Record keeping is a key element of Beef Quality Assurance and a good business practice in general. A quality record keeping system is one that cattle raisers are comfortable using and that maintains accurate, thorough and timely production records.
Follow these record-keeping best practices.
Cattle identification and its associated contributions to quality record keeping can facilitate many management and production benefits. Individual animal identification is important to track an animal’s performance characteristics, such as reproductive status, growth, health, age, offspring performance, etc.
These performance indicators may be important as cattle raisers make culling, retention, purchasing or breeding decisions. Additionally, an emphasis on animal identification, record keeping and proper handling has supported the beef industry’s excellent control of violative drug residues. Methods of cattle identification include:
- On the hip or shoulder
- Easily identified
- Legal and permanent proof of ownership
- Check brand temperature
- Do not rebrand unless required by law
- Ear tagging
- In the middle rib of the ear
- Include a number that identifies each animal to its group and an individual number unique to that animal
- RFID devices
- Place within the first quarter (from the head) of the animal’s ear between the rises in auricular cartilage
- Securely close the tag
- Use compatible front and back components
- Ear notching
- Leave at least ¼ inch between notches
- Avoid notching too close to the tip of the ear
- Avoid making notches too shallow
Download the Record-Keeping Checklist to anchor your best practices.