Keeping Records

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sewall

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I was just wondering if any of you have any suggestions on keeping records of your cattle. I just have some commercial cattle and the calves go to the sale barn. I don't have a way to weigh cattle except the weight I recieve on my sale ticket at the sale barn. I just was wanting to keep up with the performance of my cows and I didn't know where to start. I would appreciate any suggestions or what ya'll do.
 

TheBullLady

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There are some good software programs on the market.. Cattlesoft, CattleMax are just a couple. If you carry a PDA it's fairly easy to keep up with everything, because you can enter things (weights, dates, etc.) when they happen.

If you're a computer wizard, you can set up a spreadsheet that works well also, and just use the information that you can get, like your weights at sale time.
 
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sewall

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Are the weights at the sale barn really that accurate? I figured there would be alot of shrink with those weights.
 

msscamp

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sewall":9ypcfybu said:
I was just wondering if any of you have any suggestions on keeping records of your cattle. I just have some commercial cattle and the calves go to the sale barn. I don't have a way to weigh cattle except the weight I recieve on my sale ticket at the sale barn. I just was wanting to keep up with the performance of my cows and I didn't know where to start. I would appreciate any suggestions or what ya'll do.

We had 2 methods of record keeping - a small notebook/cattle data book(available at most veterinary/feed/farm supply stores) in the shirt/back pocket, and a calender. The notebook was used for general notes, calving dates, weights, any problems with calving, loss of calves, re-tagging, and things of that nature. The calender was used for vaccination dates, worming dates, when the bull went out and when he was removed, what went to rented summer pasture and when, and things of that nature. Both were then transferred to an Excel spreadsheet that allowed us to keep track of whatever we deemed to be important. As far as weighing cattle, if you can't afford a scale, you might want to look into a hoof tape or a girth tape - both of which, I believe, are pretty accurate. There is also a portable sling-type scale for calves on the market, but I don't know what the cost is As you become more experienced, you will be able to 'eyeball' and come pretty close to what they weigh.
 

vs_cattle

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Cattle max and cattle soft are the same thing so to speak some CO. I think I use Cattle max program it works great check them out on the web it hold everthing I mean every little piece of data on your cattle operation
 

dun

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We use Cattlemax and realy like it.
But for simple geting started records a simple s[readsheet will do he job. he very most basic records would need to have the animalls id, DOB, purchase price and date, medical information and calving/breeding information and disposal data. The U of MO has hardcopy noebook sized forms that you can record all of the data on and just keep them all together in a book. Theere are also downloads available from many ofthe unveristys. http://agebb.missouri.edu/download/index.htm beefcow.exe might do wha you need.
Kansas State tx A&M and others also have stuff tha you can download
 

vs_cattle

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does any one know where to get the pocket herd books you could write records down on so I also could have something handy on while out side
 

ArrowHBrand

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We use our own designed spreadsheets and then each animal has it's own page where we can look up a tag ID and then find everything that has ever occurred with that animal. We also have two calenders: the first is this years where we record everything like pour on dates, pasture rotations, birthdates, etc. The second is last years calender so we can quickly cross reference and compare to see if our pasture lasted about as long or if a certain cow was cycling about the same time. Start simple and it just may be easier to get a pre-designed computer software.
 

Frankie

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sewall":2kxn5g6j said:
I was just wondering if any of you have any suggestions on keeping records of your cattle. I just have some commercial cattle and the calves go to the sale barn. I don't have a way to weigh cattle except the weight I recieve on my sale ticket at the sale barn. I just was wanting to keep up with the performance of my cows and I didn't know where to start. I would appreciate any suggestions or what ya'll do.

We don't use any special software with the registered cattle.

Wouldn't a simple EXCEL spread sheet work? Put the cow's number down the left hand side and make columns for important stuff: DOB, sex, weight at the sale barn, price received.

