Monday, 23 November 2009

Proper Dairy Cow ID....small point but so important

Proper clear easily read Dairy Cow ID is so important.
Why in some herds can't you read any numbers when in other herds the numbers are clearly visible?
It is important especially during AI & mating time.
This last week I've been in East Sussex with a Grass based (Pasture to Profit network) Dairy Farmer Discussion Group from Dorset in the UK. On both of the autumn calving herds (both with NZ XBred cows too) we visited it was so obvious that both of the host farmers took care to clearly number the cows. How much easier is it to spot the right cow that is on heat!
Tony had his cows tailpainted using the new aerosol spray paint. It was so clear as to which cows had cycled already & been AI'ed (Blue), which were on heat that day (No.1875) & which were still to cycle in the first round of AI. The tails had been clipped & the cows were very clean.
In Jeremy & Daniel's herd they use a letter & a number system......again very easy to read from a distance. Both these herds had just started heat detection is full on at present.
I've also included a photo of a spring calving herd that we have been condition scoring.(Cow 33 & Cow 2). Again good ID is so important for our recording of each condition score to identify cows for drying off. Note the tape on the tail.....this is appplied at least 120 days before calving starts next year. Each colour denotes a calving group eg Two Yellow tapes is a cow that will calve in the second half of February.
By applying the colour tapes now it will be so much easier to draft cows into mobs or calving groups during the thinking now saves heaps of time later!
How good is the Cow ID in your herd? Is this the reason for poor results with AI....are cows being missed or just not correctly identified? Don't blame your staff.....sort & maintain good cow ID.

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