All of our sheep blood and sheep serum products are sourced from donor sheep which are Rambouillet ewe (female) lambs and have blood drawn from them for one year. They are then put into a breeding program at 18 months of age in November that produces the second generation of ewe lambs for our program.
The age and breed of the lambs prevents the incidence of sheep scrapie in our flocks. Ninety percent of the cases of sheep scrapie reported to the USDA have been found in black face breeds of sheep. The reported cases are primarily found in sheep greater than 5 years of age. We are collecting blood from white face sheep from 6 – 18 months of age.
The donor sheep are wintered at the headquarters and then trailed out to grass beginning in May. They are trailed back every two weeks and are fed a ground hay ration for one week before having their blood drawn. This eliminates any potential for a darkening of their blood due to the higher nitrogen levels found in green grass. The sheep on grass are watched over by herders and Great Pyrenees guard dogs as a protection from predators.
All of our horse blood and horse serum products are sourced from donor horses (geldings) which are split into two types. The serum horses are Percheron and Belgian draft breeds, while our defibrinated blood horses are of Quarter Horse breeding. The smaller Quarter Horses produce a higher hematocrit (PCV), which is desirable for the production of whole blood for microbiological applications. Horses graze on grass in the summer in their quarantine pastures and are fed alfalfa hay during the winter.
All Quad Five horses have passed testing by the USDA for EIA (Equine Infectious Anemia), Brucellosis, Babesia Caballi, Babesia Equi, Dourine and Glanders at a separate location before they can enter the official quarantine pasture. In accordance with Veterinary Services Memorandum
No. 800.71, they are retested annually for EIA.
All of our bovine blood and bovine serum products are sourced from donor cattle of beef breeding. The cattle, as calves, are tested twice before purchase and delivery to ensure that they all are sero-negative (antibody free) to Infectious Bovine Rhinotracheitus (IBR) and Bovine Viral Diarrhea (BVD).
Vaccine manufacturers require this sero-negative status as they are using Quad Five donor bovine serum to grow IBR and BVD virus to produce cattle vaccines. The cattle are held in a quarantine feed lot to ensure that their antibody free status is not jeopardized by exposure to other cattle.
All of our goat blood and goat serum products are derived from donor goats which are wethers (castrated males.) They are 7/8 to purebred Boer breeding and are sourced from herds raised in Montana. Our process from the collection of whole blood to frozen raw serum is done in four hours, producing a low free hemoglobin serum.
The bulk of Quad Five donor goat serum is used as a diluent in the manufacture of IVD kits.