1.How is DairyLive different from other herd management programs?
DairyLive has been designed and built from the ground up for the most modern versions of Windows (2000, XP, and Vista). It was not ported over from the DOS world. It uses the latest user interface techniques that you will see in other well-designed Windows applications. It also has an “open architecture”, meaning that you can move your data from DairyLive into other applications, and use your Web browser to look at your reports.
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2.How do I create a new herd database?
To create a new herd database, go the File menu and select New Herd. A “wizard” dialog will prompt you for all the information that DairyLive needs. You will be asked if you want the herd database to be for dairy cattle or dairy goats. You’ll also be asked for the name of the herd, and whether you want sample data to added to the new herd.
Now you can start entering animals and lactation data into DairyLive. The easiest way to do this is to import a file from your DHIA lab. (AgSource, AgriTech, Raleigh DRMS, and PA DHIA are all supported.) If you want to enroll your animals manually, use the Enroll New Animals screen (available in the Tools menu).
3.What is the difference between an event and a reminder?
An event is something that has already happened to an animal. A reminder is something that is expected to happen to an animal. Otherwise, they are essentially the same thing.
4.How do I set up my own event types?
Go to the Herd Explorer window and select one of the event type categories on the left side of the window (or you can create a new event type category). Now select Object from the main menu bar and then New Event Type. The Event Type editing dialog will be shown where you can provide an event type name, additional information to be collected, and automatic reminders.
5.What does a scatter graph tell me?
It can tell you if one of your animals is “out of whack” in her production figures for her lactation number and DIM. For example, if one of your first lactation animals is producing only half as much milk as other animals in her group for a DIM of around 100 days, this will be obvious in a scatter graph.
6.What does a standard chart tell me?
A standard chart is similar to a scatter graph except that it shows you your herd data in relationship to national or regional averages. For example, you can view the daily production of your first lactation cows as compared to average herds in your part of the country. Your cows appear as dots on the chart, and the averages are shown as curves. Dots that appear below the curve are below average, and those that appear above the curve are above average.
7.What is the difference between a check list and an analysis report?
A check list is a list of animals that meet a certain set of criteria. Check lists are defined by a list design. The list design tells DairyLive how to decide which animals are to be in the list and what animal properties to show.
An analysis report is based on one or more check lists and can cover several periods of time, whereas a simple check list is relative to a single point in time. You can think of a report as being a summary that is generated over and over for different dates, for example, for each month of the last year. Analysis reports can show the information either as a tabular list or graphically.
A special kind of analysis report is called a scatter graph. A scatter graph shows a dot for each animal in a certain list. The “X axis” indicates one value (such as DIM) and the “Y axis” indicates another value (such as Last Milk Wt). You can easily see which animals are near average and which ones are not.
8.Can I have more than one herd database open at the same time?
Yes, you can. Just select Open from the File menu and open another herd database. The Herd Explorer window will show the name of the herd database, but the other view windows will not.
9.Why and how often should I compact my herd database?
That depends on how often you add or change data in DairyLive. As you add and delete data, the herd database file will get “holes” in it. Compacting the herd database reorganizes the data so that the holes are filled in and the file takes less disk space.
10.How can I enter the same event for more than one animal?
In the Herd Explorer or in a check list view, select all the animals you want to enter an event for. (Hold the control key down on your keyboard as you select the animals.) Then select Object->Animal->Add Event (from the check list view, select Animal->Add Event) from the main menu. Now enter the event information in the dialog and press OK.
11.What kinds of photographs can I import into DairyLive? How do I do this?
You can import bitmaps (.BMP), GIF’s (.GIF), and JPEG files (.JPG).
To import pictures, you will need a way to create these files. You can use a scanner to scan photographs, or, you can use a digital camera. Save the image to a file on your hard disk.
Now open up the Animal Details View for an animal for which you want to enter a photograph. Go to the Description tab and press the Enter/Change button. In the dialog that pops up, find the file that contains the image and press Open. That’s all there is to it.
The image files are not physically imported into the herd database. Only the names of the image files are stored in the database. This means that if you delete the original image file, move it, or rename it, DairyLive will not be able to find it.
12.Why can’t I delete or rename certain groups and event types?
Some groups and event types are used by DairyLive internally and cannot be deleted. For example, the Breeding event type cannot be deleted because DairyLive uses it to determine calving dates.
13.How can I see all my animals at once in the Explorer?
Normally, when you select a group on the left side of the Explorer, the right side will show only the things that are in that group. If you select Group->Show Children Group Members from the main menu, the Explorer will also show all things that are in the selected group’s subgroups.
So to see all of your animals, make sure the Show Children Group Members option is turned on (there will be check mark next to the menu item). Now select the top-level Animals group on the left side.
14.Can I use DairyLive to manage my dairy goat herd?
If you raise dairy goats, you can use DairyLive to manage your herd. If you have a small herd, choose the Caprine Edition, which supports up to 150 goats. For larger farms, use the Professional Edition. When you set up a new herd database, you will be prompted for whether you have dairy cattle or dairy goats. If you select dairy goats, the defaults for things such as gestation time will be set to what applies for dairy goats. Also, you will see the common dairy goat breeds and icons instead of the dairy cattle breeds and icons and you will see event names, check lists and analysis reports that are customized for dairy goat herds. Outside of that, the program will behave identically.