Farm Software for Sheep Flocks

Hardware and software for sheep management using electronic identification (EID)

Orchid offers a range of easy-to-use sheep EID tag reading and recording systems for pedigree and commercial sheep enterprises.  We recognise that many sheep farmers are new to using technology and our carefully selected farm software solutions come with full UK helpdesk support.

Our solutions are designed to cover a range of needs from simple statutory Flock Register maintenance through to full sheep performance recording.

Electronic sheep tag readers for easy cross compliance recording

Why Scan Tags? 

From 2015 all your lambs destined for slaughter at under 12 months age will require the single yellow EID slaughter tag. This will display your flock mark on the outside, but the tag chip will hold a full individual number. Sheep from the historic flock will also need full EID unless they are going direct to slaughter.

Even though other individuals or organisations (like CPRCs) may be scanning the electronic sheep tags when your animals are moved, you alone are responsible for the accuracy of your Flock Register.  Any errors can lead to Cross Compliance penalties if you have an inspection.

There is a consensus building within the UK sheep industry that flock masters should safeguard the accuracy of their Flock Registers by scanning EID tags themselves as sheep move on and off their holdings.

By scanning these numbers and keeping the list as a print-out or on computer spreadsheet , you are protecting the accuracy of your Flock Register fromm errors arising from CPRCs or others scanning your tags and notifying ARAMS.

This stick reader is used by small flocks where there is a basic need to scan and download a list of scanned sheep tags to a spreadsheet e.g. Microsoft Excel.  This reader has the following features:

  • Stores 5000 records
  • 12 hours consecutive working on 4 x AA batteries (high power recommended)
  • IP65 waterproof standard rating
  • Compatible with HDX and FDX-B sheep tags
  • Reading distance approx. 20cm for FDX, 25 cm for HDX tags
  • Audible beep emitted for successful tag scan
  • Data transfer via Bluetooth or USB to a Microsoft Windows PC
  • Dimension = 70cm x W =6cm

The Tru-Test XRS electronic sheep tag reader is a robust and easy-to-use stick reader (also known as a wand reader) from one of the world leaders in livestock identification systems.

This reader is used by small to medium sized flocks that simply want to record lists of sheep tags and manage these records with hard copy print-outs or spreadsheets.

  • Comfortable to use for long periods with a lightweight balanced design
  • Keep going with up to 19 hrs battery life
  • Reads HDX and FDX-B tags
  • Fast tag reading with feedback through vibrating handle
  • Record multiple lists of sheep tags
  • Free farm software to download recorded information to your Windows PC
  • Alert on specific animals such as those in a withholding period
  • Customisable data field to record additional information e.g. ewe condition scores

An increasing number of farmers are carrying a smartphone in their pocket.  These devices put an amazing amount of computing power at your disposal.  Why not make use of this powerful device to help you keep your sheep movement records compliant?

What is the Orchid FarmWizard Android App and how does it work?

The Orchid App reduces the cost of EID sheep movement recording by utilising the Android smartphone that you may already have in your pocket.  You simply use it’s Bluetooth (wireless) data link to record tags which have been scanned by a Bluetooth-enabled stick reader.

First, Orchid will set up you sheep online farm software account on our central server computers. Next, simply download the free sheep App from the Google Play store.  This gives you a simple set of touch screens to record animal purchases, sales, and deaths.

Your Android smartphone or tablet uses its wireless Bluetooth connection to record tag numbers that have been scanned with a Bluetooth-enabled stick reader. Your Android device holds all the recorded information and doesn’t need to be connected to the Internet while you are working outside.

What’s included with this Orchid farm software for sheep Flock Register recording?

  • Choose the PTS stick reader or the Tru-Test XRS stick reader
  • Easy-to-use App for Android smartphone or tablet recording while working outside
  • Online farm software account subscription for 12 months including access to Orchid’s helpdesk via telephone and email (charged at normal UK landline call rates)

Optional extras include:

Benefits of keeping electronic sheep tag lists on your computer (without farm software)

  • Work with your animal IDs using any spreadsheet program e.g. Microsoft Excel
  • You can upload a list of tags when creating a new movement on the ARAMS online Registration Portal
  • You can use your list of scanned tags to cross check a list produced by a CPRC so that any discrepancies can be dealt with quickly
  • The tag lists can be copied and pasted into your own electronic Flock Register or the one provided by DEFRA
  • You can add further columns to the spreadsheet to record additional basic management information

Electronically recording and storing electronic sheep tags means that you will improve the speed and accuracy of your sheep movement recording. When you are ready to step up to flock performance recording, your Bluetooth stick reader is compatible with Orchid’s cloud-based farm management software that uses a mobile App to record data using EID.

