In order to provide our clients with the most accurate and relevant information, we gather a great deal of data on every single animal.
As in previous years, every calf, (this year we will have 1,581 calves!) will be weighed, recorded as male or female, tagged with a lifelong NLIS tag plus their dams’ tag, all on the day they are born.
This year, we will also be undertaking measurements for mothering ability.
Charlotte French, an Agriculture student from The Royal Agricultural University, Cirencester, UK, is living and working on the farm with us for her six month placement. During this placement Charlotte will also be undertaking her dissertation.
After much research and discussion, Charlotte has decided to undertake a study to ascertain if there is a relationship between mothering ability and weaning weight.
In order to do this, Charlotte has a lot of data to gather. Firstly, with the help of the cattle yards crew, Charlotte has a condition score, prior to calving, on all the females. When these cows calve, we will also give each female a mothering score.
We will be recording a score of 1 to 9 (5 optimal) score for the mother’s behaviour to her calf and another score that measures the behaviour of the mother to us as we handle her calf.
When all the calves are weaned in January, we will send this information to Charlotte and she can get to work to find any correlations or interesting information that comes out of the study.
All year round, we record information on all of our cattle. We do this to ensure that we are producing genetics that will improve the profitability of our clients, right through the production chain.