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PortaBHB milk ketone test - 25 test kit - TEMP OUT OF STOCK

Portacheck PortaBHB test for ketosis - milk ketone test

You might not know you've a ketosis problem - but it may be costing you thousands of dollars.  Ketosis in early lactation lowers conception and reduces milk yield.  This simple, accurate one minute milk dip test is the management tool you need. 


Ketosis in dairy cows occurs as a result of a negative energy balance, most commonly soon after calving.  This is when cows 'milk off their backs'.  During this time milk production increases rapidly while energy intake levels may not be adequate to sustain the production level.  When this happens, cows metabolize body fat to meet their energy needs, resulting in increased production of ketones, a condition known as subclinical ketosis.  This condition much more common than clinical ketosis and has been associated with with significant economic losses due to decreased milk production, impaired fertility, displaced abomasums and metritis. Duffield (USA, 2001) determined that subclinical ketosis has a prevalence of approx. 41% in the first 9 weeks of lactation.  It is difficult to feed to yield in early lactation due to animal appetite limits, however where subclinical ketosis is present it limits peak yield, which then limits overall yield significantly as high peak yields are associated with high lactation yields. 

Subclinical ketosis can be detected by measuring the level of ketone bodies in milk, blood or urine.  Beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB) is one of the major ketone bodies produced formed during ketosis (Geishauser, 1998).  The PortaBHB is a simple, on farm test to screen for BHB levels in milk.  

Using the test

Simply dip the test strip in a milk sample, withdraw and shake off excesss milk.  Allow one minute for the test reagent on the strip to change colour.  Then compare to colour chart to ascertain BHB level and therefore subclinical ketosis estimate.

Herd management

The PortaBHB is a quick and easy way to monitor the effectiveness of your herd nutrition in early lactation.  By measuring the level of sub clinical ketosis you can manage nutrition more effectively.  All animals have a limit to their appetite and different composition feeds have different levels of palatability.  By using this test and working with your feed supplier you can maximise yield and potentially improve fertility levels in your herd.  While ketosis is a problem in early lactation, cow condition at calving is critical so lead feeding needs to be reviewed if there are ketosis problems. 

Veterinary assistance should be sought for cows with clinical ketosis. 


You may wish to sample all cows at a set point in early lactation to give yourself the best picture of overall herd nutrition.  Alternatively testing your highest producing cows at one or two set stages in early lactation and recording the results will give you a guide to your herd nutrition.  Remember increasing peak yield increases overall lacation yield, so this test can be critical in giving you the information you need to maximise your profit. 

More information on ketosis can be found from the following link the to Portacheck web site:

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