What does it mean to place an animal on file?
The animal is NOT registered when it is placed on file, but it is saved into our database. An easy way to think about it: the data on the calf is saved in its own file and filed away in our “filing cabinet”. If you so choose, you then can register the animal at a later time.
When filling out the registration application or the columns online as you normally would when registering an animal, instead of putting a “Y” in the Register box, just simply put “N”. This notifies the system to save all the information, but not to register the animal. It does not cost you anything to put an animal on file.
What are the benefits of recording every calf in your herd, even if you don’t register them?
1) By recording a calf (placing a calf on file), you improve the accuracy of the dam and sire’s EPDs. If a breeder annually reports the birth weight, calving ease score, and weaning weight, it provides more information for the sire and dam, allowing the cow herd’s EPDs to be more accurate year-to-year.
2) When you record every calf (place each calf on file), even if you only register a couple head, you will get a truer understanding of how the calves rank and ratio among their contemporaries. Reporting all of the calf data leads to a more complete genetic evaluation, allowing ASA to return better and more informative EPDs to the breeder. This ultimately leads to the development and production of better cattle for tomorrow, the ultimate goal of any breeder.
3) Additionally, whenever you DNA-test animals in your herd, it is easier to track where a test is in the process and check the DNA results yourself if all calves are in the system with an on-file number prior to requesting DNA testing kits. Keep in mind, ASA requires that any animal being genomically tested have an on-file number prior to being tested. Failure to place an animal on file prior to a genomic panel will result in the animal not going through genetic evaluation and being designated as “GE”.
4) A full calving record for every dam provides a more accurate depiction of a cow’s stayability in the herd.
Stayability is arguably the trait with the highest impact on profit for the cow herd. Gaining a more accurate prediction of stayability across all cattle in the herd is vital for continued improvement in this valuable trait. Reporting all calves with accurate removal codes is key to predicting stayability accurately. Reporting data on all calves is free and improves the quality and accuracy of the data submitted to the evaluation. Whole contemporary group reporting should be standard operating procedures for all breeders.