Date of Award:
Master of Science (MS)
Animal, Dairy, and Veterinary Sciences
John E. Butcher
A computer program was developed at Utah State University (USU) to aid in obtaining a more complete individual performance record keeping system for beef cattle in Utah. Some computer programs for beef cattle records presently exist but a program was needed that was readily available to the USU animal science extension and resident staff. The program was written in FORTRAN for use on the Burrogh 6700 computer located at the Utah State University Computer Center. It was designed to read input data for individual animals, perform various calculations (i. e. days of age, adjusted weaning weight and weaning weight ratio), print out the input data and results of the calculations for each animal as well as the average adjusted weight for each sex group (heifer, bull, steer). The computer program will manipulate weights in either the English or metric system and will convert weights from the English to metric system if desired. A unique feature of the program is the ranking of animals from highest to lowest based on the weaning weight ratio with accompanying animal number. The records can be evaluated to identify potential animals to use as replacements and those to be culled.
The input data are collected on the ranch by a cooperative arrangement between the ranch operator and the USU Extension Staff. The ranch operator collects the preliminary data such as: birth date, tag number, tattoo number, dam, age of dam, and sire, and records it on the beef cattle performance input record. The extension specialist weights, gives a conformation score and records the information for each calf on the input record. The beef cattle performance input record is arranged in the same order as the data card is key punched thus facilitating the punching of the data cards.
The staff can change from using the desk calculator to the use of the computer to improve efficiency and flexibility output as well as having more time available to spend with the public teaching that maintaining accurate records can help improve their herds for production and for inventory control. This can help the beef cattle industry to improve quality and type of beef animal produced in Utah and should improve the potential efficiency and profit. The rancher can transfer his records, with minor modifications, to one of the existing national computer programming organizations if desired.
This computer program with or without modification has application for current research and university teaching. The computer program was designated for use with beef cattle, but could be modified to use for any class of livestock.
This program is not an end in itself but is a foundation from which to build an improved record keeping system in Utah which could improve the production and quality of the beef cattle industry.
Pierce, John J., "A Computerized Performance Record Keeping System for Beef Cattle in Utah" (1973). All Graduate Theses and Dissertations. Paper 2143.
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