YOU CAN'T MANAGE WHAT YOU DON'T MEASURE
As Jersey producers work hard to improve profitability and increase efficiency, a key management strategy is to identify areas where improvement is needed. At the same time, you are able to identify the areas where your herd is performing well.
What benefit are you gaining from your current herd management system? Is your heat detection system working? What portion of your herd is pregnant at any given time? Which AI technician gets the most cows in calf? Which cows make you the most money? Which cows cost you the most money?
Maintaining a detailed herd management system may seem like a lot of extra paperwork - time spent at the computer (that could otherwise be spent on a tractor) or perhaps you feel that you are collecting a lot of data, just for the purpose of collecting a lot of data.
But recording and using that data could very well help you to identify that hidden “super cow” who catches on the first breeding, calves with no problems, almost always has a heifer, never gets sick, has a low SCC and milks hard every day. These are cows that might otherwise fade into background - but that are no doubt profitable.
Accurate herd records, including breeding and calving details, will make submitting registrations easier for you and the Jersey Canada staff and will also give you confidence in your day-to-day management decisions. After all, you can’t manage what you don’t measure.
Do you have questions? Talk to our Registrar: (519) 821-1020 ext 101.
- Send in hair samples to the office when registering bulls. This is required for the registration to be completed.
- When registering ET progeny, ensure that a flush report on the donor dam is sent to the Jersey Canada office.
- All flush dams must be DNA tested. Animals from the flush cannot be registered until testing is complete.
- If you have received a registration paper that has an error, please forward the incorrect paper back to the Jersey Canada office with notation on what the error is. It will be corrected and re-issued to immediately
- Have you tried our on-line registration? Contact us for your password and instructions.
- All dairy producers in Canada are able to register through their Dairy Herd Improvement program using the ERA program. CanWest DHI and Valacta are set up to help you keep your registrations up to date, and reduce your paperwork.
- If a calf has been born with an abnormality, please complete the Calf Abnormality Report and send it to us for recordation.
According to the Animal Pedigree Act, a breed association sets out their own definition of "Purebred" animals in its bylaws, so long as an established minimum purity level is used. Jersey Canada recognizes a purebred Jersey as any animal, which is at least 31/32 (96.87%) registered Jersey. This means that a minimum of 96.87% of an animal's pedigree traces back to the foundation stock originating on Jersey Island.
The percentage make-up of an animal is calculated as the mathematical average of the two parents. Therefore, the Act permits an animal, which is less than 100% to qualify as purebred, but the actual percentage makeup remains the average of the parents and should not be recalculated.
When importing Jerseys into Canada, it is worthwhile to add one additional phone call to your pre-purchase research. National breed associations in different countries have unique rules for registering animals. Animals may be recorded differently from one country to the next based on their officially recognized level of purity. And the definition of the word “purebred” is likely to vary between countries as well.
When an animal is imported into the Jersey Canada herdbook, she is subject to Jersey Canada’s rules for registration and recordation. It is possible that a purebred Jersey in another country would be an 87.5% Jersey in Canada.
Before closing the deal on a Jersey in another country, make that one additional phone call to the Jersey Canada office. Our office team will be happy to research pedigrees and confirm at what percentage the animal will be recognized in the Jersey Canada herdbook. We’re here to help, and just a phone call away.
Maintaining the integrity of the herdbook is the most important part of the Registrar’s job at Jersey Canada. This means ensuring that calves are registered with the correct dam and sire. We have several policies in place which help to monitor this-including random spot checks and parentage verification for bull registrations, overage females and whenever the sire is in question.
One of the biggest obstacles we’ve had recently is identifying calves that come from pooled semen, reproduction mixes or “Repro-Mixes”. A reproduction mix generally includes the semen of three highly fertile bulls. Sometimes a mixture of beef, Holstein and Jersey bulls is used so that breeders are able to pinpoint the sire by appearance. The reproduction mixes which include three Jersey sires are more popular since they guarantee purebred calves. Calves from these mixes are more difficult and costly to register since the sire must be identified through a microsatellite or SNP genomic test.
