There are many records that you have to keep on your ruminant farm among which is Date records which will show the date the animals were purchased, Birth Date which will show when any animal was born, Wean date which shows the date any of your animals was weaned, Death date which will show your mortality record when any animal was killed. etc.
There should also be vaccination and treatment records where every vaccination or treatments given to your animals will be recorded, mortality record which is where any animal that died will be recorded, mating record which will show the date the animal’s mate, financial records which shows the financial expenses and implications of the ruminant farm. etc. all these records are necessary so that you can know the state of your animals and the farm at all time.
Also as much as possible, visitors should be discouraged from having access to your ruminant farm. This is to prevent spread of diseases from other ruminant farms to your ruminant farm. Your sales point should not be close to your production site. If visitors must enter your farm for whatever reason then provision must be made for proper disinfection before they are allowed access to your farm.
Record keeping is a necessary element of good livestock business management in any ruminant farm. With no written records, farmers have to depend on their memory while making decisions regarding their farm practices. But, memories can become unreliable after a few days, months or years.
Thus, recording of the performances of the animals can be done easily if animals have some identifications / numberings. Thus, both animal recording and identification are always required. There are several useful records such as production and financial transactions in the dairy enterprise.
If we know what is happening on the dairy farm we need to maintain some useful farm records. Farm records are like the progress report cards students get at school. If farmers have farm records, they can tell how well they are managing their farm in comparison to other farmers.
They can also see the strengths and weaknesses in their farm operations. It is also important to have accurate facts and figures when borrowing money, seeking government loans and tax returns.
Advantages of livestock (Ruminant Farm) record keeping
- Aids in determining the inflow and outflow, in economics terms, of the ruminant farm.
- Helps in setting proper pricing for animals which has to be sold at the auction.
- Provide insights for designing better breeding plans.
- Supports in overall farm management.
- Assist in the formulation of economic feeding approaches in order to improve company’s production.
- Track record of disease allows to discover unusual animal conditions.
- Offers basis to evaluate and select the animals ready to be slaughtered.
- Provide history of counteractive measures taken in the previous years in emergency situation, such as vaccines used to treat animals affected by diseases.
- Provides a comparison between different year’s profit/loss allowing to to set future objectives for the farm.
- Useful to verify the effectiveness of the work carried out within the farm.
- Useful to calculate approximately the cost of production.
Types of farm livestock record keeping and their uses.
- Animal identification records: such as identification number, tag numbers,date of birth, sex, calving date, date of purchase, date of death etc.
- Calving report: such as calf number, sex and date of birth and any other remarks (father and mother etc.).
- Milk yield records: Records daily milk yield of each cow.
- Growth records: Record the weight of animals at different periods.
- Feeding records: Records the type and amount of feed available and given to animals with associated costs.
- Health and treatment records: Record of diseased animals and their history, signs, identified disease, treatment and veterinarian information.
- Breeding records: Records breeding practices on the farm including: failure and successful breeds.
- Animal History records: Records all information related to individual animals on the farm.
- Financial records: Records financial aspects of the farm (Sales, expenses, information about the price of milk, feed, vaccines etc.)
Here are some interesting ruminant animal books to guide you: