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  1. #1
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    Default PH meter??

    Anyone out there using a PH meter to test milk? If so, can you give me directions for how to use one or point me to directions online? I bought one a couple of years ago, but can't find the directions.
    Last edited by Home Again Farm; Mar. 25, 2011 at 04:03 PM.



  2. #2
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    Default

    There are several different types of refractometers available, apparently, one for sugar, one for alcohol, and the one I use which is a veterinary refractometer which measures specific gravity of a solution. You want the specific gravity to read greater than 1.060 if using that type, and from the reading I found apparently want the sugar refractometer to read > 23, and the alcohol refractometer (for wine) to read > 16. They are reading some different type of scale. But all three types correlate with colostrum quality.



  3. #3
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    Default

    Actually, I am wanting to test PH for predicting foaling, not specific gravity for testing colostrum quality, so I guess I used the wrong term. Anyone using a meter rather than test strips to check PH in mare's milk?



  4. #4
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    I got one off ebay like 2 years ago for pH testing exactly like you want to do - it was one you just dip in the milk solution. I loved it for like 3 days and then it became hard because you had to store the tip in a certain solution otherwise the calibration would get off on it if it dried out, etc. Mine just seemed to go wonky quickly. I think I got one that was too cheap.

    Recently I looked on Amazon.com and they have several to choose from. Just type in "pH meter" and it should pull them up. Oddly enough I just looked yesterday as I was thinking of trying another of a different brand. Let me know if you get one and how you like it!
    Signature Sporthorses
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  5. #5
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Home Again Farm View Post
    Anyone out there using a PH meter to test milk? If so, can you give me directions for how to use one or point me to directions online? I bought one a couple of years ago, but can't find the directions.
    Just for my own information, do you think the meter would be easier/more accurate than the strips? We had a meter years ago but it did not work well. If they have improved, I would like the information also.

    Thanks.
    www.Somermistfarm.com
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  6. #6
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    Signature, I think you were the person who put me onto the meter. I am sorry to hear it didn't work well for you. Sounds like the strips will end up being the best bet in the long run. I am still using Chemetrics, but when you have 9 mares foaling, you can run through a lot of their kits in a hurry.

    So, which brand of strips have the best range for precise PH?



  7. #7
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    Hi Mary Lou. If you're going to go for strips, try to get a fairly small pH range that centers around the values we're looking for. The 0-14 (full spectra) strips will be harder to read in fine detail. Though this is not the only option, I've used my lab's pH strips on mares before with great success and they're a LOT cheaper than buying them at a pool or fish store. From amazon, I would suggest these strips that cover the 4.5-10 pH or this pH tape (requires a tiny bit more care handling) that runs 5.5-8 range, which is tight but will work well for accuracy

    Hope that helps. Love the new foals over at Andrea's - congrats on so many colts
    RIP Adriane, aka Eyesontheground, 6/4/83-9/14/09
    Proudly owned by:
    Veronica II (Vienna Waltz/Woermann)



  8. #8
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    Default

    Thanks for the info, sniplover. That helps.

    I am definitely having a colt year. I had really been hoping for fillies with the Stedinger/ Stanza and the Bugatti/ Wintermaske breedings. Sigh...



  9. #9
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    I'm glad that helps. Most of the pH strips are meant to be used *without* dilution by water, unlike a lot of the foaling kits.

    Yes, but they are stunning colts and do justice to your program. I look forward to seeing them at the inspection this fall
    RIP Adriane, aka Eyesontheground, 6/4/83-9/14/09
    Proudly owned by:
    Veronica II (Vienna Waltz/Woermann)



  10. #10
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    Default

    Wow. I can learn something new every day. I did not know the PH strips are meant to be used with straight milk. That makes them even more user friendly. I will report this to Andrea. and we'll order the ones from Amazon. They will be much simpler than doing Chemetrics.

    Thanks, sniplover. I appreciate your very kind remarks.



  11. #11
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    Hey Mary Lou - you could use a combo of the Chemetrics and the test strips. Use the test strips till you are pretty close then the Chemetrics to narrow it down more. I did that last year on my last two foals and I only used one Chemetrics test kit on both mares - AND it was my first time using Chemetrics so you know there was a lot of human error/waste. I prob could have used one kit for all 3 mares if I had known how to break the vials correctly etc. LOL

    Also, everything that I've heard, read, and used you do need to use 1 cc milk and 6 cc of distilled water (or half that amount of each) for the test strips to work properly. And if you are using the combo just a simple pool kit test will work for you (it is around $13 for 100 strips)...
    Emerald Acres standing the ATA Approved Stallion, Tatendrang. Visit us at our Facebook Farm Page as well!