Sometimes these calves are registered incorrectly at the time of registration, because only one of the three bulls registration numbers is entered. It is imperative that a calf is identified as having several potential sires when it is being registered. This alerts us to the fact that we should request parentage verification and send out a kit for microsatellite DNA testing or register the calf with an unknown sire so that SNP testing can occur through Holstein Canada. When registering a calf from a "Reproduction Mix", please enter a “dummy” registration number for the sire, such as JECANM99999999, rather than one of the 3 potential sire’s registration numbers. Our computer system will flag the nonsense number as an error and alert me that something irregular is happening. It is also a great idea to name the calf with the 'Reproduction Mix' rather than a bull’s name, so I know which sires are possible. For example, a calf could be named YOURPREFIX REPRO 13 CICILIA to indicate that "Reproduction Mix 13" was used.
Proper identification is the backbone of having registered cows. Without it, the background of an animal is unknown and therefore the ability to predict that animal's genetic performance accurately is impossible.
Prior to registration and before reaching the age of six (6) months, each animal must be completely and permanently identified by tattoo markings. Alternatively, identification can be done by means of electronic identification devices (RFID) or NLID tags in both ears of the animal, whose use has been approved by the Board of Directors.
National Identification Dairy (NLID) or Agri-Traçabilité Québec (ATQ) tags should be used as the primary identification for registration purposes. Animals registered in this way must have one tag in each ear with the same number on them. The number inscribed on the tag will be that animal's registration number. It is not mandatory to tattoo when using NLID or ATQ tags as the primary identification method, in accordance with the by-laws of the Association. These tags are the same for all dairy breeds. Hence mixed herds do not require 2 or 3 different types of tags for each dairy breed.
If an animal loses a tag, please contact NLID or ATQ to order a replacement. A replacement tag will be printed free of charge and sent to you. Replacement tags have the same number as the former (lost) tag.
To ensure the best retention of NLID tags:
1. Place panel or button tag in the centre of the ear, between the two ribs.
2. Place the metal tag on the upper flap of the ear, a short distance from the head, 90 degrees from the edge of the ear, with enough space left for the calf's ear to grow into it.
If tattoo markings are also the identification tool used, the association will allot a set of identification letters and/or numbers for his exclusive use at the prescribed fee. Only one such set may be issued to any one owner.
These identification letters are to be tattooed in the right ear of each animal born his property. In addition, each animal is to be identified by a tattoo in its left ear, consisting of a consecutive number followed by the unique year letter. An allowance for all tattoo markings to be placed in one ear is made in the case where NLID tags are also used. Once an animal has been identified, the same identification may not be used for any other animal of the same breed.
The Canadian Dairy Industry is chock full of acronyms and short forms. Here is a reference list to help you navigate your way through the "cow talk."
Acronym - Meaning (Description)
AAFC - Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (Agriculture Department of the Canadian government)
AGM - Annual General Meeting
AI - Artificial Insemination
AIPL-USDA - Animal Improvement Programs Laboratory - United States Department of Agriculture (The Animal Improvement Programs Laboratory (AIPL) conducts research for genetic evaluation techniques of dairy cattle and goats.)
