What system is right for you?
Sheep farming includes many different types and sizes of business. You will need to assess your own situation, the location and type of sheep handling facilities that you use and the benefits you want to gain from the use of EID equipment in order to decide which system best suits your needs.
Points to consider when buying electronic recording equipment:
- Think about what you want to use EID equipment for on your farm and what you will use regularly. Only purchase the level of equipment you need in the first instance.
- Ensure that the size of your farming operation justifies the planned investment - consider a basic system that can be added to as you develop and want to get more benefits.
- Increase your knowledge by attending demonstrations and discussion groups and talking to farmers who already use EID recording.
- Consider buying equipment and software from one source which can supply and support the full integration of your chosen system.
- Get independent testimonials on the equipment and the quality of the training and after sales support that the suppliers offer.
- Before buying, give yourself sufficient time to examine the equipment and software in order to gauge its suitability, ease of use and the level of IT knowledge required.
- Think about where you will use it – some liquid displays (LCD) screens are more easily read in the dark or in high sunlight than others; avoid situations where reads might not be good (see below).
- Insist on an instruction manual and take advantage of any training that is made available.
- Buy a reader that meets ISO Quality standards and reads both half duplex (HDX) and full duplex (FDX-B).
- Consider your level of computer knowledge and select software packages that will suit what you want to do - some of the more complicated IT products will require a good level of understanding.
The EID system that you choose must be able to work effectively in your own farming situations.
Equipment is generally made to withstand normal shock, dirt and exposure to water. However, any electronic device has its limitations if it is treated roughly.
Suppliers will be able to provide detailed guidance on how equipment should be used. Asking questions early on can often give you a better understanding of EID and help you deal with any issues that arise.
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