Calving Season Recording Tips and Tricks

By Dale Boat, BreedSmart

Calving season is just around the corner, so here are some of my favourite things to utilise through the season.  A few tips on making registration and life in an already busy season that little bit easier. 

Calving books, although simple and inexpensive, used solely on their own create an excessive amount of work at the back end of calving whilst leaving a lot of room for the “human error effect”.

Birth Packs

Whether you are tagging at birth or not until Weaning, Birth Packs are a good way to go. 

Many of you tagging at birth will probably already use these as they are so handy to deal with in the paddock. 

The reason I put them in the “game changer” category is because of what you can do with the “Tag Bucket Files” before calving even starts.

An example (Using Allfex).  Once your order is complete you will receive a tidy little CSV file with your Visual ID, Eid and TSU Barcode (This is also accessible online with your “AF” order number), this is your Tag Bucket File.

Scale heads and Stick readers

For those of you calving on the flats or rolling country that have the capacity to carry your scale heads and stick readers, this is how you can use them more effectively for when it comes to your registrations with ABRI and NAIT.

Uploading your tag buckets pre calving – This means you can simply scan the Nait Tag and the Unit will bring up the Visual ID leaving no room for error.

Weight – If you are using an electronic scale great, but if you are using a manual scale you can still utilise the head unit to store the weight.

Trait/Life Data Fields – Dam/ Sire / Sex / Calving Ease/ DOB and Management Group. 



As software goes Stockbook is my personal and professional recommendation for the Stud Breeder. 

Like your Scale head, Stockbook gives you the opportunity to record all your calving data with a few added benefits.

  • Exporting Calf Registrations to ABRI
  • Registering Active animals with Nait
  • Submitting your DNA to your chosen provider

Upload Tag buckets pre calving.

Stockbook LIVE ENTRY – Record it all in the paddock.  Link up your scale head and Stick Reader via Bluetooth or manually enter your Visual ID and have the EID automatically show

Stockhand APP – If you are marking calves in steeper or wetter country then this could be the way forward for you.  A more manual process at present but no more than a calving book with the added benefits of always having your calving data and animal history in your pocket. 

Importing Data via CSV

If you are happy with your current calving regime then Stockbook will accommodate that too.  If you use your scale head in the paddock then we simply extract that data from the head unit and import into Stockbook.  This still gives you all the added benefits of utilising a software programme manage your herd. This is a very brief outline of a few options that may help going forward into calving.  I fully understand every operation is different and if you would like to discuss in more detail options that could suit your management style better then please give me a call.