Wonder cow or workability nightmare

With Spring-calved heifers well settled into the dairy, now is the time for farmers to send in their workability reports.

Whether she’s a kicker, a slow milker or a delight to have in the dairy, DataGene wants to know.

This information is vital for the calculation of Milking Speed, Temperament and Likeability Australian Breeding Values (ABVs), and is also included in the three indices – Balanced Performance Index (BPI), Health Weighted Index (HWI) and Type Weighted Index (TWI).

The HerdData App is an easy way for farmers to report workabilities. But workability can also be recorded in Easy Dairy, Mistro Farm or sent to the herd test centre on paper or a spreadsheet.

Sharon and Darren Parrish from Bodalla, NSW have recorded workability traits for more than 20 years.D & s Parrish

“We calve 50-60 heifers at a time, twice a year, so we will have two batches that need to be recorded as they come through the shed.

 “Our on-farm software program makes it really straight forward,” Sharon said. “Once a heifer’s calving date is recorded in the system, 30 days later Easy Dairy automatically flags that the heifer needs to be assessed for the workability traits.

“The heifers’ milking speed, temperament and likeability records are automatically sent to our herd recording service.

“It might seem like extra work but recording Workability and Calving Ease traits gives us information on our herd, while contributing data back on the bulls we have used, which improves the reliability of their ABVs. The figures also mean we can see the genetic progress we are making in our herd because we have accurate, objective data on our cows,” Sharon said.

Click here for a full case study on Sharon and Darren Parrish.

Click here to read a new fact sheet on workability data collection.