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Test day tip for better ID

Dairy Pipeline: June 1998

Bennet Cassell
Extension Dairy Scientist, Genetics and Management
Virginia Tech
(540) 231-4762; email:

The best time to make sure that accurate identification is entered on lactating cows is on their very first test day. The PCDART for Technicians program (used by almost all technicians in the United DHI area) includes test day report #96, "Identity changes and Animals Entering the Herd", just for this purpose. The list can be run as soon as the test is completed but before data is submitted for processing. Any new cow in the herd or any current cow for which ID changes have been made will appear on the list for a final check. Good identification has several uses in herd management including genetic evaluation of cows and their ancestors, monitoring genetic progress, and inbreeding avoidance when choosing mates. It's a good idea to get in the habit of making sure ID is correct on a cow's first test day. One of the criteria which can be used by other businesses in evaluating the quality of production information in a herd is percent of ID changes in the lactating herd. Electronic data processing systems give producers some good opportunities to improve identification even as herd sizes increase. Test day report #96 is one such opportunity. Use it to your advantage on a regular basis.

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