Farmer Review: Hardly a day goes by that I don’t use Herdwatch
| May 11, 2016
Declan Buttle is a suckler farmer in Blackwater, Co. Wexford, where he is autumn calving 50 Limousine x Charolais cows every year and finishes all their offsprings. Declan also runs a small tillage operation as well as being an A.I operator, so free time is a rare commodity in the Buttle household. Thanks to Herdwatch, Declan no longer has to spend his evenings doing farm paperwork.
I would be lost without it
We spoke to Declan almost 2 years after signing up to the Herdwatch App to see how he was getting on with it. Declan told us he registers 50 calves a year using Herdwatch which saves him hours of paperwork and avoids issues. He explained: “I tag the calves and then register them on my phone while the cow is in front of me, there can be no mistakes that way. I would be lost without it.”
Everyone hates paperwork
The last thing anyone wants to do in the evening is face into hours of paperwork but this is the reality for some farmers. “Herdwatch eliminates the need to do evening book work because you can record your remedy use on the go. I tap the dosing records into Herdwatch as the cattle are in the crush, it takes seconds and that way I don’t have to try and remember later what animal got injected or the dose and remedy used”. Recording in Herdwatch also ensures Declan is immediately compliant with Bord Bia and Department remedy recording requirements.
Breeding records are a must when you’re trying to improve your Herd
Declan records all his breeding through the app, starting with the heats of cows and heifers before he plans on bulling them. Herdwatch then reminds him when they are due to be served. Declan explained: “I know when cows are due to be served, so I don’t have to be constantly watching them”. Breeding information recorded is automatically sent to the ICBF. “It is constantly feeding into your Euro-Stars which is so important when you’re trying to improve your Herd”, he said.
Weight recording is critical for a beef man
Declan is a firm believer in weighing cattle and uses Herdwatch to record the weights. The system will calculate the Average Daily Gains of your cattle since the last weighing. He said: “It’s the only way, you will know how they are performing. The beauty of it is that all the information you record in Herdwatch is available to you all the time, and it’s easy to make decisions based on this. Hardly a day goes by that I don’t use it.”
Declan is part of a community of thousands of farmers using Herdwatch, why not join them!