I was explaining to my co-worker, Kathy, the other day that we have put our cattle records into a Google Docs format. She suggested this post. I personally think she’s reminding me I need to keep putting something on here and knows I tend to not keep it up. 🙂 Anyway, I thought I’d share a bit of how our family is using technology to keep some of our records.
During the weekend following Thanksgiving we finally convinced Mike he should upgrade his phone to an i-Phone. Chris, Jesse and I have all had them for awhile now and we wanted to be able to share information more easily. That and Mike’s phone didn’t want to hold a charge and got overheated in his pocket a couple of times. So, we convinced him that we would better utilize the phones if he’d jump on ship with us.
I know, I know, we all didn’t need the same brand of phone to make Google Docs work but there are other things we share that did require us to be on the cloud together.
Anyway, we AI between 50 and 75 cows for spring calves each year. We usually have a paper copy of the calving chart on our fridge, on my father-in-law’s fridge and an extra copy in the garage on the freezer. What do you suppose the chances are that all of those are going to be updated so I can properly record calving dates, sex of calves and any special notes we might need on the delivery? Yeah, about as good a chance of us having just the right amount of rain at just the right times all summer long. So, now the only paper copy is at father-in-law’s house. We’re not quite ready to bring him that far into technology.
Now, when we are checking calves every 3 hours around the clock, we can simply type in a note on the Google spreadsheet by the cow’s id. If cow Z57 calves at midnight, Mike can type it in so that Chris will know when he does the 3 am check that the calf was already around at midnight. He knows it should be dried off and able to get around. And he also knows who the calf should belong to in case there’s another momma trying to claim it.
We have found the Google docs to be very effective when the guys remember to use it like it’s intended. Yes, it takes a little time to learn to do it but I do believe it will be a tremendous time saver in the end.
We also have Google docs for fall calving and semen tank inventory. I can picture us putting in working details in the future. The next generation is bringing us up to speed and I, for one, am thankful.
Here are some of my favorite pictures from last weekend at the MO AGR Classic Heifer Show. I didn’t get to go to the Steer Show on Sunday as there was too much work to do here at home for all of us to go, so Chris and I stayed home and worked here while Mike and Jesse and Brittany went to work at the show.