Ranch Setup

Watch this video for an overview of this topic or read the text below for more detailed information.


Once you have created your ranch, it's time to set it up. The Ranch Settings window will automatically open when Herdly is launched until you enter your first animal. You can also open it any time by going to Setup > Ranch Settings. Note that this part of the ranch setup can only be done on a computer.

The ranch settings are split up into several sections. Select a section from the Settings Section list to work with those settings.

Ranch ID

When your ranch is first created, Herdly assigns you a permanent ranch ID. It is important to keep this ID in a safe place as it will be needed if you ever lose your password. The ranch ID appears below the Settings Section list.

Ranch Info Section

The information you entered when you created your ranch can be changed at any time in this section.

  • Ranch Name. This should be the name of your ranch. It, and the address information, will appear on reports Herdly generates.
  • Address. Your address.
  • City/Town. The city or town of your mailing address or closest to where you live.
  • Province/State. Your province or state.
  • Country. Your country.
  • Postal/Zip Code. Your postal or zip code.
  • Recovery Email. This email address will be used by Herdly to send information about Herdly updates, bugs, and more. It may also be used to help verify your account if you forget your password. Please ensure your email address is entered correctly.
  • Recovery Number. This phone number may also be used by Herdly to verify your account if you lose your password.

Billing Section

This section is used to manage your Herdly ranch account. Details about your billing, including a detailed transaction history, can be viewed here. We don't automatically charge your credit card on a pre-defined schedule. Instead, you can choose to top up your account balance whenever you want, paying what you want each time. Click the Add Funds button to securely add funds to your account using a credit card.

For additional details for a particular transaction, double-click it in the Transaction History list. Below this list is a checkbox labeled Show All Transactions. By default, only the main transactions are shown, but you can see all transactions by making sure this checkbox is checked.

Click the Options button (or right-click inside the list) to do any of the following:

  • Inspect Transaction. Shows additional details about the selected transaction. This is the same behavior as you get when double-clicking a transaction.
  • Print Receipt. If a payment type transaction is selected, use this option to print a receipt for that payment.
  • Print Selected Transactions. Prints the transactions you have selected in the list.
  • Coupon Code. If you have been given a coupon code, use this option to enter it so it can be applied to your account.
  • Referral Code. If another Herdly user told you about Herdly, you can both get 30 days free if you use their referral code. You are asked to enter their referral code when you first create a Herdly ranch account, but you can also enter or change it with this option as long as you do so before you make your first payment, as that is when the referral code is applied. See Refer a Ranch Program for more information.

All billing information, including the list of transactions, will be refreshed when you click the Refresh Billing Information button. You must be connected to the internet for this to work.

Preferences Section

Use this section to set up your ranch preferences. If you change any of these later on, they will take affect on each device after it has synced.

  • Preferred Language. This will be the default language for your ranch. Individual users may choose their own language, but the default language will be what you specify here. Currently only English is supported.
  • Animal Weight Unit. Choose the units you would like to weight animals in. (Internally Herdly stores all weights as kilograms and converts them back and forth on the fly as needed.)
  • Temperature Unit. Choose the units you would like to record animal temperatures in. (Internally Herdly stores all temperatures as celsius and converts them back and forth on the fly as needed.)
  • Animal Height Unit. Choose the units you would like to record animal hip heights in. (Internally Herdly stores all heights in centimeters and converts them back and forth on the fly as needed.)
  • Breed Composition Rounding. Herdly will track the breed composition of each animal in your herd. We use a notation which describes the percentage of each breed in an animal. Each pure breed has a two letter designation. For example, Angus is AN and Simmental is SM. An animal that is three quarters Angus and one quarter Simmental will be shown in Herdly as AN75 SM25. For most people, rounding the percentage of each breed in the composition to the nearest number is enough, but some may wish to track the composition more accurately. You can use this preference to determine how many decimals will be used when displaying a breed composition. For example, if you choose Nearest Tenth, you could get a composition like this: AN99.6 SM0.4.
  • Default Calf Tag. When you use the New Calf action to create a calf, Herdly can create a default tag number for the calf based on the mother's tag and this preference. (The tag can still be manually changed if you want.) For the below examples let's say the calving year is 2018 which uses the letter F, and the mother of the calf is number 31B.
    • Leave Blank. The calf's tag would be blank and you would have to manually enter it.
    • Prepend Year Letter. The calf's tag will be F31.
    • Append Year Letter. The calf's tag will be 31F.
    • Number of Mother's Tag. The calf's tag will be 31.
    • Same as Mother's Tag. The calf's tag will be 31B.

