Calf Management Improved with Technology

Calves (and heifers) are the future of your dairy – which is why fine-tuning management early on is critical for their long-term success and productivity.

By marrying calf management and evolving technology you have the opportunity to increase efficiency while improving your current heifer programs and your herd’s overall lifetime performance as referenced in an article by DairyHerd Management.

“Technology makes you think differently and teaches you to approach situations differently,” notes Shawn Miller, Calf Manager at Pagel’s Ponderosa in Kewaunee, Wis. “A once difficult task now is simple as just a few keystrokes.”

Data Analysis

Pagel’s Ponderosa shares how DairyComp has been a ‘game-changer’ for them within their calf management program. It provides both efficiency and better decision-making thanks to real-time health records available at their fingertips.

Using a handheld RFID wand, Pagel’s simultaneously and efficiently collects and inputs data directly into DairyComp. From there, the team can generate lists to efficiently vaccinate young stock.  

Combining Technologies

When combined, technologies have the opportunity to uncover another layer in the management process. Pagel’s use a scale to individually weighs calves at birth, weaning and again at four and five months of age.

The scale uses an RFID reader which helps automatically uploaded weights into DairyComp, where the team can view average daily gain to better understand how calves are performing. This helps them dial in on increasing volume of milk fed and supports more informed culling decisions before a calf reaches six months.

Best of Both Worlds

Marrying technology with the human eye can bring efficiencies, better calf care and improved productivity to your farm. Pagel’s has centered in on the data and technology that offers a strong management system, and still finds value in seeing and walking the rows of calves daily.  

View the apps and technology that Shawn Miller of Pagel’s Ponderosa can’t live without by visiting the full article: Marry Tech with Calf Management