Bob Larson with the BCI Pregnancy App

(Dr. Bob Larson) Pen and paper have some advantages, but some real disadvantages. Trying to bring a computer to the chute side had some advantages, but some real disadvantages. With the advent of phone technology and apps, that’s really provided us maybe the best opportunity to marry those two things, in that by collecting pregnancy data at the chute, when we’re collecting whether the cows are pregnant, how far along in pregnancy they are, their body condition, their age, any other descriptor we want to use. We can collect that data chute side with a phone app and with program apps, so you can do most of the analytics that you want done with that data right there, while you’re still collecting information with the cows. The only information that’s required for the app to work is a breeding season start date, a breeding season end date, and how many days the veterinarian thinks the pregnancy is along. This is pregnancy about 90 days, or 95 days, that type of information. That’s the only information that’s required. You get better information back if you provide a little bit more information, such as individual cow ID, her body condition score, her age. By age, I mean age category, heifer, or first-calf heifer, aged cow. If you include that type of information, then, as you get the information back, you can break it down and look at it by those different age categories, or body condition score categories. You get a lot more information if you put more in, but the app actually works pretty well even without individual cow ID. If I just put in every cow’s length of gestation, I can print up a pretty good report on how that herd is doing. One of the things we really wanted to get from the app is real field data, and in the variety of situations that the grantors and veterinarians run into, as far as length of breeding season, how successfully the breeding season is going. One of the things that we ask is, if people are willing, we have a check box; they can share their data with BCI. By sharing their data, they are only sharing the data about the cows, such as the number of days they’re pregnant, their body condition. We are not collecting information about the producer, just about the cows. If they’re willing to share that with us, we think that has a lot of value back to the industry. You can go to the BCI website, and you’ll be directed to where you can find the apps, and it has some additional information there, if you want a little bit more information about how to use the app.

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