CDN website tips & tricks: the animal query

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Source: Canadian Dairy Network

This is the first article in a three part series for users to learn how to maximize benefits from the various features of the CDN web site.

Many dairy producers are technologically savvy and seek out tools to help them better manage their herds. On the genetic front, the CDN website is one such tool, highly utilized by those keen on monitoring and querying genetic data. There are two ways to query animals on the CDN website: individually and by group. This article will cover tips and tricks for using the Individual Query, while the next article will hone in on the best ways to use the Group Query.

Individual Animal Query

Producers can perform individual animal queries by registration number, name, animal tattoo and semen code (for males). For sires, the most popular way to query individuals is by name. When using this option, users can search by “Name (Full or Start)” or by “Short Name (Full or Partial)”. Using the default option by “Short Name”, and entering “Lautrust” will direct you immediately to the CDN Genetic Evaluation Summary page for Comestar Lautrust. A list of all sires with the short name in question is returned if the short name searched belongs to more than one sire and/or is part of the short name (i.e.: “Trust”) for multiple sires. The user then has the opportunity to narrow down their selection based on additional criteria provided in the resulting animal list. The bull’s CDN summary page will also be returned when using the option “Name (Full or Start)” and entering the animal’s full name, “Comestar Lautrust”, as an exact match. For females, individual queries are most common by registration number or full name. The option to query females by their short or barn name does not exist due to the millions of females in the CDN database and the large number with similar barn names.

Generating a List of Your Females

For many reasons, producers may be interested in generating a list of females in their herd. While this is not possible in an exact manner, the “Search by Name” tool provides an excellent starting point. After selecting the breed in question and “Female” from the Sex dropdown menu, you can enter your herd prefix in the “Name (Full or Start)” field. If the prefix is a word that falls into other breeder prefixes (ex.: “Sunny,” which falls into prefixes such as “Sunnypoint”, “Sunnyview”, etc.), you can limit results to only animals with your prefix by entering “Sunny ”, which is Sunny followed by a single blank space.

In the example above, the prefix for the Elora Dairy Research Station, “College,” was used to generate a list of females in the herd, seen below. The list will automatically be sorted by LPI in descending order. All columns are sortable – clicking a column header once will sort animals in descending order, while clicking the header a second time will sort in ascending order. The example list has been sorted by “Act.” which stands for “Active Status.” Sorting by this column brings all active females to the top of the list, allowing the user to focus on animals currently in the herd based on the CDN database. If the herd subscribes to DHI services, the Active Status of animals should be fairly up to date and reflect the complete herd inventory.

The query tool can only display a maximum of 400 results for any given search. Therefore, in a herd with greater than 400 females, not all animals are displayed at once. In this situation, or whenever a user would like to further reduce the list of animals based on certain criteria, the selection refinement filter tool can be used by clicking the link “Modify this Refinement Filter”. In the example for females with the “College” prefix, the list of females was reduced by setting the selection refinement filter to only include animals with a Pro$ value of at least $1700. In the dropdown found below the selection refinement filter, the option to sort results based on Pro$, or another criteria, can be selected. This filter led to a reduced list of 41 animals of interest.

Compass to Expand Animal List Management Capabilities

In coming months, CDN and Holstein Canada will launch Compass; a free, web-based software tool designed to aid producers, regardless of breed, make more profitable management decisions related to genetics while maximizing their herd’s genetic potential. In addition to an array of genetic management reporting and query features, Compass will include expanded capabilities to save, group and manage lists of females in your herd. The CDN website currently has a range of widely used search tools to help producers better query and manage their genetic information, and Canadian producers can look forward to more exciting, user-friendly tools to come in the near future.

Authors:
Lynsay Beavers, Industry Liaison Coordinator, CDN
Brian Van Doormaal, General Manager, CDN


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