Using EID for Sheep Performance Recording

EID gives you a valuable tool for improving your flock performance.  But there’s no point in recording lots of data if you’re never going to use it!

If you want to start off using EID for basic performance recording, electronic weight recording of lambs during the season will give you valuable management information to improve the profitability of your prime lamb enterprise.  Weighing ewes at key times of the year can also be useful alongside condition scoring.

Regularly weighing lambs during the season can help you meet buyer specifications more accurately and monitoring daily liveweight gain also give you an indication of any management or animal health problems.

Orchid’s range of weighing equipment and farm software for sheep offers an easy way to record lamb weights.

sheep-app-and-stick-reader

Orchid offers complete weight recording systems via it’s range of Tru-Test sheep weighing equipment and easy-to-use mobile farm software.  Access and record sheep weights and movmenents from anywhere using an Android smartphone.

Orchid offers a range of EID-based weighing systems from world-leaders, Tru-Test.  The use of Bluetooth (wireless) enabled equipment enables you to set up and record weights fast without farm software.  Just connect your loadbars to the Tru-Test weigh indicator and start weighing.

We offer the Tru-Test XRS stick reader, which can use a cable or Bluetooth link to the Tru-Tes EziWeigh 7 indicator. When the EID tag is read, the tag number is wirelessly sent to the weigh indicator which records the animal’s weight against the tag.

The EziWeigh 7 will show you on-screen statistics for a particular weigh session e.g. number of animals weighed, average weight and liveweight gain.  This data can also be downloaded to a PC using the free Tru-Test EziLink software.  Weigh data can then be analysed in a spreadsheet program like Microsoft Excel.

Check out our video review:

Orchid FarmWizard for sheep offers a modern, easy-to-use way to electronically record weights from a Tru-Test weigh indicator or via manual entry.

The Orchid software isn’t simply a smartphone App. Weights are wirelessly transferred over the Internet to your own, secure cloud-based flock software. Farm management benefits include:

  • Record weights quickly on your smartphone or tablet with no difficult set up or cables. Just connect your loadbars, open the App and start weighing
  • Access your online flock data from any computer that’s connected to the Internet (PC or Mac)
  • Create custom reports and graphs e.g. for daily liveweight gain. A drop in lamb liveweight gain can alert you to potential management or health problems before they start costing your money.
  • Import Kill Out data from abattoirs so you can see the performance of different batches of lambs

Check out our sheep weighing video using our Android App:

Other EID recording functions on our Android App include:

  • animal purchases, sales and deaths
  • lambing events – link ewes to lambs at birth or weaning
  • medicine treatments
  • ewe conditions scores

But the Orchid sheep recording package isn’t just a standalone App, unlike other products on the market

Your Android device holds all the recorded information and doesn’t need to be connected to the Internet while you are working outside.  Information recorded using the farm Android App is seamlessly transferred via the Internet to your secure online sheep software account “in the cloud”.

When you login from any computer (PC or Mac) that’s connected to the Internet, you will be able to view your updated movement book and print off your own custom lists and reports.   If you can browse a Website, you won’t have any difficulty with the Orchid software.

Orchid’s farm software provides further management functions to help you run your sheep enterprise more efficiently and profitably:

  • Farm Assurance recording – medicine book
  • Sort and group animals and produce custom reports for more efficient management
  • Import Kill Out information using electronic data files from processors like Dunbia and ABP
  • Keep pasture records – record inputs of fertilizers, manures, sprays and record soil analyses. Also includes mapping functions.

The Orchid flock software package includes everything in the Basic Performance recording package, but also allows you to analyse breeding performance and rank ewes and rams over several seasons.  This information will help you to make more informed breeding decisions for your flock.

For further information about sheep software recording with Orchid FarmWizard, give our team a call today on 01536 443300 or submit our enquiry form. Free software trial available.

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