Contact Info

Blackland Research & Extension Center
720 E. Blackland Road
Temple, TX 76502-9622 
254-774-6150 fax
8am - 5pm Central, Weekdays

Getting Started

Sample Kit

Basic Steps

  1. Login to Nutbal Online and create a "Kit Request" or call the GAN Lab and request sample kits for mailing fecal samples to the lab.A GanLab Info Packet will be included with the kits sent to you.
  2. Review the material and instructions contained in the Info Packet.
  3. Design a sampling schedule that fits your objectives and meets the recommended sampling schedule.
  4. Login to Nutbal Online and describe your ranch, pasture, herd, and fecal sample OR fill out the GANLAB Sample Form, or the GANLAB Sample Form (Excel).  Entering the information online is easier and will ensure a faster turn around time in the lab. There is a tutorial on the login page.
  5. Select the required services (Standard Report OR Standard Report and Advisory).
  6. Contact the GAN Lab with any questions at email or 254-774-6134.
  7. Collect and submit fecal samples in compliance with the instructions in the Info Packet.

Fecal Sample Kits

As part of the service, the GAN Lab provides a kit for shipping the fecal samples to the lab. The sample kit includes a small Styrofoam cooler, a freezer gel pack and a cardboard box with appropriate diagnostic labeling. Each kit can hold 1 to 3 samples depending on size of sample. To request sample kits, email or call the GAN Lab. Provide name, mailing address, email or phone number and how many kits you need. You may request bundles of 1, 6, 12, 18, or 24 kits.

Information about our Services and Rates offered can be found on the Commercial Services page. 

Wrong Tape Kit Right Way to Tape a Box
The WRONG way to tape the sample kit cooler shut The RIGHT way to tape the sample kit cooler shut

Always tape the cooler closed by taking the tape around the side of the cooler thus taping over the crease where the cooler’s lid meets the cooler. This helps keep the condensation that develops inside the cooler during shipping from leaking out of the mailing kit.  When the cardboard box becomes damp due to the leaking cooler inside, the mail service flags the item which delays the sample’s arrival to the GAN Lab.

Collecting a Sample

Fecal Sampling Schedule

The timing and frequency of fecal sampling depends on the objectives and your budget. Below are links to documents that go into detail various aspects of determining when to sample. Here are several key points to keep in mind when formulating your sampling calendar.

  • In a number of scenarios, sampling once a month allows you to manage/track a herd’s body condition.

  • A manure pile most closely reflects the forage that was consumed 36 hours prior to defecation.

  • It is a good practice to collect a sample each time conditions change substantially and a second sample 14-21 days later to establish the new baseline and trend in forage quality.

  • Allow for sampling during transitional periods such as fall-to-winter and winter-to-spring and traditional periods of low quality forage (winter, seasonal drought).

Please review our guide for establishing a Fecal Sampling Schedule.

Rancher Information Packet

The Rancher Information Packet includes instructions for packing and labeling the sample kit for shipping as well as basic information such as instructions and sample forms to get a new user started.  More information is available on the Publications page to help you start building your knowledge base and understanding of livestock nutrition, nutritional monitoring, forage quality, and animal well-being.