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Record Keeping

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customcattle

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I'm wondering what people are using for record keeping systems, both in the field and at home? Do you use the trusty tried and true red calving books (mine's yellow). Do you use an app on your phone? If so what app are you using? If an app were available would you use it? Last question. What information do you feel is the most important in calving records, breeding cow records, and bull records?

I am an ag teacher/ FFA Advisor, and my Ag Entrepreneurship class is working on a project and thought that this would be a good place to answer some of their questions.

thanks in advance
 

Caustic Burno

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customcattle":36vp8jqb said:
I'm wondering what people are using for record keeping systems, both in the field and at home? Do you use the trusty tried and true red calving books (mine's yellow). Do you use an app on your phone? If so what app are you using? If an app were available would you use it? Last question. What information do you feel is the most important in calving records, breeding cow records, and bull records?


I am an ag teacher/ FFA Advisor, and my Ag Entrepreneurship class is working on a project and thought that this would be a good place to answer some of their questions.

thanks in advance

Sorry nothing exotic just a ledger book and sharp pencil
 

slick4591

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I make notes on my phone when I'm in the field, then transfer the info to Word documents when I get home. All purchases goes into a Quicken ledger type of account.
 

dun

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I use cattlemax, have for 15 years or so. Field notes jotted on what's handy, when we work them I print out work sheets so I know what all needs done to each animal
 

Rafter S

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I have all my records in Excel and saved on the Cloud. That way I can access it from my phone or desktop. And I have backups because I don't completely trust the cloud.
 

ccr

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I keep a small notepad with me and jot info down in the field, then enter into a spreadsheet. Not the best like having a dedicated software program, but works for us. Don't have a smart phone for apps.
 

farmerjan

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I keep a small calendar and make notes on it then transfer to sheets of notebook paper that are specific to each field or group of cows. I do not have smart phone and so many places we have very spotty reception anyway. It is a bit of writing, but I get very familiar with the cows and their calves etc and where they are. All preg checks etc are on a separate sheet, dated and pertinent info like what bull, when he went in, came out, how far preg the vet says they are. All the different info gets entered on to individual cow pages, along the lines of what dairy farmers do, but I can pull any cow's page and tell you any/every thing that has ever happened in her life. Yes, it is a fair amount of paperwork, and some seems repetitious, but as I said, I can remember it better when I actually write it down. It also can't crash, get erased, lost in the cloud, or anything like that. Not the most modern way to do it, but I am not the biggest fan of hi-tech computer stuff; nor am I very adept at using alot of it either.
 

WinterSpringsFarm

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I do much like Jan does. I have a notebook I keep in the office that has a page for every cow. I write down everything done to that cow over her lifetime and date it was done (minus routine shots like Multimin or such)

It's a lot of writing but its not like I run 400hd, and it keeps me familiar with the cows and their productivity.
 

TCRanch

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ccr":235d4ioq said:
I keep a small notepad with me and jot info down in the field, then enter into a spreadsheet. Not the best like having a dedicated software program, but works for us. Don't have a smart phone for apps.
Same. Write it down, enter info on Excel. I do have a smart phone but don't use the apps.
 

bird dog

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I weigh every calf at weaning and divide the total number of days old into that figure to give a gain per day figure. For instance wean weight 660 lb + 210 days old give a figure of 3.14 lbs per day. All this goes on the cows sheet which is an individual page for each cow.
This figure takes out a lot of the argument of weather large birth weight calves are better or is rate of gain more important and gives you one figure to match up against other cows regardless of the calfs age.
Even though the number will change year to year based on conditions, the superior cows clearly stand out.
Some cows are very consistent regardless of conditions.
This figure also helps culling decisions and gives you another figure to look at when retaining heifers.

All my figures are wrote down in a spiral notebook when working calves and transferred to the cows permanent page later on. A computer program would be nice but sometimes its nice to just have it right in front of you for quick access. I also keep track of all shot records, buy and sale proceeds and the cows weight.
 
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customcattle

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If there was an app out there that you could record on your phone or tablet in the field with, then sync it to a computer at home and be able to print records off would any of you who are using paper be open to using it?
 

slick4591

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customcattle":1uaxe8wv said:
If there was an app out there that you could record on your phone or tablet in the field with, then sync it to a computer at home and be able to print records off would any of you who are using paper be open to using it?

Depending on cost I would.
 

pdfangus

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have used excel spreadsheets for years....
i make notes in a field notebook but then enter it into the excel sheet.
have looked at commercial programs but none seem to give me what I want and seem to give me a lot of stuff I don't want.
 
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customcattle

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pdfangus":2o78sm5m said:
have used excel spreadsheets for years....
i make notes in a field notebook but then enter it into the excel sheet.
have looked at commercial programs but none seem to give me what I want and seem to give me a lot of stuff I don't want.

So what stuff would you want?
 

NEFarmwife

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We use CattleMax. It also allows us to create worksheets and reports. I.E. When we preg check, I have multiple groups (usually based on the pasture or lot they are in at the time) and am able to document. I also create worksheets from that for checking cow/calf in each pasture and make notes if we need to or had to treat one.

We do retain all our hard copies, in case there is ever an error or missing info. And while we have Wi-Fi access in our calving barn and working facility, we don't use the cattlemax software real time. It is just used after the fact. Unless we need to retrieve some info in that moment.
 

pdfangus

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mostly the programmed formattings and groupings in commercial software just did not suit me...

If I had a number of cattle today....I downsized a few years ago and just have a few to kkep me broke and off the street now....

I would want to be able to scan RFID and quickly record health work, breedings, calvings, etc.
would expect device to give me projected calving dates from breedings.
would expect to see calving production and history and birth and weaning weights., adjusted 205s
would expect to be able to pull up health history....by animal or by group
use birth dates to schedule weaning dates for groups.
a be nice would be to be able to schedule synchrony protocols for breeding by breeding group.
record breeding information
 
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customcattle

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pdfangus":ecc4gb6q said:
mostly the programmed formattings and groupings in commercial software just did not suit me...

If I had a number of cattle today....I downsized a few years ago and just have a few to kkep me broke and off the street now....

I would want to be able to scan RFID and quickly record health work, breedings, calvings, etc.
would expect device to give me projected calving dates from breedings.
would expect to see calving production and history and birth and weaning weights., adjusted 205s
would expect to be able to pull up health history....by animal or by group
use birth dates to schedule weaning dates for groups.
a be nice would be to be able to schedule synchrony protocols for breeding by breeding group.
record breeding information

Thank you. I have shared this information with my students and we are putting it to use. I do have one question. What do you mean by being able to scan RFID?
 

pdfangus

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radio frequency identification..

a device for permanent identification which is commonly put into an ear tag which is a piece of temporary identification..

Ideally an rfid in breeding stock should be an implant.

there was just an article in a recent issue of progressive cattleman I think about advances in RFID...I will see if I can scout it up and post a link.

regarding breeding information....
things I record.....I do it on paper and transfer it to excel
date
cow number and any other pertinent cow information
bull name
bull registration
bull stud number
bull collection code....useful if the stud mixed up the semen and you bred a hereford and got a holstein....it has happened.
service comments eg cow still standing at service....or no heat seen breed on time....
service score ......excellent...very good...fair....poor...
excell gives me when to expect heat 20 days later
when to expect the calf....my angus use 282 days so other breeds might use other gestation lengths.
days since service gives the vet a target for pregnancy work...very helpful to the vet.
 
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