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Thread: Record keeping question.

  1. #1
    Senior Member JRthe original is on a distinguished road
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    Record keeping question.

    Been a while, we are building our own spreadsheet for record keeping. I find most things are to intense for our mgt. style. We would end up paying for things we don't care about. Mostly the comparison options most programs have are of no value to us.
    So if you were building your own,or have built your own, what would you include in it.
    Obviously we have basic cow info, age, lactation, DIM, open/pregnant, vet info, lbs. produced.
    On another note I bought 5 animals today. 4 fresh cows 2 are 4th lactation 1 3rd lactation 1 2nd lactation and 1 springing hiefer $4875 for all of them. The hiefer is small at 990 lbs. but I only paid 650 for her.
    I'll post some pics later.

  2. #2
    Senior Member flyingRoot is on a distinguished road
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    paint stick on the walls of milk house

    that's how dad did it 40 years ago sold cows when he ran out of clean wall that wasn't covered in orange scribblig
    Don't get tripped by what's behind you

  3. #3
    Senior Member JRthe original is on a distinguished road
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    Milk inspector says must now use red and it can't be pictures must be actual letters!

  4. #4
    Senior Member RON11 is on a distinguished road
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    I have a seventy tie stall barn. My advice "Records are to serve you - not the other way around ! So record information that you may need later to help you make money.If answering the vets question "How long ago did she calve ?" is going to help you make better treatment decisions then record calving dates. If you can remember them without recording them then you don't have to.We keep very few records of any sort.Wife has birth days because she manages calf raising. I have calving dates for current year. I have preg. check list after fall/early winter whole herd preg. checks. That list is updated as opens are sold or confirmed pregnant during winter. In last year or so we record cows culled and WHY. We hope to see if we have longer term problem trends like too many culls for lameness , fresh cow problems or maybe poor breeding. While we have a small herd and we have milk metering on our units I sometimes wonder whether a cow or two has stayed in the herd longer than needed because we don't have actual milk production records. Of course the loss of not having that info has to be weighed against the cost and hassle of getting and keeping those records.

    Again - we only track things that can give us information that will make us more money.

  5. #5
    Senior Member PERCY is on a distinguished road
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    Quote Originally Posted by RON11 View Post
    I have a seventy tie stall barn. My advice "Records are to serve you - not the other way around ! So record information that you may need later to help you make money.If answering the vets question "How long ago did she calve ?" is going to help you make better treatment decisions then record calving dates. If you can remember them without recording them then you don't have to.We keep very few records of any sort.Wife has birth days because she manages calf raising. I have calving dates for current year. I have preg. check list after fall/early winter whole herd preg. checks. That list is updated as opens are sold or confirmed pregnant during winter. In last year or so we record cows culled and WHY. We hope to see if we have longer term problem trends like too many culls for lameness , fresh cow problems or maybe poor breeding. While we have a small herd and we have milk metering on our units I sometimes wonder whether a cow or two has stayed in the herd longer than needed because we don't have actual milk production records. Of course the loss of not having that info has to be weighed against the cost and hassle of getting and keeping those records.

    Again - we only track things that can give us information that will make us more money.
    PLEASE, keep a paper trail. Your good wife might not make it home, and that excellent memory would be gone.[this is NOT a deathwish] 60 years ago my dad would test all 2yr. olds and any other cow that was what he considered marginal; "you're going to keep the rest anyway."

  6. #6
    Senior Member dennis1 is on a distinguished road
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    Dairy must be more profitable that what most dairy people tell us, if most of the info is on memory of the two co-owners. quick, the loss from one cow is what % that the others have to make up for....to break even, and what feeds the family?