  12. #12
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    I like the combination of the Chemtrics and the pH strips as well.

    I bought the pH strips at a pet store - (intended for fish tanks). Stores with pool supplies will also carry them.
    Up in the frigid NE, I could only find them stocked at the pet store.
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  13. #13
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    Hmmmm, see I use the pH strips WITH dilution. 6:1 like the other kits say. I did see one pH kit advertised that said you could test it straight, but I've been doing the 6:1 with distilled water for 4 years now and it works like magic!

    I get these strips in bottles of 100 (just my preference because I first tried pH strips by going to Walmart and buying what they had, which just happened to be this brand, and now I'm afraid to switch! LOL):

    http://www.google.com/products/catal...d=0CCsQ8gIwAw#

    The pH goes down to 6.2 on them, which is a stark yellow color, (from pink which is 8.4) so it's easy to tell when you are there! I ordered some other strips that had a much wider range, but the colors weren't that different and I found them to be too difficult to read.

    The reason I wanted a pH meter was because 1. it seemed easier and 2. there are times when you are SO close to 6.2 but not quite there, but by my eternal optimism I stay up anyway and lose sleep needlessly... So, I was curious to see exactly where the magic number was to the decimal, and also to prevent myself from getting optimistic about the color when it wasn't "quite" all yellow... hope this helps!
    Signature Sporthorses
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  14. #14
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    Not sure if this helps, but I use both a pH meter and test strips to measure soil pH. One of our meters is the type that must be kept in the calibration solution, but we use other meters in the field that can be calibrated by dipping them in deionized water. I hate test strips.

    I think this is the type of meter that we use in the field:
    http://www.amazon.com/HM-Digital-Wat.../dp/B00132G102
    It is very easy to use and calibrate with high accuracy.



  15. #15
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    When we test in the lab, we never dilute the samples to test them. We use these exact same strips; you can try it both ways if you wish.
    RIP Adriane, aka Eyesontheground, 6/4/83-9/14/09
    Proudly owned by:
    Veronica II (Vienna Waltz/Woermann)



  16. #16
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    Default

    I have used the test strips without dilution just out of curiosity's sake and the results are slightly different - not HUGE differences, but big enough to make you miss a foal possibly. Or rather have more sleepless nights (it registers higher - or lower in this case - PH levels)
    Emerald Acres standing the ATA Approved Stallion, Tatendrang. Visit us at our Facebook Farm Page as well!



  17. #17
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    Default

    Thanks, I was really curious, and though we might try it for our last foal in April, but I think I'll just stick to what I'm doing since it works so well.
    Signature Sporthorses
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  18. #18
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    Default

    I've had good luck just using a winemakers refractometer.

    What's being looked for is the presence of colostrum. Once the brix level (IgG level) of the milk begins to rise, you'll know that that the mare is getting ready to foal. And all you need is one teeny drop of milk. Many people have mentioned that when the milk starts to taste "sweet", she's getting close. A refractometer does that "tasting" for you, and will give you a precise level of IgG as well. My mares will typically have a consistent brix level <10, but when that begins to rise (I check twice daily) I'll know she's quite close.

    The other benefit of using a refractometer is that once your mare foals, you can easily check the quality of her colostrum, giving you a precious "heads up" on whether or not the foal will need an IgG boost.

    This is a good article. Keep in mind that you don't need an "equine" refractometer. The scales are the same whether a winemakers, or an "equine" refractometer. And I'd be willing to bet that the "equine" version is more expensive!

    http://www.arssales.com/equine/html/refractometer.html
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  19. #19
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    jdeboer - that is very interesting/exciting, especially if the same tool can be used both for foal prediction and colustrum evaluation.
    Has anyone else used this method??
    Thank you for the link.



  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by jdeboer01 View Post
    This is a good article. Keep in mind that you don't need an "equine" refractometer. The scales are the same whether a winemakers, or an "equine" refractometer. And I'd be willing to bet that the "equine" version is more expensive!

    http://www.arssales.com/equine/html/refractometer.html
    Quoting myself here, but FYI.....

    A regular refractometer, 0-32% Brix, can be bought at Amazon.com for $36.98. The "equine" refractometer is $78.70. Don't be fooled. It's the exact same thing!!
    www.sauconycreeksporthorses.com
    Dedicated to breeding Friesian Sporthorses
    with world class pedigrees and sport suitability



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