AJCA - American Jersey Cattle Association (National Jersey Breed Association for the United States)
ATQ - Agri-Tracibilite Quebec (Agency which administers the Quebec dairy cattle identification traceback system)
BCA - Breed Class Average (Milk, Fat and Protein index used by all milk recording programs across Canada)
CCIA - Canadian Cattle Identification Agency (Agency which administers the national animal identification traceback system)
CDIC - Canadian Dairy Information Centre (Internet reference for comprehensive statistics for the Canadian dairy industry)
CDN - Canadian Dairy Network (Provides genetic evaluations for all dairy cattle breeds in Canada)
CFBMC - Canadian Farm Business Management Council (Management resource for farm business managers)
CFIA - Canadian Food Inspection Agency (Government agency dedicated to safeguarding food, animals and plants)
CIAQ - Centre d'insemination artificielle de Quebec (Quebec-based Semex affiliate)
CLGA - Canadian Livestock Genetics Association (Nationwide trade association representing market access and animal health interests)
CQRL - Conseil quebecois des races laitieres (Association representing all dairy breeds in Quebec)
DairyComp - Dairy Management Software
DHI - Dairy Herd Improvement (Milk recording organizations; CanWest DHI or Valacta)
DMI - Dry Matter Intake
EBV - Estimated Breeding Value (Canadian genetic evaluations assigned to dairy animals)
ET - Embryo Transfer
EX - Excellent (Classification category assigned to cows scoring 90-97 points)
EZ-IR - Brand name for NLID ear tags
F - Fair (Classification category assigned to cows scoring 60-69 points)
F - Fat
F&L - Feet and Legs
FA - Foot Angle
G - Good (Classification category assigned to cows scoring 70-79 points)
GA - Gold Production Award (Jersey Canada production award for cows with a composite BCA for fat and protein greater than 625)
GEBV - Genomic Estimated Breeding Value (Canadian genetic evaluations assigned to dairy animals, incorporating genomic data)
GLPI - Genomic Lifetime Profit Index (Primary genetic selection tool used to rank dairy bulls and cows in Canada, incorporating genomic data)
GP - Good Plus (Classification category assigned to cows scoring 80-84 points)
GR - Genetic Recovery (AJCA prefix assigned to a daughter of a PR dam and a known Registered Jersey sire)
HL - Herd Life
Inbr.Coeff. - Inbreeding Coefficient
JMS - Jersey Marketing Service (Marketing arm of the American Jersey Cattle Association)
JPI - Jersey Performance Index (Primary genetic selection tool used to rank Jersey bulls and cows in the United States)
LHO - Ontario Large Herd Operators (Organization dedicated to introducing innovative dairy technology and contributing a larger commercial viewpoint to the dairy industry)
LPI - Lifetime Profit Index (Primary genetic selection tool used to rank dairy bulls and cows in Canada)
M - Milk
MGD - Maternal Grand Dam
MGGD - Maternal Great Grand Dam
MGGS - Maternal Great Grand Sire
MGS - Maternal Grand Sire
MUN - Milk Urea Nitrogen
NAJ - National All-Jersey Inc.
NLID - National Livestock Identification for Dairy (Agency which administers the national dairy cattle identification traceback system)
OA - Original Animal (AJCA prefix assigned to a living female with an unknown Jersey sire, or a dead or unknown female, or the daughter of a Registered Jersey sire out of a J1 female)
OFAC - Ontario Farm Animal Council (Non-profit educational organization)
OMAFRA - Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs
P - Protein
PA - Platinum Production Award (Jersey Canada production award for cows with a composite BCA for fat and protein greater than 700)
PR - Provisional Register (AJCA prefix assigned to a daughter of an OA dam and a known Registered Jersey sire)
RAWF - Royal Agricultural Winter Fair
REG NO - Registration Number
RLRV - Rear Legs Rear View
RLSV - Rear Legs Side View
ROF - Return Over Feed
SA - Silver Production Award (Jersey Canada production award for cows with a composite BCA for fat and protein greater than 550)
SCC - Somatic Cell Count
SCS - Somatic Cell Score
UD - Udder Depth
UR - Unregistered (AJCA prefix assigned to unidentified Jerseys)
VAMPP - Dairy Management Software
VG - Very Good (Classification category assigned to cows scoring 85-89 points)
WDE - World Dairy Expo
PROACTION® AND ANIMAL REGISTRATION
When farms are due for a Food Safety (CQM) validation, their compliance with the Animal Care and Livestock Traceability requirements will be evaluated as well. This means that farmers must meet the mandatory requirements related to traceability: Premises ID, Animal ID and Animal Movement.
