Calving season is both one of the most rewarding and stressful seasons for any cattle rancher. It’s a time when “normal” working hours cease to exist, the coffee pot is working overtime, and the sight of a wobbly calf getting to its feet is just the pat on the back you needed to keep going.
Whether you find yourself preparing for, in the middle of, or coming out of calving season (and looking for tips), the key to improving your calving decisions is with digital ranch records. It’s why livestock management software, like AgriWebb, have built functionality for all times of year, especially calving season.
Curious what it looks like to leverage livestock management software during calving season? Here we go!
Records and Reporting to Prepare for Calving Season
There are a lot of factors to plan for and consider when preparing for an upcoming calving season. Assigning monitoring schedules, preparing for inclement weather and ensuring you are stocked up on supplies are just a few.
With the help of livestock management software, you can get a jump start into planning for your upcoming calving season. Here are some features to look for when considering options, ensuring you’re prepared for one of the busiest times of the year:
- Natural Service and Artificial Insemination (A.I.) Records: Inputting natural service or A.I. records ensures you’re accurately keeping track of historical genetic decisions. As calving season unfolds and you begin adding weight data, you’ll begin to see if your breeding decisions were successful.
- Pregnancy Scan Report: It’s important to have a solid grasp on estimated calving due dates. The right livestock management software makes this even easier. In fact, AgriWebb users can see a list of estimated due dates by accessing a one-click report based on data collected during pregnancy scanning.
- Treatment Inventory: If you implement a calf vaccination protocol, it’s crucial to know your inventory and expiration dates. Utilizing livestock management software with an inventory feature can ensure you’ve got that data at the click of a button.
- Forage Insights: Planning your pasture movements before calves start to drop is imperative to both the health of your cows and their calves. To ensure they have enough forage to last them through calving season, forage insights like those available on AgriWebb’s interactive ranch map can help you easily see how many pounds of dry matter per acre (DM/ac) remain in specific pastures.
Must-Use Records When Calves Drop
If you sell your cattle as Source & Age Verified or simply want to improve your cattle data, livestock management software can support both. Keeping records on your calves, as a whole or individually, helps equip you to make more informed business decisions. Once your first calf hits the ground, here are three basic records you should be keeping.
- Calendars and Tasks: When calving starts, it doesn’t mean that everything else on the ranch stops. Scheduling tasks for your team in advance can help alleviate stress that comes when you find yourself in calving madness.
- Birth Record: It sounds obvious, but applying a birth record as a cow gives birth connects her to her calf within your livestock management system. AgriWebb’s birth record includes the date of birth, sex, calving weight and other relevant information, all giving you historical data for future decision-making. Keeping up with birth records during calving season also makes future livestock performance decisions easier. These records funnel into a report that identifies which cows were open and which produced calves with less than desirable traits.
- Tag Record: Whether it’s a simple visual ID or electronic identifier (EID), adding a tag record brings the identity of a calf or group of calves to life within your livestock management software platform. This makes for easy animal data retrieval.
- Treatment Record: If you are a part of a compliance program or looking at calf performance, recording the dosage type, date and reason helps with future audits and decision making. Within AgriWebb, you can apply a treatment cost, helping you see your investment within the animal throughout its life.
Post-Calving Reports to Dive Into
Phew! Now that the calving madness has ceased, it’s time to rest and dive into the collected data within reports. While there are many reports within AgriWebb, here are a few key reports to look at following calving.
- Weaning and Weight Records: When combining a weaning and weight record within AgriWebb, you’ll be able to track a cow’s average weaning age and weight.
- Birth Record Report: Sometimes it’s nice to look back on what you’ve achieved. What’s even better is when you can dive into the details of each calf, right from a report. This report provides in-depth detail in birthing ease, progeny and even cost.
- Dam performance report: As you collect cow data like offspring count, times open, and bodyweight weaned, this report helps you prepare for upcoming breeding seasons.
- Treatment Record: As mentioned above, the treatment report makes audits easier than ever. Within the report, you can assess if your vaccination protocol is working for you. When it comes time for an audit, this report will be your best friend.
And that’s how livestock management software can be an extension of your calving season efforts. Whether it’s preparing you and your team for a successful season, easily maintaining accurate records, or assessing post-calving data for easier future decision making, AgriWebb and the team are here to help.