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Herd Management, Health Data 5 min read

Are Your Dairy Records Healthy?

Written by Ladd Muirbrook

Have you taken a look at your EMR lately?

If you’ve had a recent visit to your own personal physician or doctor you may have herd the term “EMR” or electronic medical record, discussed during your visit. This is a collection of your personal patient health data stored in a digital format. It is critical information about your medical care.

At Amelicor we’ve been dealing with EMR or electronic Health and Treatment records for cows for many years and the thing I’ve learned is there are benefits to recording the data properly and we as an industry need to continue improving the detail of health records on the animals.

Recording Health Data Properly

Precision dairy records require the right tools. I say this to dairy clients often. Recording accurate health records is a vital piece to your dairy management software system. Treatment records, vaccinations, antibiotic use and recording of transition health items properly can assist you in making the decisions that make you profitable. Is that cow you just treated for mastitis a chronic offender? What do your herd records say about her? She’s a mature cow now in her 3rd lactation, has she had metabolic issues in prior lactations? If you’re accurately recording treatments, you’ll be able to see this data quickly and decide if she is worth treating.

Recording Health data and the contributing of it to the CDCB (Council on Dairy Cattle Breeding) is the key to getting enough data accumulated for it to be usable industry wide. With the advances in genomics and health traits, recording health data can also help you make genetic progress in your herd. Amelicor offers a simple way for you to authorize your records to be used. You can visit our website for information on authorizing Amelicor to share your herd records with the CDCB.

Working with many DHI-Plus customers, I see a lot of dairy records, and with it I see varying levels of health data recorded. Some do an excellent job recording treatments using the Rx-Plus tool and with it they’re able to monitor transition health items. Focus on the following transition items can be key to good record keeping of health data in your herd:

  • Mastitis
  • Milk Fever
  • Retained Placenta
  • Displaced Abomasum
  • Metritis
  • Ketosis
  • Lameness
  • Pneumonia

Keys to Getting Started

  1. Work with your veterinarian to establish treatment protocols. This is a must. Go through this step thoroughly and set a time to review every 6 months to update and modify the protocols. Techniques and strategies can change and your veterinarian should be a part of the process with you.
  2. Set up standard procedures with the hospital and maternity team for treatment and care for the animals. Provide detailed protocols that are clear for staff to follow.
  3. Establish expectations for recording herd health data with your team. How will the data be recorded into the DHI-Plus software? Here are some options:
    1. Pocket DHI-Plus RFID. Use RFID technology to efficiently record treatments cow-side and sync back to DHI-Plus.
    2. Rx-Plus desktop module. Quickly record treatments into the DHI-Plus software at the desktop using predefined treatment protocols.
    3. Vet check data Input Screen. Record Health comments along with reproductive results.
    4. Health with Macros data Input Screen. Use the power of data entry macros so the data is entered consistently.

Tips in DHI-Plus

Demo - RX Treatments & Event Analysis

 

Health and care of your animals is a priority. Recording accurate health and treatment data is vital to making it happen. If it’s not recorded it didn’t happen.

Watch a DHI-Plus Demonstration on Recording Health Data

 

Amelicor offers training to help dairy producers understand how to use the tools in the DHI-Plus software to record and analyze Health records. One of the better ways to take advantage of the training is by attending the Amelicor Herd and Feed Management Conference every year.

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