Achieving those benefits
How electronic recording enables you to achieve these benefits.
- It saves having to write down individual IDs, dates and activities. This means that information can easily be collected on large numbers of animals, quickly and more accurately. It reduces the levels of mistakes and paperwork used in animal movement records/medicine books etc.
- There is no need for direct animal contact to achieve accurate identification. This means that IDs can be collected without the need to read the ear tags manually, increasing speed and safety for those involved. Health and safety risks can be reduced even further by using a data reader with an automated weigh scale / shedder.
- The IDs and management information can be loaded directly onto your computer, reducing the time spent on transcribing information into your flock book, computer or other resource.
- Farm management software lets you analyse the data you’ve collected, giving you the management information on which to base decisions relating to flock performance.
- EID gives you the opportunity to have all the information at your fingertips – a data reader held near to the EID tag gives access to all of the stored information relating to that particular animal. This can be particularly useful with respect to drug withdrawal periods as lambs reach finishing. In some cases information can also be linked to your smart phone.
- EID reduces labour costs significantly as more animals can be managed effectively by less people. The combination of automated equipment with EID offers the ability to automatically identify animals as they come through a handling system, so that more animals per hour can be weighed and sorted. This can be a major benefit to extensive farming systems.
- EID increases the opportunity to run ewes and lambs through electronic weigh crates more frequently than would be possible manually, allowing you to keep an eye on the condition of ewes after weaning and lamb weight gain. Any ewes that do not regain condition may have a long term issue, and lambs which are not hitting target weights can be checked for health problems, such as worms or footrot.
- EID allows sheep farmers keeping large flocks which are regularly moved between holdings to record movements quickly and easily and to keep track of where individual sheep have been.
- The improved information flow enables you to make more objective and timely decisions thus improving performance of your flock and business.
EID offers lots of opportunities. The key to using it effectively is not making it too complicated and using the technology to the level that you can see a benefit and return from, beyond what is required for simple identification purposes.
Next on Using EID: Types of equipment