The task of regular dairy herd mobility scoring is not only a requirement of farm assurance schemes but it also offers management benefits – the process can help to spot cows at earlier stage of the disease. This blog offers three methods of recording and calculating herd mobility statisitics.
DairyCo offer cow mobility scoring sheets that can be downloaded and printed off, but you will have to manually keep count of scores and crunch the numbers i.e. percentage of herd with a particular score.
Capturing the data electronically to a spreadsheet makes it quicker and easier to analyse the herd’s mobility and also share the data with herd health advisers. So here’s a basic method that will allow you to do this. It’s a bit rough and ready, but it’s designed to demonstrate the advantages of mobile data recording and cloud computing. You can record cow mobility scores against a pre-defined list of brand numbers.
Here’s what you need:
- a smartphone or tablet (Android or Apple iOS)
- a copy of the free Kingsoft Office packge (provides spreadsheet software that will run on a mobile device as well as desktop computer)
- a cloud-based data storage account – in this case,Dropbox
The basic mode of operation is as follows:
- Download this Orchid democow mobility scoring spreadsheet to your desktop computer. The spreadsheet is in the Microsoft Office “.xls” format so it can be opened in Excel or Kingsoft Office Spreadsheets
- Amend the spreadsheet with your list of brand numbers and enter the total number of cows where indicated
- Save the spreadsheet to your Dropbox folder so it can be accessed over the Internet
- Install free Kingsoft Office mobile app on your mobile device (named WPS Office) from Google Play or the Apple App Store , depending of the device you are using
- With your device connected to the Internet, run the Kingsoft spreadsheet app and go to “Open” a file. Choose the option for Dropbox. You will prompted to log into your Dropbox account. Once you have successfully connected to your account, choose the mobility scoring spreadsheet
- The spreadsheet can be used “offline” in case you don’t have a mobile Internet signal out in the yard
- Select “Edit” at the top of the screen.
Notice that when you tap on a cell in the “Score” column, you have a drop-down list containing the DairyCo mobility classification scale – 0, 1, 2, 3. (this is done by adding some data validation to the column cells), and it makes data entry on a mobile easier and less prone to errors. You can also zoom the spreadsheet and turn the device to “landscape” to further help usability
- The coloured section at the top right of the spreadsheet will keep count of the number of cows with each score (this makes use of the handy “CountIf” spreadsheet function. The basic statistics will also be calculated, showing the percentage of cows with score 0 or 1
- When your device is connected to the Internet, the spreadsheet will be updated on Dropbox and can be opened on your office computer
- Feel free to change this spreadsheet for your own purposes, or leave us a comment here with any feedback or further ideas
Some dairy cattle management software offer mobility recording along with software functionality for the complete management of the dairy herd – statutory recording, breeding, health and milk production. Some, like Orchid FarmWizard also offer the ability to record cow data on a mobile device.
If you would like to take a closer look at Orchid FarmWizard or discuss your dairy herd software needs, give Orchid a call today on 01536 443300 for a friendly, no obligation chat.