Breeds Section

This section is used to tell Herdly which breeds might be in any of the animals in your herd. Narrowing this list down makes the list of breeds you choose from when creating breed compositions much easier to use. This section is also used to create a number of commonly used breed compositions. If you had to create the same breed composition over and over, it would take too much time. Instead, you will be able to quickly choose from the common compositions you create here and only have to compose a new one when needed.

First, go through all the breeds in the list on the left and make sure only the ones that are in your animals are checked. You can option-click (Mac) or control-click (Win) a checkbox to toggle them all on or off, so it may be faster to toggle them all off and then check your breeds.

Now you can add your commonly used breed compositions. To create a new composition, click the + button below the Common Breed Compositions list.

The Breed Composition window will appear. Using this window is described in more detail in Data Entry Techniques, but basically you click the + button and then choose a breed and then enter a percentage. Continue to click the + button to add more breeds until the full breed composition is expressed. Then click the OK button to save the composition.

Note that you don't have to define 100% of the breeds in a composition. For example, if you know a cow is 50% Angus and you aren't sure about the rest, Herdly will express this as AN50 ?50.

These compositions are only used in Herdly to create a list you can quickly choose from when you are entering the breed of an animal. If you change or delete a composition, it does not change the breed of existing animals with the same composition.

Colors Section

You can indicate the color of each animal in Herdly. If there are colors in this list that you don't plan on using, uncheck them so it is easier to choose a color in the future. Some people use different terminology for color patterns, so we've included a description of each color below.

  • Black. Solid black animal.
  • Black and White. This pattern is commonly selected for breeds like Holsteins and Lakenvelder cattle. Their hair has patches of black and white.
  • Black Baldy. Black animal with a white face, belly and hooves and usually black patched eyes.
  • Black Brockel. Black animal with a white and black spotted face.
  • Black Google Eye. Black animal with a white stripe down the head and mouth, creating a black google affect around the eyes, also known as a Blazed Face.
  • Black Splay Faced. Black animal with a white patch on their face.
  • Black With Star. Black animal with a small white spot on their forehead.
  • Feather Neck. This pattern is commonly seen in Hereford's, a red animal with white down the top of the neck.
  • Red. Solid red animal.
  • Red and White. Red and white patches all over body.
  • Red Baldy. Red animal with a white face, belly and hooves and usually black patched eyes.
  • Red Brockel. Red animal with a white and black spotted face.
  • Red Google Eye. Red animal with a white stripe down the head and mouth, creating a black google affect around the eyes, also known as a Blazed Face.
  • Red Roan. Animal with red face, neck and shoulders and a spotted white belly, back and butt.
  • Red Splay Faced. Red animal with a white patch on their face.
  • Red White Faced. Red animal with a white face.
  • Red With Star. Red animal with a small white spot on their forehead.
  • Smokey. Animal with a smokey colored coat.
  • White. Animal with a white colored coat.
  • Yellow. Animal with a yellow colored coat.

Drugs Section

You will always be able to select any drug when using Herdly, but drug entry can be faster if you indicate to Herdly which drugs you most commonly use by checking them in this section. Option-click (Mac) or alt-click (Windows) a checkbox to toggle them all on or off. It may be faster to toggle them all off and then just check the ones you use. You can also use the search field and Filter field at the top to more quickly find a drug.

Diagnoses Section

Similarly to drugs, you can always select any of the diagnoses when needed, but it can be faster to select the most commonly used ones here.

Brands Section

When you enter a brand in Herdly, you can free-form type whatever you want. However, to make brand entry faster you should enter your most commonly used brands here. If you do this, you'll only have to choose from the list when entering a brand in the future.

To enter a new brand, click the + button and then enter the brand and choose the brand location. Continue to click the + button to enter more brands. If you need to edit a brand, select it in the list and modify the fields on the right. You can also remove a brand from the list by selecting it and clicking the - button. Note that if you modify or remove a brand in this list, that does not affect existing cattle that already have that brand.

Defaults Section

When new animals or calves are created in Herdly, several of the fields can be pre-filled with default values based on what you enter here. You can leave any of the fields blank if you want.

