Be in control of your herd…

Recording the reasons for removing animals from the herd can provide useful data for better herd management and is essential to improving herd efficiency and animal health.

Putting this at the forefront, Lactanet’s newest report, the Sustainability Index1, builds on the efforts made to record complete data during milk recording tests.

Recording data to improve performance and have more representative data

Looking at your herd’s data can pay off big-time when making management decisions. It can contribute to the sustainability of your business both by improving performance and by detecting potential issues before they result in major losses. 

The various management reports offered by Lactanet, some of which are generated by the DairyComp and LacT management softwares, use a wide range of data including herd culling and mortality data. 

Calf mortality rates

Recording calf mortality within 24 hours of calving is an important practice. It is essential to generate herd mortality rates that can be used by producers and advisors to improve in areas such as calving management. Some of the information may be used for some genetic evaluation criteria as well.

It is important to clearly indicate the reason for the calf’s removal from the herd: death at birth or voluntary culling.  

Recording calf mortality can also help producers track the impact of new management practices put in place during the rearing period.

Reasons for culling and mortality of cows

The reasons for culling and cow mortality, and their respective rates in a herd, are recognized as important for improving management practices. Reasons for culling are grouped into two categories: voluntary and involuntary. Involuntary culling reasons are carefully analyzed by producers and advisors who wish to see the respective rates in the herd in order to take better decisions. 

Lactanet’s management software facilitates accurate recording of these reasons and their transfer to national databases. Your Lactanet technician is an important collaborator in helping you record complete reasons for culling at each milk recording test.

It also helps with proAction®!

Among the proAction® procedures currently in place, the biosecurity component requires that calf and cow deaths to be noted in the Disease Record 

The above is an example of a form that can be used; recording of diseases and deaths can be done in a herd management software, or on paper charts offered by Lactanet.   

Herd management is a daily challenge… keep your herd under control by recording complete and accurate data. 

1 The Sustainability Index is available to all Quebec and Atlantic region producers under milk recording. It will be available later in 2022 for producers in the rest of Canada.

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By Mario Séguin, agr.
Mario is committed to improving dairy herds. A graduate in Animal Science from McGill University and a member of L'Ordre des agronomes du Québec, he contributes to the development and enhancement of the management tools offered by Lactanet.