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While this isn’t the preferred method of choice, a solid calving record practice will ultimately save time, provide valuable breeding and performance information which all adds up to taking much of the guess work out of subsequent breeding calving seasons.

Mastering Calving Records Can Boost Your Beef Operation

STURGIS, S.D. – Keeping detailed records is a major practice among beef producers, essential for managing numerous aspects of their operations. Despite the hustle of peak seasons, like calving, maintaining accurate records is crucial.

Well-kept calving records offer a wealth of information that can significantly influence the decision-making process and operation evaluation. These records aren’t just about tracking calf growth; they’re instrumental in assessing cow performance, making culling decisions, and identifying reproductive and maternal health issues.

Calving records should be straightforward, focusing on key traits that matter most to the producer. Essential data points include the calf’s birth date, weight, identification, sex, calving ease score, and coat color. This information can shed light on the herd’s performance, helping to pinpoint high-achieving females and calves, as well as those not meeting expectations.

There are various ways to maintain these records, from mobile apps and paper copies to specialized software like Excel or Google Sheets. South Dakota State University (SDSU) Extension offers a practical solution with its Redbooks, which provide a structured format for recording calving data along with other production measures. Keeping records accessible and backed up is advised to prevent loss or damage.

The insights gained from diligent recordkeeping are invaluable, offering a clear picture of herd performance and areas for improvement. Whether through high-tech apps or traditional paper methods, the goal is to ensure every calf’s data is captured and used to enhance the operation’s success.

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