The Beef Cattle Institute (BCI) at Kansas State University has released a Pregnancy Analytics app that is available for download for Apple or Android devices. This tool will allow easy chute-side data collection at the time of pregnancy diagnosis – and will immediately turn preg-check data into easy-to-read charts and tables for enhanced work-up of lower than desired breeding success, identification of additional efficiency when overall breed-up is good, and improved communication between veterinarians and cattle producers.
Veterinarians know that being able to visualize the percentage of a cowherd that became pregnant each 21-days of the breeding season can provide important information to identify the contributing causes for a lower than desired breed-up by identifying periods of time within the breeding season when breeding success was decreased. In addition, by evaluating the breeding season success for cows grouped by age, body condition, or other description, the veterinarian can identify not only “when” breeding was less successful, but “which types of cows” were less successful. Until now, collecting and evaluating preg-check information while at the chute has been difficult.
The only data required by the Pregnancy Analytics App are the dates for the start and end of the breeding season and an estimate of the fetal age for each cow’s pregnancy. Even herds that do not utilize individual cow identification can gain valuable insight into the herd’s reproductive performance by utilizing the App. Additional information such as cow id, cow age, body condition score, and breed (or other descriptor) can be collected to enhance the value of the preg-check information.
After entering preg-check data, the App automatically creates several very helpful graphs that show what percentage of the herd became pregnant each 21-day period of the breeding season, as well as the percent of the cows within each body condition and age category that became pregnant each 21-day period. In addition to evaluating the percentage of the herd that became pregnant each 21-day period, another important calculation is the percent of cows available for breeding that became pregnant each 21-days. As the breeding season progresses, the number of cows within the herd that are open and have the opportunity to become pregnant should steadily decrease as more cows become pregnant, the App provides several tables that display the percentage of cows that are open at the start of each 21-day period that became pregnant during that period.
The graphs and tables that are automatically generated can be emailed to the veterinarian and producer. The complete data set can also be emailed as a spreadsheet file for further analysis on a computer. The spreadsheet includes all the data entered chute-side as well as projected calving dates. Combined with information about: the timing of births in the calving season preceding the breeding season, bull breeding soundness examinations, environmental and forage conditions, and management during the breeding season, the graphs and tables generated by the Pregnancy Analytics App are a powerful diagnostic tool to assist veterinarians improve reproductive efficiency of beef herds.
Each veterinarian can decide whether to share the cow data with BCI or not. No herd identifiers are available to BCI - so even if the preg-check data is shared, neither the veterinarian nor the producer can be identified. If the cow information (% pregnant, % with each body condition, starting date for breeding season, etc.) is shared with BCI, the herd’s data are compared to a benchmark created from all the submitted herds or a benchmark of the herds submitted by that veterinarian or clinic. If you choose not to submit the data to BCI, the App works the same, but there is no benchmark for comparison. The Beef Cattle Institute greatly appreciates the value of herd-level, anonymous, aggregated data from many herds across the country and we think that this information will generate very valuable teaching and research statistics that we will share with veterinarians and beef producers. This approach allows us to gather information from a wide variety of production settings rather than relying on data from a few research herds.
Learn more on the K-State BCI website.