The Breed Cycle Manager (BCM) is a special section of the FarmWizard system that manages the breeding calendar for each cow in the herd.  Your FarmWizard Cloud account contains all animals in your herd(s) – female, male, breeding and non-breeding, but only breeding females are added to the BCM.  Normally, a cow is added to the BCM when she first enters the milking herd and is only removed when she stops breeding and leaves the milking herd.

FarmWizard Dairy Managing the Breeding Calendar – Cow Breed States

Cows on the BCM move through a number of breed states as events are recorded:

Dry -> Pre Heat -> Served -> Pregnant

If a cow has a negative pregnancy scan, it will return to the Pre Heat state.

To add an animal to the BCM requires you to enter the freeze brand number (management tag) and set the breed stage (current lactation number).

Adding Cows to the BCM

When purchased cows are brought into the herd, you first add them to the main herd list and then add them to the BCM to start recording breeding events.

Adding Heifers to the BCM

Only heifers that are 12 months of age or older can be added to the BCM in order to record first service events.  FarmWizard makes it easy to add 12 month heifers to the BCM using the last four digits of the ear tag as a temporary brand number.

Removing Cows from the BCM

When a cow stops breeding, you can remove her from the BCM prior to any subsequent sale (“Off” movement).  Removing a cow from the BCM will prevent her from being included in any of the breeding action lists and herd fertility reports.

Methods of Adding Animals to the Breed Cycle Manager

Use Herd Manager > Batch Manager > Batch Update Brand

This method is suitable if you want to update multiple animal records in one session

  1. Use the filter criteria to define the list of animals you want to freeze brand; for example, age range: 14 to 24 months and sex: female. Click the Filter button
  2. When the animals matching the filter have been highlighted, press the Click to Record Event button at the top right of the screen
  3. On the following screen, click Batch Update Brand to display an editable list of the selected animal records.  Enter the freeze brand and the current lactation number for each one.

When you have entered all the cow data, click Update Animals at the bottom of the screen to save the changes

Use Herd Manager > List Herd

This method enables you to add animals one at a time

  1. Optionally click on a grid column heading to sort the animal records
  2. Click on individual official ear tag number in the list. The animal’s details will display to the right
  3. Enter the freeze brand (management tag) and select the breed stage (current lactation number)

Click Update & Add to Breeding Herd

Use Dairy Manager > Breed Cycle Manager > Add Cows

  1. This list will show all cows not currently on the BCM and also all heifers of 12 months age or older
  2. Click on individual official ear tag number in the list. The animal’s details will display to the right
  3. Enter the freeze brand (management tag) and select the breed stage (current lactation number)
  4. Click Update & Add to Breeding Herd

Tip: if you want to add bulling heifers to the BCM with a temporary brand number (the last four digits of the official ear tag), click the button Add all heifers > 12 months with last 4 tag digits at the top of the screen to complete this task in one step.

The Breed Cycle Manager Settings

The BCM Settings control many of the calculations for scheduling future breeding events. For example, when you record a service event, the system will display a possible return to heat date, pregnancy scanning date, dry off and next calving date. These settings are also reflected on Reports > Quick Reports > Brayboard report.

The main settings can be viewed/amended via Dairy Manager > Breed Cycle Manager > Settings.  The default values are as follows:

Parameter Default Value (Days)
Voluntary Waiting Period (VWP) 42
Days Dry 60
Days to Scan 40

 

Adding AI Sires

AI Sires are recorded as semen stocks on the system. When you enter a new AI Sire, you can optionally record a purchase of straws with the cost.

 

Adding a single AI Sire via manual entry

 

1.Go to Dairy Manager > Semen Stock > Add Semen Stock

2.Enter the sire Name

3.Enter the Herd Book Number, if known.
Note: some paper records may prefix the herd book number with the two-digit breed code e.g. “01” for Holstein Friesian – in this case, enter the herd book number without the breed code.
As an alternative to the herd book number, you could enter the NMR/CIS AI Code for the sire, which is usually two letters followed by four numbers e.g. HO3743

4.Select the Breed from the drop-down list

5.Optionally fill in the straw Purchase Date, Quantity and Cost

6.Click Add to save the new record

 

FarmWizard Dairy Managing the Breeding Calendar

 

Downloading AI Sires from HUK

If you are a registered member of HUK and have stored your HUK login details in your FarmWizard accout, you can download a pick list of sires as follows:

