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How Irish Farmer, Shane O’ Neill, saves time on calf registration this spring

Diarmaid O'Connor

| Cattle & Dairy | General

| Jan 15, 2024

farmer touching a calf

As 2024 begins, it’s time for many farmers to start thinking about the impending spring calving season. The last thing any farmer wants to do in the evening is face into hours of paperwork, whether it is for calf registrations or animal remedy compliance, but this is the reality for many farmers.

This is no exception for Cork farmer, Shane O’ Neill. Located in Skibbereen in West Cork, Shane operates both a commercial and pedigree suckler to weanling system mainly consisting of Belgian blues, Limousin and Charolais breeds. Shane, like many others, faces the challenge of balancing a full-time job with the demanding tasks of farm management, Shane relies on the Herdwatch app to transform tedious tasks such as calf registration into swift, efficient processes.

“Calf registration with Herdwatch is a breeze. Even at 4 o’clock in the morning if I am in the yard, I can grab my phone, input the tag number, and register the calf in seconds.”

Shane registers his calves using Herdwatch and carries out DNA testing on the farm. He explains the simplicity of Herdwatch allows him to register each calf whilst also inputting any pedigree information that may be used for DNA sampling and record keeping. Furthermore, this information can be fed across to ICBF and any relevant schemes you may be a part of reducing the need to input the data elsewhere. To further expedite farm paperwork, Herdwatch allows farmers to register calves in batches, ensuring a quick and efficient practice.

Bord Bia records

Beyond calf registrations, Shane emphasises the invaluable role Herdwatch plays in his Bord Bia audit preparation. With the ability to record remedies and feed purchases instantly, the app ensures Bord Bia quality assurance compliance.

Previously, Shane’s medicine recording was all done with pen and paper, which he noted was extremely time consuming and inefficient. Not keeping on top of his record keeping was the main cause of worry for Shane around his Bord Bia audit. “Now I can do it straight away on my phone” he explains. With the camera scanning feature, Shane simply scans the remedies onto his phone and creates instant records. Commenting on the ability to batch dose animals, Shane explains how he put the calves into a group on the Herdwatch app and in “one click of a button you have all your calves there and the app will take the dose out of your cabinet, there’s no need to be worrying about withdrawal dates, it’s all there”.

“When the auditor calls, it’s then only a matter of running all my reports on Herdwatch which are fully compliant with Bord Bia.”

Movement certificates

For dairy farmers involved in selling calves this spring, Herdwatch offers a time-saving solution for movement certificates. Applying for movement certs is as simple as selecting the animals for sale, entering the buyers herd number, and securing the movement cert directly from the Department using Herdwatch on your phone, right from the yard.

Herdwatch will take your farm management to the next level as it can do a lot more than just simplify your farm compliance paperwork:

  • Track your herd/flock performance (weights, milk, scoring, sales and purchases);
  • Breeding management in your hand.
  • Map your farm and manage your paddocks.
  • Farm job management and picture records.
  • Buy and sell animals to a trusted farmer network online.
  • Pre-audit checks and customer rewards.
  • Add multiple users/devices to spread the workload.
  • World-class support and regular updates included.
  • Saved to the cloud to keep your records safe.

How can I get the app?

You can join the Shane and over 21,000 other farmers on Herdwatch by downloading the app and say goodbye to farm paperwork once and for all. To get started on Herdwatch, click here to download the app from App store of Play Store call us in Roscrea on; 050534400, or visit www.herdwatch.com for more information.

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