A new button will be added to the health and disease web screen to indicate when all animals are healthy on the farm.
Since March 2014 ICBF has been piloting a health and disease recording screen with a select group of farmers while allowing all HerdPlus members to use the screen as well. Our hope was for farmers to input the data in real time or at least bi-weekly so that we can begin the long process of collecting enough data to start selecting healthier animals for breeding and identify the biggest health concerns on farms. This program was also designed to get input from the farmers to try to make this screen as relevant and useful as possible. The health and disease recording screen allows farmers to track the frequency of health events of individual animals so they can decide whether an animal’s health needs outweigh the animal’s value on the farm.
Between March and December 2014, 309 farmers have reported 3568 events on our web-screen with mastitis, lameness, and pneumonia having the most events recorded. We have also had 630 farmers share their health data with us through farm software. While this program has largely been successful we wanted to create a way for farmers who have consistently healthy herds to report their health status as well, therefore we developed a button for them on the health and disease recording screen.
The idea behind this button is to allow farmers to record health data when their herds are doing well and all animals are healthy. The data collected will allow ICBF to help farmers identify times of year when their herd health declines or is at its most optimal and also allow us to compare genetics of consistently healthy herds to herds who may have periods of health events on the farm. After enough events have been collected, we will be able to better predict which sires and lineages will produce healthier calves. Just remember, the more accurate the data you put in, the more accurate your genetic evaluations will be in the future so only report a healthy herd when all animals are healthy.
A massive thank you to all my farmers in the pilot program for their support and input on this screen, and welcome to all who will be first time recorders!
The next step for ICBF in health recording is to develop 2 new screens for farmers to record remedies, vaccines, and dosing.
Any questions or suggestions for the Health and Disease Event recording page?
E-mail: [email protected]