET and IVF calves MUST be parentage Verified.

If the Donor Dam has already been DNA Tested, this should be a simple procedure of DNA Testing the calf. A parentage request will be made from Holstein Australia.

If the Donor Dam has not been DNA Tested, you will receive a DNA Testing kit for each of the calf and it’s dam. (Holstein Australia recommends you DNA test the dam prior to flushing her and recovering embryo’s)

How to get a Calf DNA Tested. (click here)

Q. What happens if 2 Sires were used during the Flush?

Proceed with step 1 and 2, including both sire identifications on the “Flush Form”.

In step 3, ALL calves from the flush MUST be parentage verified PRIOR to registering the calf. You must contact Holstein Australia office and request DNA testing kits for each calf to be parentage verified. Once their parentage is known, the farmer can proceed to register the calf.

STEP 4. Register The Calf

When registering the calf you will be required to provide the following details in addition to the normal registration information:

Recovery Date

Recipient Cow Identification

If your calf has not been parentage verified at the time of registration (ie you registered and requested a DNA test kit at the same time), your registration certificate will be held until the test results are received and the parents are correct. (The calf registration is PENDING until verification occurs)