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HomeBeefVIDEO: How this suckler farmer/AI technician is simplifying breeding management
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VIDEO: How this suckler farmer/AI technician is simplifying breeding management

Simplifying breeding management

Tom Groome, a suckler farmer and AI technician from Rhode, Co. Offaly, has been using an app to simplify his breeding management for over 7 years.

Tom also works as an AI technician. “I would have a lot more beef customers than dairy farmers, but dairy does huge numbers.”

“It’s very busy from April 10th right up to the first week in July. After that, it starts to taper off,” he said.

When asked how he simplifies his own breeding management using the Herdwatch app, Tom explained:

Pre-breeding heat detection is key

“The aim is to get dairy cows cycling by 42 days after calving and suckler cows between 50 – 55 days.”

“The first step in this process is to make sure you have a way of recording what cows have started cycling and what cows have not.”

Tom, and a lot of his customers, record their heat detections in Herdwatch for a month before the cows are due to be served.

“This way, the app will notify me of what cows are due in heat and so I can keep an eye out for them. It is particularly helpful because sometimes it can be hard to see if the tail paint has been rubbed off a cow’s back.

It’s handy because it will also show what cows haven’t come back into heat yet”

Farmers who are synchronising heifers can also keep a simple record of the drug protocol used by entering the details into the animal remedies section in the app!

Recording AI serves on the spot

The ‘Watchboard’ sends alerts directly to Tom’s phone when a cow is due to be served. Tom records the serve into Herdwatch as it happens and then gets a reminder for any repeats.

“On day 20 after serving, the Herdwatch app will notify me to keep an eye out for repeats. From that point of view alone, it’s absolutely brilliant.”

Automatic syncing with the AI technician handheld

Tom’s customers don’t need to record their serves into Herdwatch because the app syncs automatically his AI technician handheld which saves them double recording.

Live link with ICBF

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.

Pregnancy scanning

Later in the year when it comes time for scanning, “I can put my scan results into the Herdwatch app and they are then transferred to ICBF.”

“Or if I’m scanning for one of my customers, I send them to ICBF and they automatically appear back on Herdwatch.”

“The magic of Herdwatch is that I can then look at the reports which show what cows are in calf and when they are due. It also tells me what cows are not in calf if I need to make any decisions there.”

Farmer Life C

On his own favourite suckler cows

“The blues off the Friesian cows have lots of milk, and they breed great stock.”

“I also have some Simmentals here, and they are good ‘milky’ cows; that’s the way I like them. If you don’t have milk, you won’t have good calves; they won’t weigh,” he added.

Calf weights can be recorded in Herdwatch and will be automatically updated into ICBF.

The app will also show average daily gains per animal and per group so you can keep an eye on how calves are performing.

Calf registrations, movements & much more 

Tom also makes great use of the app during the calving season

“It is absolutely brilliant, and you would have a calf registered in less than 30 seconds.”

“I could be down in the shed calving a cow, and I would have the calf registered (in Herdwatch) before I got back up to the house.”

“You then get the ‘blue card’ two or three days later in the post, and that’s that job done and dusted.”

It’s the same for Tom’s movements “I also use it to move animals from one herd to another in no time at all, it’s so easy.”

Tom also uses Herdwatch for keeping all of his medicine & feed records for his Bord Bia Quality assurance inspection.

Herdwatch is a simple app to eliminate farm paperwork and make better decisions. Based in Roscrea, Co. Tipperary, they are approved by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and fully compliant with ICBF & Bord Bia.

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

  • Track your herd/flock performance (weights, milk, scoring, sales and purchases);
  • Full medicine compliance;
  • 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, Forever

How can I get the app?

You can join Tom Groome and over 18,000 other farmers on Herdwatch by downloading the app and say goodbye to farm paperwork once and for all.

To get started on Herdwatch, download the app from App Store or Play Store, call: 050- 534400, or visit www.herdwatch.ie for more information.

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