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Radale Tiner Radale Tiner

Association Perspective

The power of recordkeeping.

Keeping accurate records in a commercial herd is the best way to advance your herd. Without keeping written records, many times it is difficult to know which cows are the most efficient in their production and performance.

I encourage you to keep records of which cows are having a calf every 365 days and to individually weigh each calf to know which cow is bringing the most pounds to the weaning pens. Once you start keeping and/or culling cows based on this data, you will soon realize that your herd is more efficient. It has been my experience that ranchers become partial to certain cows and make themselves believe that a particular cow is performing well, while not having any documentation to prove this data. Once they have written data, they usually soon realize that they are incorrect in their assumptions.

Even though you might be dealing with a commercial herd, I encourage you to give a permanent identification number (tag or brand) to each cow and properly document her performance. After you have given each cow an identification number and start to document her performance, you can start to see which cows are performing above average or below average. If a cow brings in a lightweight calf several years in a row, you might want to consider culling her from the herd.

In closing, all of this might sound rather simple, but I have found that many commercial breeders do not keep accurate performance records on their herds. If you start a recordkeeping system centered around the simple principles I have mentioned in this article, then you will start to see an improvement in your bottom line.


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Editor’s Note: Regional Manager Radale Tiner covers Region 9, including the states of New Mexico, Texas and Louisiana. Click here to find the regional manager for your state.

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