“All our protocol lists are set up in drop boxes. Our cow mating is also downloaded into the herd program, so on timed A.I. breeding days we just print the list of cows to breed, and it has the sire listed next to their identification number to make it all quick,” explained Kevin Pearson of Britannia Dairy.
“We also record health events, which can sometimes help in the decision process of whether to keep breeding certain cows or not,” said the Platinum winner of the Dairy Cattle Reproduction Council’s 12th annual awards competition.
“We use Dairy Comp 305 to keep track of all our heats and breeding records. This is entered by either my brother, Ben, or me,” continued the Flandreau, S.D., dairyman. “Ben worked with the makers of Dairy Comp 305 to set up all our synch programs, so cows are automatically enrolled into synch programs, whether it’s double ovsych for first service or ovsych after a cow has been called open by our veterinarian.”
All six of this year’s Platinum winners of the Dairy Cattle Reproduction Council’s awards share additional insight in this Hoard’s Dairyman Intel as well as the Round Table found on pages 675 to 678 of the November issue of Hoard’s Dairyman. This year’s competition drew 105 nominations — the second most to date.
Here are additional responses to the question, “How do you keep track of records?”
Holmesville Dairy, Argyle, Wis.: Our Genex technician does all the record keeping for the A.I. work and will enter information into our Dairy Comp 305 software. All herd health results are entered by the herdsman. The Dairy Comp 305 program will provide protocol lists for ovsynch, along with breeding records for the inseminator to carry with him while walking the cows.
Kayhart Dairy, Addison, Vt.: All of our records are kept in PC Dart. We have been a user of that system for close to 30 years. All of our cellular devices have the PocketDairy app that allows us to look up cows at any time. We don’t really use the app for any data input, as most data input is done at the computer. Gene, our herdsman, carries a small pocket notebook as he breeds cows. He records cows bred, heats, signs of bleeding off, and any additional notes about individual cows. Our records are vital in our success, and we put a great deal of trust in them being correct.
The person that inseminates the cow is responsible for entering that breeding in the computer. Courtney typically enters all results from pregnancy check into the computer while Gene is breeding that day after the veterinarian leaves. We also enter inseminations in the computer using a specific “trigger” based on each specific timed A.I. protocol. That way we can track conception rates of different programs.
Red Top Jerseys, Chowchilla, Calif.: Everything is recorded daily by herdsmen and management team into Dairy Comp 305, either in the office at the desktop or in the field using Pocket PC. All herd health events are recorded, including milk fevers, retained placentas, mastitis, heats, breedings, open/preg events, and so forth.
These records are not only used to make treatment and culling decisions, but they are used to determine if an individual gets bred to sexed dairy or beef semen. For example, if a high indexing fresh heifer that would typically be mated to sexed semen has a difficult transition, is treated for illness, or aborts, for example, regardless of genetic potential, she will be mated to beef.
Schilling Dairy, Darlington, Wis.: All reproductive data is recorded into the Dairy Comp 305. Heats and breedings are entered by the breeder. Brian records herd health data and ovsynch. Dairy Comp 305 is used to provide protocol and herd check lists.
Wenzel Hilltop Dairy, Hilbert, Wis.: The A.I. tech is responsible for recording heats and breedings in Dairy Comp 305. We also use detailed handwritten notes that are shared between employees and our A.I. technician, Eric Riesterer.
This Hoard’s Dairyman Intel article is part of a six-part series detailing top reproduction tips from the Platinum winning herds for the 12th annual Dairy Cattle Reproduction Council awards competition.
Click below to view previous reports from this DCRC series:
Rock solid repro gave them more flexibility
Alternatives don’t deliver consistent results
Nothing beats walking the pens everyday
Our motto: People wait for cows