Accurate record keeping of animal-health events is an important management tool and demonstrates your concern for beef quality, safety and consumer confidence.

Many operations use computerized record-keeping systems to track treatments given to heifers, though hand-kept records also are an acceptable system for monitoring morbidity.

Accurate records help prevent antibiotic residues in meat and milk and help you spot treatment inefficiencies on an animal-by-animal basis. You can use this information to prevent future ineffective treatments. Records also tell your veterinarian what treatments and dosage were given so that treatment recommendations and regimens can be validated or adjusted as animals and environmental conditions change.

Animal performance, value, quality and farm profitability improve when health data are monitored and recorded for dairy animals through each stage of growth.

Be consistent in keeping records that are legible and easily retrieved. Maintain records for a period of at least two years after transport of an animal to a new location. You can find sample record-keeping forms in the Dairy Animal Care and Quality Assurance (DACQA) Manual under Section VI – Supplemental Forms.

DACQA is a voluntary, national certification program intended to enhance and demonstrate quality animal care practices, which assure food safety, quality and value as well as enhance consumer confidence in the milk and beef products that are harvested from cattle on America’s dairy farms.