You'd know if the cow didn't calve on time, have a place to indicate heifers retained, and compare them by how much money they bring in each year. If you want to add stuff like vaccinations, what you paid for the cow, you can do that, too.
 

tom4018

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We started out with a notebook and a simple form for each cow.

Then we purchased Cattleworks, we use it to track individual expenses for each animal and health records. It is one of the cheaper programs but lacks some feature I would like.

We started making some of own spreadsheets that will track income per cow, calving interval, give expected due dates and several other things we wanted that Cattleworks would not do. We tried some of the more expensive programs that would do it but just to tight to spend the money. You can download OpenOffice for free which does the same thing as Excel for spreadsheets.

Hope this helped.
 

jcarkie

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i use the gulfcoast cattleman brood cow card for written records.
Gulfcoast Cattleman
11201 Morning Court
San Antonio, TX 78213
and i make my own records on the computer.
 

randiliana

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sewall":2tcdukw5 said:
Are the weights at the sale barn really that accurate? I figured there would be alot of shrink with those weights.

The shrink all depends on when the cattle are weighed. But, really all you want to do is compare your animals, so as long as they all have the same relative conditions before they are weighed you should be able to compare relatively well. On overnight stand animals, shrink can be up to 10%, although they figure the average is about 6-7%. Depends on the weather and on the cattle tempraments.

As for record keeping, you can buy a program for the computer, I personally use Ranch Manager, and I like it. You can use spreadsheets on the computer, or you can just use a booklet or binder. Use lined pages and just make columns for anything you want to keep track of. Or just get the little calving/herd management books from a vet or rural service centre. I make my own, because I want stuff that they don't include in the ready made ones.

The records can be as simple or as complex as you want. From as simple as Birthdate, sex and color, to as complex as BW, WW, Days of Age, ADG, herd index and so on. Most people keep records somewhere in between.
 

Running Arrow Bill

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We use Cattlesoft's "Longhorn Max2" for all our record-keeping, reports, price lists, sale catalog, blurb sheets, etc. Also prints photos of animal + sire & dam on a price/blurb sheet. Been using program for several years...great program!

We're compulsive about detailed records on our cattle: Digital scale weights, horn measurements, medical records, calving records, breeding records (sires & dams), etc. Also keep extensive pedigree charts on each animal.

Nothing like comprehensive, up-to-date records to make informed breeding, sales, management decisions. "You can't predict the future if you don't know where you've been and where you are now!"

When we work our animals we use our own designed log sheet at our "work station." Then, afterwords, transfer all data to our computer database. Print out hardcopies for backup.

Guess this is the difference between raising registered seedstock and growing cattle for ultimate sale barn and/or other auction sales. "We always know who the daddy is...lol"
And we keep up-to-date digital photos of all animals as well as their having "herd numbers" and our brand branded on them. We can always identify any of ours if the unlikely event one escapes from our property (or gets stolen)...
 

CowpokeJ

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I use one of those little notebooks that fit in your back pocket. I think Jeffers or valley vet has the official ones. I got mine at WM.
 

msscamp

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vs_cattle":9w9ndkgv said:
does any one know where to get the pocket herd books you could write records down on so I also could have something handy on while out side

vs, check with your local large animal vets, feedstores, farm supply stores - they usually have them available each spring. We got ours from the local vet office.
 

Limomike

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sewall":15tikq39 said:
I was just wondering if any of you have any suggestions on keeping records of your cattle. I just have some commercial cattle and the calves go to the sale barn. I don't have a way to weigh cattle except the weight I recieve on my sale ticket at the sale barn. I just was wanting to keep up with the performance of my cows and I didn't know where to start. I would appreciate any suggestions or what ya'll do.

We dont weigh our cattle before taking them to the sale, but we do keep records. Our record keeping consists of a book with each cow listed (complete with a picture), when the cow was born, vaccinated, and the date, and type of calf she has each year. We have another sheet that lists for each year in order of each calf born, to what cow, etc. Keep in mind we do have the bull in with our cows all year round so we dont have just ONE calving season.
 
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