The success of a breeding enterprise is determined by good management practices which include four main drivers for livestock profitability.
Profitability can be obtained and optimized by controlling the cost of production for each animal thus increasing the overall economic and productive performances.
Keeping a register, better if digital and always accessible on a livestock management app, can lower the event of data loss or damage and is key to have the farm’s situation under control.
The four drivers for livestock profitability
- Rational use of grazing lands and optimal stocking rate,
- Maintenance of fertility and reproductive health,
- Monitoring and improving animal performance,
- Measuring overall livestock success.
Moreover, care and handling of livestock should adhere to animal welfare practices. Basics measures should be put in place, such as free access to clean water, which aids in metabolism, along with a scientific feed ration formulation procedure that can improve feeding strategies success and lower, in the meantime, the investment in expensive or unnecessary feeds.
In order to be able to gather and analyze all factors related to the livestock’s farming success, it is fundamental to keep records of farm activities, while promoting a better overall animal health status through a rational use of resources and a well thought action plan.
Start by recording and keeping livestock information
- Medical treatments and vaccinations should always be noted down and scheduled for next round, when and if it is due. The farmer should keep record of the medicine used, its dose, quantity and cost.
- Change of status for animals on the farm, especially when purchasing new animals or selling or culling poorly performing farm animals.
- Heat, pregnancies, births, abortions and fecundation success, allowing to scope the best reproduction strategies, for example which bull is more prolific, and which cows are in a better place for pregnancy. Moreover, these data allow to track back the genealogy of newborns.
- Newborn's care and growing strategies, from lactation to weaning to the first solid feed rations.
- Costs and expenses of any activity on the farm regarding animal management.
Having a well-kept, complete and trustable records register can improve the farms’ creditworthiness and ease, for example, the process of procuring loans from the bank to purchase farm implements.
Improved productivity is the ultimate goal of each livestock breeder
Albeit, setbacks brought about by unforeseen circumstances such as drought and other natural disasters can occur. Therefore, as livestock farmers, to improve production, it all depends on skills and livestock management expertise gained over the years.
This incorporates both livestock and crop cultivation. Hence, to optimize production costs and be more resilient to unforeseen events, the practices described in this article are critical.
To sum it all up, the success of a farm lies in the hands of the farmer. Hence, let us practice sustainable agriculture and breeding, allowing optimal use of resources through the best livestock management methods.