  7. #7
    Senior Member RON11 is on a distinguished road
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    Quote Originally Posted by PERCY View Post
    PLEASE, keep a paper trail. Your good wife might not make it home, and that excellent memory would be gone.[this is NOT a deathwish] 60 years ago my dad would test all 2yr. olds and any other cow that was what he considered marginal; "you're going to keep the rest anyway."
    I have a great memory - but it's very short ! haha. All the lists I listed by my wife and I are on paper and clipboards.My dad did have an amazing memory and he kept nothing on paper. His technique which I use as well is " Either that cow is milking enough to pay her way or she doesn't. If she doesn't milk enough to pay her way then she had better be pregnant ! Otherwise she's going to McDonalds for lunch !" ha Any cow that doesn't milk well enough to pay for room and board goes to McDonald for lunch on my farm too. Dairy farmers ARE beef farmers we just market them one or two at a time.Since we are a grazing farm over summer and most of our cows calve just before pasture they almost always pay their way till late Oct. since summers are cheap grain and low labor. Then we do a "fall round-up" and pregnancy check everyone except the few who calved later. Works pretty well.I do like milk meters built into my milk units since we can keep a close watch for slackers.
    Last edited by RON11; 12-07-2017 at 09:44 PM.

  8. #8
    Senior Member RON11 is on a distinguished road
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    Quote Originally Posted by dennis1 View Post
    Dairy must be more profitable that what most dairy people tell us, if most of the info is on memory of the two co-owners. quick, the loss from one cow is what % that the others have to make up for....to break even, and what feeds the family?
    Most dairy farmers are like crop farmers. They have been conditioned to complain no matter what. I guess over the decades maybe farmers figured when it comes to gov. handouts it was the squeeky wheel that gets the grease. From what I can see dairy farm profits cover a very wide range.

    The view of "the loss from one cow is what % that the others have to make up for" is an interesting way to look at it but that isn't really how we look at it. (on my farm anyway). The way we look at it is more about averages. Some cows will produce better than expected some worse. As long as the averages are where we want them things are peaceful. For example , it is the average production per cow over the whole herd on a given day that we closely. Not so much attention to a single cow (except if close to culling levels of course).

    The herd having to make up for the losses of a herd mate is technically true but not really the way it's done. Probably because on my farm we never drop anywhere near break even much less worrying about feeding the family. Our farm has a seventy two tie stall barn. We have all open land in permanent grass and graze an average of 60 cows and replacements for about 6 months of the year. We consistently make over $1000 per cow profit that goes to family spending (or retirement savings). We have had years with much higher profits but we very rarely (if ever) go under that number. This year should be no problem. We'll be close to 1.2 million pounds x $16.50 (?) per hundred . We take 30% off the top. Farm pays for health ins. , health savings account , retirement savings (SEP -if tax is high), property taxes pays the kids so they can save for college AND maybe an extra profit check for ME.

    The best farmers I notice don't complain about the business we've chosen. Never heard my brothers complain about the dairy business.I don't remember hearing dr complain about dairy farming either.
    Last edited by RON11; 12-07-2017 at 10:30 PM.

  9. #9
    Senior Member dennis1 is on a distinguished road
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    lol,. you did leave out a few details to start with that DO matter, but you mentioned the meters almost in passing..


  10. #10
    Senior Member Kinghere is on a distinguished road
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    Good explanation ron. Bigger farmers who are mechanized, grow crops and have any kind of debt live in a different world. you have never updated your base farm. you never added high priced land or machinery or milk facilities.. Most other farmers do major upgrades during their dairy career. You were able to get a good start on your family farm and buy a nearby farm at a very good price that was structurally sound.. I certainly did not get that kind of start. BTW , Your farming experience is very similar to my old buddy 'the graizer'. lol

    Record keeping is totally different depending on the size of the farm and the technical ability of the farmer. I'm certain that drd has very accurate records of every cow. My family has very accurate records of every cow, calf and steer, All shots are recorded. All mastitis and respiratiory treatments are recorded. Cows hooves are trimmed during the dry period. Every days milk amount is recorded. Herd health is done every week.All shots are recorded. All inseminations are recorded.

    On CAFOs every gallon of water that is used or falls on the farmstead must be accounted for. All manure applications are regulated. Methane emissions must be reported.

    We may even have to have permits in hand when nature calls while driving tractors. Tough to have a permit in hand for a water application while doing the watering LOL

    Different world than ron lives in and only a few miles apart. No sarcasm intended
    Last edited by Kinghere; 12-08-2017 at 07:16 PM.

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