Handheld data entry into DC305 with Pocket CowCard (PCC)
At the center of both cow side data entry and RFID possibilities is Pocket CowCard, or PCC.
PCC is a handheld software program that is paired with Dairy Comp 305. It runs on a Pocket PC and can communicate with DC305 through either USB or network connections. For most users, this program is easy to learn and understand. Great effort has been put into both data entry ease and protection.
PCC displays multiple pages of an individual animal record. Any page can be selected by tapping the desired tab
- The event window shows all events that have occurred during the current lactation.
- The Items page can be set to display either the 16 items from page one (Events) of the "cowcard" in DC305, all items in the item table or up to 32 items selected in the Server command.
- The other four pages in each cow record are test days, previous lactations, weekly averages for the current lactation and, if available, the last 8 days of actual milk weights for herds using daily milk meter interfaces with DC305.
Lists can be created for PCC in Dairy Comp 305. These lists are sent to PCC from DC305 with each herd refresh. However, not all lists are always replaced. The user can retain any list on PCC, if using the data entry option, until that list is completed and entries are sent back to DC305. In other words, when a work list is being used, it will not be over-written if the handheld is refreshed (information is updated).
Command lists can be simple lists of animals that need to be found, animals that need to have one or several tasks performed or, a vet list.
In many cases, simply entering or scanning an animal on a list can be used for data entry. This is much like entering information in Dairy Comp from a list of cows checked off.
Two obvious exceptions are vet check and event entry, both of which can easily be performed in Pocket CowCard. The vet entry screens is very similar to Dairy Comp 305. This is true down to the "function keys" which are set in PCC directly from those set in Dairy Comp.
By tapping and holding on an individual record's event page a pick list of user-selected events taken directly from the Dairy Comp program is offered. In the case of BRED entry, there is even a large keypad for sire entry. This is combined with the same sire choice pick list as a bred entry in DC305.
Pocket CowCard is designed to maximize the value of "ISO 1784/1785 compliant" electronic ID.
With PCC and RFID, large numbers of cows in lockups can be processed faster and more accurately then ever before without printed lists. Human error is eliminated both at cow-side and in the office. Perhaps of greatest value is the increased task compliance gained with RFID. Arguably, the most difficult part of any task performed by list is locating animals. PCC provides an easy, fast and extremely accurate way to do this. Just as important to compliance, with PCC, management can track and review the last scan date, time and method. This information is invaluable when trying to implement programs such as Ovsynch.
When using electronic ID, PCC can check pen location while performing multiple tasks on one list and allow the user to easily correct cows out of pen.
Dairies using Pocket CowCard with RFID no longer use paper lists for routine management. Scanning cows is faster and more accurate, allows the user to perform multiple tasks in one pass and provides management with immediate inventory and accountability as feedback from each scan.