  • Calving Year. The calving year for new calves will default to this value. Make sure you update it before the start of each calving year!
  • Calving Season. Most ranchers will leave this blank, but if you have multiple calvings you may want to designate which season a calf was born in. Clear this field if you don't care about the calving season or enter the name of the calving season. It will become the default value for new calves and should be changed prior to each new calving season.
  • Breed. When you add a new calf, Herdly will automatically calculate the breed composition of the calf based on the breed composition of the dam and sire. But for new animals arriving in your herd, this isn't possible, so they will default to this value.
  • Color. Will be the default color for new animals.
  • Horn Status. Will be the default horn status for new animals
  • Owner. This will be the default owner for new animals.
  • Brand. Enter the brand you use the most here.
  • Brand Location. Choose the brand location for the brand you use the most.
  • Freeze Brand Location. You can enter the most common location for freeze brands, if you use them.
  • Tattoo Location. You can enter the most common location for tattoos, if you use them.
  • Alternate Tattoo Location. You can enter the most common location for alternate tattoos, if you use them.
  • Private Herd Number Location. You can enter the most common location for private herd numbers, if you use them.
  • Registration Number Location. You can enter the most common location for registration numbers, if you use them.

Optional Fields Section

This section lists several fields that you may not want to use. Normally these would clutter up your screens, but here you can uncheck the ones you won't ever use and they will be removed from most of Herdly's screens. This is especially helpful when entering data on mobile devices with less screen space.

CCIA Section

For ranches based in Canada, Herdly makes it really easy to send birth and other events to CCIA. Other than you choosing exactly when to submit your events, everything happens automatically. For this to happen, Herdly needs to know your CCIA account information.

  • Automatically Create CCIA Events. When this field is checked, Herdly will automatically try to create (but not submit) CCIA events in the following situations (assuming the animal has an RFID tag, etc.):
    • A Birth Date event will be created when saving a New Calf action.
    • A Move In event will be created when saving the Move Animals action.
    • A Move Out event will be created when saving the Remove From Herd action.
    • A Retired event will be created when saving the Record Death action.
    • A Replaced event will be created when saving the Edit Animal action if you've just given the animal an RFID tag and if it didn't have one before.
    • A Cross Reference event will be created when saving the Edit Animal action if you've just given the animal a new RFID tag.
  • CCIA Account ID. Enter your CCIA account ID here.
  • Username. Enter your CCIA account username here.
  • Password. Enter your CCIA account password here. If you have previously entered your password, this field will be blank when you open this window so that your password cannot be seen. You only need to re-enter it if it is wrong or has been changed.

You also need to enter the premise ID for each location. You can do this by double-clicking a row in the Premise ID column. If you don't have a premise ID for each location, you can obtain them through the CCIA website. If that is not possible, you can use the same premise ID for each location.

Before Herdly can submit CCIA events on your behalf, you will need to request that CCIA turn on the following security options for your account:

  • WS Event Submission
  • WS Birth Date Report

You make this request in any of three ways:

  1. Email servicedesk@canadaid.ca
  2. Call 877-909-2333
  3. If you have email set up on your computer and your account information has already been added in Herdly, click the Request Security Options Email button. This will create an email fully prepared for you to send to CCIA. CCIA staff will respond once they've turned these settings on for your account.

Once your account information has been entered and you have heard back from CCIA so you know the security options are turned on, click the Test Account button to make sure everything is set up correctly. If it doesn't work, you may need to work with CCIA to figure out what is wrong. Remember that the password is case-sensitive. You can also see what security options are turned on for your account by looking on the CCIA website. Go to www.clia.livestockid.ca, log in, click on My Account, and then on the Users tab. Any security options associated with your account will be listed in the Security Group(s) Assigned column.

When you save changes, they will be synced within a few seconds. To learn more about the syncing process, see Syncing.

 

Exposure Dates Section

This section is where you can let Herdly know when you exposed bulls to your cows each year. You don't need to use this section if you don't want to. If Herdly is looking for exposure information for a given year, it will look here first, but if you haven't entered any information for the year it will figure it out based on the first exposure or mating record in a given year or the first calving date of a given year. Still, it can be a good idea to enter the dates here to make sure Herdly will use the dates you want when it is calculating information for dashboards, etc.

The Gestation Calculator can be handy when filling in these dates.