Farmers who have enrolled in the National Dairy Beef Welfare Scheme and/or the Suckler Carbon Efficiency Programme (SCEP) are urged to remember the importance of recording and submitting calf weights to the Irish Cattle Breeding Federation (ICBF) no later than November 1, 2023.
For both schemes, it is imperative that farmers weigh eligible calves using weighing scales registered with ICBF and promptly submit the recorded weights to ICBF within seven days of the weighing, with the final deadline being November 1.
Tips for Weighing Cattle
Ensure Adequate Assistance: Always have someone available to assist, as it may require two people to lift the scales.
Proper Setup: Position the scales at the front of the cattle crush on a level surface, ensuring the cables are neatly tucked away, and protect the monitor from potential livestock damage.
Using the Monitor:
- Turn on the monitor by pressing the power button.
- Verify that the screen displays a reading of zero. If not, press and hold the 'zero' button until zero appears on the screen.
Calibration Check: To verify the accuracy of the scales, it's advisable to perform a calibration check.
- Place a test weight at one end of the platform and record the weight.
- Move the test weight to the other end of the platform and record the weight again. There should be no more than a 1kg difference between the two readings.
During Cattle Weighing:
- Ensure that the handling facilities are secure and stable before weighing each animal.
- Make sure the animal's full weight is applied to the scales, and no other animals are adding weight during the measurement.
- After finishing with the equipment, it is recommended to clean and disinfect the scales.
Recording your weights through Herdwatch:
Herdwatch is a livestock management app that eliminates paperwork and allows farmers to make better decisions around their livestock.
Due to the mandatory actions that farmers must adhere to within SCEP & the Dairy Beef Welfare scheme, Herdwatch can help make your life easier by simplifying the recording of weights for calves and cows.
Herdwatch has a live link with ICBF, which means any information on your ICBF account such as milk records, weights, EBI or Euro-Stars, past breeding records, AI technician serves will flow seamlessly into your Herdwatch app and vice versa.
Farmers can easily record weights using the app and access detailed weight reports in the management section, these weights will then be sent to ICBF and ensure full compliance for both the SCEP & Dairy Beef Welfare schemes.
Additionally, farmers can also record the body condition score (BCS) of their breeding cows and heifers within the app, providing valuable insights into the health and well-being of their animals.
To record weights:
- Click on ‘performance’;
- Tap on the orange plus button;
- Select ‘Weight Recording’;
- Edit details – next;
- Input the weights and click ‘save’.
Herdwatch can help farmers can optimise their livestock management processes, reduce paperwork, and benefit from streamlined decision-making and compliance.
If you would like to make your National Dairy Beef Welfare Scheme and/or the Suckler Carbon Efficiency Programme (SCEP) journey easier, join over 20,000 farmers using Herdwatch today by getting in touch now and save up to three hours every week on paperwork.
Get started on Herdwatch today in minutes:
- Step 1: Download the free Herdwatch app by clicking here;
- Step 2: Select your farm type and create your FREE account
- Alternatively, visit herdwatch.ie for more information.