A good DataYard setup is imperative to the successful transition of cattle to using the DataMuster System. A correctly assembled system will see cattle calmly crossing the weigh platform and entering the DataYard by their own free will and pace.
And as we all know, relaxed cattle are the aim of the game!
For this reason, we have collected the Top 6 tips to get your DataYard up and running in no time!
Tip # 1: A longer race = less congestion and more accurate tag and weight reads
Field testing has shown that a longer race on your DataYard:
· Helps the cattle “draw” along it calmly towards the watering point,
· Creates less congestion, and
· Allows the cattle to walk slowly and calmly over the weigh platform, meaning you will get the most accurate weight read for each animal.
Tip # 2: East to West – avoid the shadows
When choosing the best place to put the entry into the DataYard we recommend setting it up facing east to west. This will avoid any shadows that may come over the entry site during the day and cause the cattle to baulk at the entry, which may cause a ripple effect on the herd.
Tip # 3: Cattle pad = entry route
Put the entry to the DataYard on a worn cattle pad where you can see cattle like to congregate. Your cattle will be familiar with the area and will happily walk through it to get to the water source you have constructed the DataYard around.
Tip # 4: Circular not Square – no naughty corners!
When setting up your panels around the water source, it's best to not have corners that the cattle can get stuck in. As an animal welfare issue, it is important to ensure all the cattle can exit freely to go back out to graze.
Tip # 5: Where there’s a will, there’s a way – create a strong DataYard!
Early field observations showed that if a DataYard was set up using both panels and barbed-wire fencing, cattle would push on the fence line and eventually either break through it or jump it, rather than use the spear gate entry or exit.
We also noted that if the paddock has multiple sires or the DataMuster unit was situated on the fence line of two adjoining single sired paddocks, that bulls would tend to fight, damaging the fence line and the DataYard.
Based on these observations, we recommend the DataYard to be fully constructed using panels with supports such as pickets secured with wire every three or so panels.
Tip # 6: Protect the Inventory – keep the cords and leads out of reach
As we all know, if you introduce anything new and shiny to an area in which cattle and birds reside, they will want to touch, feel and taste test everything they can reach.
For this reason, we recommend ensuring the leads and cords running from the weigh platform to the readers, DataHub, and battery are zip-tied away neatly to avoid any damage or malfunctioning of equipment.