Annual - Breeding Selection

 

Current Stock Evaluation

Analyzing current breeding stock to determine which animals to retain for mating can be accomplished using the following steps in StockManager: 

  1. Setup Group(s) to assign breeding stock to in Group Settings screen

  2. Go to the General Analysis screen and select the animal type

  3. Use filters to select current breeding animal group(s)

  4. Use additional filters to set desired criteria for animals to retain

  5. View counts as filters are applied and adjust filters until you have struck a balance between desired criteria and stock count

  6. Save final filtered animal list to previously setup Group

  7. Setup a drafting event in the Configured Events screen and use this to draft animals based on Group designation

Setup Groups

Taking some time to think through the naming convention for mating Groups pays dividends in the future by enabling:

  • Filtering of animals with the Group designation to collect counts and metrics for the Group that can be used for:

    • Feed analysis inputs (counts and average weight)​

    • General analysis such as average weight gain/day, average weight at future dates (i.e. mating dates), average condition score, etc.

  • Drafting of animals based on Group designation (if mixed with animals in other Groups for feeding)

While each farm is different, many farms choose to setup Groups based on stock class (R1 Heifer, R2 Heifer, Mixed Age Cow) and mating objective (i.e. terminal, maternal, etc.). 

Filtering

Using filters to evaluate current breeding stock follows a few steps. 

  1. Identify the current breeding stock that you want to evaluate using filters

    • Select Animal Type​

    • Select status values that represent animals alive and on farm (Added, Birth, Grazed In, Purchased or Recovered) 

    • Select other attributes that defined current breeding stock you would like to evaluate - this is where Groups come in very handy.

  2. Use additional filters to identify desirable attributes of the animals including:

    • Previous mating results such as scan rate each year

    • Current and historical physical attributes (e.g. weight, condition score, etc.)

    • Pedigree information (e.g. Dam/Sire Group or Tag, Breeder Farm, Stud Farm, etc.)

    • Early 2019 - Group designator based on offspring performance - requires Dam Tag # on offspring record

  3. View counts and adjust filters based on desired stock count.

    • Filtering on strict criteria for desirable animals may leave you with too few animals to breed ​

    • Adjust filters to find the right balance between desirable attributes and stock count

    • Leave a margin of error to be able to physically evaluate the final group of animals during drafting

Save As Group

Once you have finalized the list of animals to breed, simply select the SAVE AS GROUP button which will present a screen with available Group names. Select the one you want and the Group designator will be added to each animal's individual record. You can then use this in the next step to draft these animals out from the previous mating Group using a Configured Event.

Draft on Group

Setting up a drafting event to draft out the selected animals with the Group designator is the next step. Typically, farmers want to have a final physical inspection of animals before confirming that they should be bred. The drafting event configuration shown below captures weight and condition score but only considers minimum condition score along with Group designator for drafting final mating animals. 

The screen below is what is shown for the drafting event configuration shown above once it is started. After weight and condition score are captured, the system will automatically draft the animal Forward if it is in the designated Group and has a condition score of 6 or greater. If not, it will be drafted left.

 

Current Offspring Evaluation

Selecting mating animals from current offspring follows a similar process as above with the following exceptions:

  • Group Names will be different for the Group they get designated to - e.g. Hoggets or R2 Heifers vs Mixed Age Ewes or Heifers

  • The Group is being evaluated will be different - e.g. Potential Replacements vs. Mixed Age Ewes or Heifers

  • There will be no historical breeding data to filter on and little historical physical data