Cow Sense Quick Tips


Run New Cycle/Current Cycle Updates

Data Entry


Updating your Cow Sense products:

If you have a connection to the Internet, there is an efficient way to make sure you have the latest program updates installed on your computer.

To check for the latest update to Cow Sense, open Cow Sense and click Help > Cow Sense Support > Update Cow Sense. An information box will appear on your screen, Click YES to continue. The MicroFTP Tool control panel will appear and you should Click Launch MicroFTP to continue. The MicroFTP tool will now initiate your dial-up connection to the Internet.

If your version of Cow Sense is up to date, you will receive a message indicating so and the process will terminate when you Click OK to acknowledge the message.

If your version of Cow Sense is not up to date, the update file is downloaded to a temporary directory on your computer. Once the download is complete, Cow Sense will automatically close and the update will run. Once the update has completed successfully, your installation of Cow Sense will be the most current version available.

To update Sale Manager, open Sale Manager and Click Help > Sale Manager Support > Update Sale Manager. To update PIC, open PIC and Click Help > PIC Support > Update PIC. To update Cow COMM, open Cow COMM and Click Help > Cow COMM Support > Update Cow COMM.

Missing adjusted weaning weights after running Weaning Update:

If after running the Weaning Update you receive an error message that states Calf 1936 missing adj. weaning wt. (150 days old), you have a calf or calves with age at weaning outside of the 160 - 250 day range established by the BIF. You can ignore the messages and move forward in the herd or you can create a custom breed calculation specification to accomodate your weaning period. Instructions for calculating a custom breed calculation specification are listed below.

Follow these steps to create a custom breed calculation specification.

  • First, establish what the minimum and maximum days of age at weaning are for the current production cycle.
  • Go to Reports > Calves > Weaning Weight.
  • Select **This Prod Cycle** from the query drop-down.
  • Sort Age at WW ascending and descending. Note the minimum and maximum values for Age at WW.
  • For this example, 150 days is the minimum. The maximum Age at WW falls within the BIF Standard age range of 160 - 250.
  • Close the report and go to Maintenance > Administration > Setup.
  • Click Breed Specifications.
  • Click OK.
  • Click NEW.
  • Click OK.
  • In the Breed box, enter Jones-BIF.
  • In the Code box, enter JB.
  • In the source box enter a note concerning why the new specification was created. In this case, you may want to type something like -- Early weaining because of drought.
  • Click the Age Std's & Ranges tab.
  • Change the Min Age in Days for Weaning Ages to 150.
  • To keep the median age at 205, adjust the Max Age in Days by the same amount you adjusted the Min Age in Days.
  • Click SAVE.
  • Close the Edit Breed Calculation Specifications window.
  • On the Set Up screen, change the Herd Breed to the specification just created.
  • Click YES.
  • Click DONE.
  • Rerun the weaning update.

Production Cycles - Closed vs. Locked:

The Closeout Update is for cattle that have feeding or carcass data, and it will update the cows’ and bulls’ averages. You do not need to run a Closeout Update if you do not have feeding or carcass data. It is important to note that after you run a Closeout Update the Production Cycle Status will show Closed. This is not to be confused with locked.

Lock Cycle’ is a special function that prevents Cow Sense from re-calculating the production cycle. (Cow Sense processes ALL production cycles that are not locked with each update.) Use this function only if you want to preserve a set of calculations for the cycle or if you want updates to run faster.

‘Lock Cycle’ is most often used when you receive a set of calculations from an outside source, such as a breed association, and you want to preserve those values. Cow Sense still updates cows and bulls with the locked cycle, but calf adjusted weights and ratios are not re-computed. PIC automatically locks the production cycle when you use it to import updates from breed associations or industry partners. You cannot make a locked cycle the current production cycle..

Adding or editing data in a locked production cycle:

If you need to go back and add historical data or additional data to a Locked Production Cycle, you can do so by choosing Maintenance > Administration > Setup from the Cow Sense Main Menu. Select or click the Production Cycles tab. Select the production cycle that you wish to unlock and click in the status field of that Production Cycle. A drop down window will appear and you can set the Status back in time to the stage at which you wish to add the data.

Tips for using the remarks field:

All Remarks fields are open-ended and unlimited text fields. With some forethought and consistency in the text you use in Remarks fields, you can create a powerful and flexible analysis tool because you can run word queries on the text using the “Contains” relational operator (see Chapter 5 for instructions on running queries). For example, you can keep cow disposition “tags” in the Remarks field (such as “unruly” and “overprotective”).

=, + and - keys assist in date field entries:

You can use the = (equal)key in a date field to insert the current date from your computer clock/calendar. In most date fields, you can use the + (plus) and - (minus) keys to incrementally increase or decrease the date values that carry over from the previous animal record.

Reports Library:

The Reports Library was added to Cow Sense with the release of Cow Sense Version 4. A number of pre-built queries exist in the Reports Library. These pre-built queries serve two main purposes for the user.

The pre-built queries serve to assist the user as an instructional aid in building queries for their own herd. The user can move a pre-built query from the Reports Library to the Current Herd Queries for viewing and instruction.

Note: Instructions for moving the pre-built queries from the Reports Library to the Current Herd Queries are on page 93 of the new Cow Sense User’s Guide.

Once the pre-built query is in the Current Herd Queries, the user can view the data that appears in the report and view how the query is built by clicking the Select button on the report window.

The pre-built queries can also be used to create reports in the user’s herd. If the pre-built query provides useful information for the user, the query can be selected by the user and the report printed out. The user can also modify a pre-built query and save the modified query to Current Herd Queries in the user’s herd.

Using the Match Function:

In Cow Sense, each set of records (cows, bulls, calves, breedings, and treatments) is in a table. The Match function allows you to relate information from one table (calf, cow, bull, breeding or treatment) to another table. When you match, Cow Sense lets you select records from one table (say, Calves) based on information that is only available in a different table (say, Cows).

Here are a few instances where you can use the Match function:

• You want to select replacement heifers from cows in your herd that have an average calving interval of less than 365 days.

• You want to establish AI bulls from your herd whose average birth weight ratios are less than 100 and their daughters have produced calves that have graded Choice.

• You want to sell replacement heifers out of cows that have specified EPD values.

When Cow Sense “matches” data, it uses query criteria from one table and marks records in another table. To use the Match function, determine what information you want from what table. Use the Report menu to open the table on which you want to base your selection criteria; you will use the Marking features (push pin, red X and the Marked? column) so you will be able to work best in listings rather than individual animal summaries. In order to get a clean start, select **Find All Records** in the Saved Selection box (item A in Figure 5-1). Then use the red X button (item G in Figure 5-1) to unmark all records. Next narrow the number of records in your table by specifying desired criteria using the query functions that are available when you click the Select button. After you have OKed your query, use the push pin button (item F in Figure 5-1) to mark all records in the queried table. This will be the “FROM” table when you use the Match command.

When you’re ready to match, select Reports > Match from the main menu bar. Select the table from which you have established a search criteria (Cows, Bulls, Calves, Breeding, Treatments) and then select the table to which those criteria apply (Calves, Treatments, Breeding, Cows, Bulls). Cow Sense will then mark all records in the “outcome” table based on the selection criteria you established in the first table. Open up the outcome table, refine your selection using query tools to achieve a final report.




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