Begin 2023 proper along with your cattle record-keeping system

Because the 12 months ends, College of Missouri Extension livestock specialist Patrick Davis urges cattle producers to judge their record-keeping system to find out if it was profitable.

“File-keeping begins with correct cattle identification,” Davis mentioned. Two nationally recognized identification techniques are the four-digit system and the letter and three-digit system.

The primary variety of the four-digit system represents the final digit of the calf’s delivery 12 months. The opposite numbers characterize the calf’s delivery order that 12 months. For instance, the 56th calf born in 2023 can be 3056. One downside with this method is the potential for duplication when there are cows within the herd which might be 10 or extra years previous.

“The letter and three-digit system reduces potential cow identification duplication within the herd as a result of it makes use of a letter to characterize the 12 months,” mentioned Davis. The letter represents the 12 months the calf was born and the three digits characterize the calf delivery order throughout that 12 months. For instance, if L is the letter assigned to 2023, then L056 is the identification quantity for the 56th calf born in 2023. The letter modifications yearly in sequential order, besides I, O, Q and V usually are not used.

“For the identification system for use correctly in record-keeping, the identification markings have to be everlasting and simple to learn,” mentioned Davis. Prompt calf identification markings embrace ear tagging, ear tattooing and branding. Since tattooing and branding are everlasting, Davis suggests these along with ear tagging. Ear tattooing is a little bit less complicated to do and requires much less preparation, so it’s most popular over branding. For correct record-keeping, Davis means that ear tattooing and tagging be completed as quickly as attainable after the calf is born.

“The record-keeping system ought to consider all the cattle herd’s productiveness so it may be helpful in figuring out successes and issues inside the cattle operation,” mentioned Davis.

Take note of the breeding, calving and weaning seasons.

“Taking a look at cattle information as they relate to the breeding season is useful in figuring out reproductive effectivity,” mentioned Davis. Cattle producers ought to report the variety of bred cows and heifers and evaluate that to the full variety of cows and heifers that had been uncovered in the course of the breeding season. This determines being pregnant share, which signifies the reproductive effectivity of the cattle operation. Davis additionally suggests cattle producers determine and cull the open cows and heifers so sources may be devoted to the best cows and heifers.

After calving, decide calving share by evaluating the variety of cows with stay calves to the variety of cows and heifers that had been uncovered in the course of the earlier breeding season. This measurement evaluates calf loss of life loss attributable to dystocia (calving problem), spontaneous abortion or different reproductive well being issues. Davis urges producers to cull any cows that misplaced their calves throughout this time so sources may be devoted to productive cows.

“A number of information and evaluation can be utilized to evaluated cow herd productiveness at weaning time,” mentioned Davis. First, have a look at weaning share by evaluating the variety of weaned calves by the variety of animals uncovered in the course of the earlier breeding season. This evaluates calf loss of life loss from calving to weaning.

There are a number of methods to research calf weaning weight because it pertains to cattle herd productiveness. These embrace:

• Evaluating kilos of weaned calves per cows uncovered in the course of the earlier breeding season. This measurement in the end tells cattle producers the productiveness of their herds.

• Evaluating calf weaning weight to cow physique measurement at weaning. That is an indicator of how productive every cow is, which may be very helpful for figuring out productive females that must be retained and poor-producing females that must be eliminated to enhance herd productiveness.

Contact your native MU Extension livestock specialist for extra info on methods to use a cow record-keeping system to make your cattle operation profitable.