Assuming you already have your Premises Identification Number, the next step is recording the animal’s birth and activating the Animal Identification Number (all 15 digits). This means tagging your animal within seven days or before it leaves the farm, whichever occurs first. We often get asked if there are tags specific to Jerseys, as the National Livestock Identification for Dairy (NLID) organization is located at the Holstein Canada headquarters. We assure you that even though you are calling Holstein Canada and you receive your tags from the Holstein Canada Brantford office, they are not just tags for Holsteins, they are dairy tags and can be used on any dairy cow.
We mentioned above that all dairy cattle must be double-tagged with approved NLID/ATQ dairy tags within seven days of birth or before the animal leaves the farm of origin, whichever occurs first. Any calves born on farm and destined for the beef industry may be identified with a single RFID ear tag (approved beef tag), except for provinces that require dual tagging.
There are a few things to know before tagging that might be helpful. The new Ultraflex tags have been improved for retention in both shape and of better material. The pin in your applicator must be GREEN as it makes a difference in tagging ease and securing the Ultraflex tag into the ear. NLID provides the green pin with new or first time Ultraflex orders at no fee, if you did not get one give NLID a call 1-877-771-6543.
Now it's very important to report/activate the tagged animal to the national traceability database within 45 days or before the animal leaves the farm of origin, whichever occurs first. Here is where we can help. If you register your calf with Jersey Canada before it is 45 days old, we will automatically report/activate the animal for you. It’s that simple.
With the exception of the province of Quebec (ATQ), animals can only be reported/activated ELECTRONICALLY through CLTS. So if you prefer paper, or you don’t have access to the internet, we recommend registering your JERSEY calf through Jersey Canada. We can save you the extra step as we are able to report/activate the animal on your behalf. Please send us your registration and ensure you build-in some extra time for the mail (before calf is approximately 30 days old). Again, we will register AND report/activate the animal for you but we must receive the paperwork before the animal is 45 days old.
There is a double bonus with the proAction® reporting window and early registration. We can save you money. The cost to register a Jersey before three months of age is $20 for members ($31 for non-members). While 2016 numbers show that 68% of registered Jersey females are 0-3 months of age, this indicates that there is a ton of room for savings for many breeders - as the older the animal, the higher the registration fee. The proAction® reporting deadline not only serves best management practice, it will save many of our members and non-members between $11 and $56 per animal.
When an animal arrives on your farm, it is YOUR RESPONSIBILITY to report the animal move-in event. You will need to report the 15-digit tag number, the date of the animal’s arrival, your Premises ID, the Premises ID of the farm of departure, and the vehicle (single unit) or trailer (tandem unit) license plate number. Suppose you take an animal to a show and then bring her back home: it is YOUR RESPONSIBILITY to report that she RETURNED to your barn within seven days.
Tag retirement confirms that the animal bearing the unique identification number is dead or exported, in other words no longer active in the national traceability database. Knowing that an identification number is retired saves valuable time that would have been wasted searching for that animal during an animal health emergency. Retired tags must be reported within seven days of the animal’s passing and disposed of onsite or export.
There are also other dairy partners that can help report your animal and activate its tag. These include Valacta, DHI and select brands of herd management software. If you rely on any of these third parties, or perhaps you do not plan to register a particular calf and we cannot help you, please remember it is YOUR RESPONSIBILITY to report the animal to activate the tag to CLTS within 45 days and for Quebec producers to ATQ within 7 days.
All Jerseys are cows, but sadly not all cows are Jerseys.
All thumbs are fingers, but not all fingers are thumbs.
All Silverados are pick-ups, not all pick-ups are Silverados.
All 100% Jerseys are Purebred, but not all Purebred Jerseys are 100%.