  1. Navigate to Dairy Manager > Download Sires
  2. Click on Download bulls from HUK
    download-huk-sires
  3. After a few seconds a pick list of sires will be downloaded. Tick the required sire names and optionally enter a number of purchased straws in the Quantity column
    download-sire-picklist
  4. Scroll to the bottom of the grid and click Add to Sire List to save the new sires on to your herd semen stock list

 

Viewing the AI Sires List

The AI Sires in your FarmWizard account can be viewed by navigating to Dairy Manager > List Semen Stock

semen-stock-list

To amend a Sire’s details

1.Click Select on the required sire record within the data grid. Note: you can scroll through the list of sires page by page using the clickable page numbers in the grey-coloured header and footer of the data grid

2.The sire details will display in the white panel to the right of the screen. Click Update Stock to amend the sire details or amend the quantity of straws

Switching a Sire On/Off

If a sire is not currently in use, you can remove it from the drop down list of sires within the cow breeding screens:

  1. Click Select on the required sire within the data grid
  2. Click Change if used within the panel to the right of the screen
  3. When you refresh the data grid, the In Use? column will show “No”

Sires can be switched on again using the same process.

Adding Live Breeding Bulls

When your FarmWizard data is created, animals on the holding are downloaded from the Government database (BCMS/APHIS). If this list includes one or more breeding bulls, and you want to record natural service events separately to AI services, you will need to amend their core details as follows:

  1. Go to Herd Manager > List Herd and search for the bull record by using the Ear Tag search box and clicking Search
  2. When the bull ear tag displays, click on the official ear tag number
  3. On the right of the screen, click Update Animal Details
  4. Set the Sex to “Bull” and enter an Animal Name
  5. Enter a reason for the update e.g. “setting bull type” and click Update Animal Details

To add a new breeding bull which moves on to your holding at a later date, use the Herd Manager > Add Animal screen.

Methods for Entering Breed Events

Like many software systems, there are several methods of entering data; choose the method that best suits your needs or preferences.  For example, the Quick Links and Batch Manager will often be better for recording breeding events and routine treatments for large, block calving herds.

The main methods of recording breeding events are:

➢Via the Home screen Quick Links. You can type in one or more freeze brand numbers or select from a list to record an event. This is the fastest way to record large amounts of data

➢Via the Herd Manager > List Herd screen.  Use this to enter events for animals on an individual basis

➢Via the Herd Manager > Batch Manager screen.  This is suitable for recording all types of event or action for larger batches of animals

➢Schedule-driven entry via the 7 Day Planner report

➢Via a Smartphone or Tablet computer – this requires a valid license for the mobile App

In more detail:

Home Screen Quick Links

The Quick Links options are useful for quickly entering large volumes of breeding event data, particularly for herds that block calve.

The method of operation is common to all breeding event entry:

  1. Click on the Home screen button for the required event type
    Home-screen-quick-links

2. Select the required animals. This can be done by one of the following methods:

a. Type in a list of management (freeze brand) numbers, each one separated by a comma (,)

b. Use the multi-select list box

c. Use the Group or Year Born filter in combination with b) above to shorten the list of animal IDs in the list box

quick-link-seelct

3. video-playbackClick the Record… button. On the following screen, the matching animal IDs will be confirmed along with boxes to enter the detail of the specified breeding event.

The Herd List (single animal entry)

Breeding events for individual animals can be entered from Herd Manager > Herd List.  Search or select the required brand number and either click on one of the event buttons or click on one of the “Event Due” events on the animal’s breeding history (white background) to record the event detail.

herd-list-enter-events

The Batch Manager

The Batch Manager enables you to select or filter multiple animals to record a breeding event.  The attributes of the the breeding event should be common to all animals that you select in one batch e.g. served to the same bull on the same day.

The 7 Day Planner

The 7 Day Planner accessed from the Reports main menu gives access to single animal breeding entry screens.

  1. For the required Due for… event on the report, click on the scheduled date against the brand number (shown below)
    7-day-planner-dryoff
  2. The animal’s breed history will display to the right of the screen. Click on the event name to move to the data entry screen
    7-day-planner-dryoff-entry
  3. On the data entry scree, complete the detail of the event and click Save

 

The Mobile App

Users with a valid license for the mobile App can enter all breeding events on a Smartphone or Tablet.  For further details or assistance, please contact the FarmWizard Service Desk.