How can I use RFID tags to track my livestock?

If you've ever run into a situation where one of your animal's tags was lost or unreadable, you're aware of how frustrating it can be to identify your livestock if this occurs. Farmbrite knows it's critical for you to know which animal is which, as you'll need to track animal history, health, and even genealogy. To simplify the process of recording animal measurements and treatments, we've built an easier way for you to identify animals and record information using RFID tags and a scanning tool. 

If you are interested in learning more about the benefits and use of these tags prior to setting them up in Farmbrite, check out this Farmbrite blog post for a full rundown of how they might simplify your processes and streamline your ranch operations. 

Getting Started

You'll first need an RFID scanner wand, and RFID tags for your animals. You might pick these up at a local supply store, or an online farm and ranch site. While this step is outside of Farmbrite, we can tell you that we do not require nor recommend any specific RFID reader; as long as it can output the data it collects to a spreadsheet, it will work with your Farmbrite account. 

So how does this actually work?

After you've tagged your animals with the RFID tags, you'll use the wand to read the tag and identify the animal. You'll record measurements for the animal, which you'll get into a spreadsheet. This might be by physically connecting the wand to your computer, or via email or Bluetooth. Once you have the spreadsheet with your data, you can then load it into Farmbrite. 

Importing Your Records

To import your records, navigate to Livestock, then choose Animals. From there, click the Import button. 

A new window will open with instructions for importing your records. You'll have your spreadsheet from the RFID scanner already, so you can skip Steps 1 and 2. In Step 3, you'll likely choose to Update Existing Records, as this selection allows you to associate the information you are importing with the existing livestock already added to your Farmbrite account. 

Note that Farmbrite is able to associate the records on your spreadsheet with existing animals by matching an ID that you provide in the spreadsheet with an ID of an existing animal in your account. This can be done using the field Tag Number, Other Tag Number, or Electronic ID. At least one of these numbers will need to match an animal in your Farmbrite account to successfully import your records. Using this connection with your existing animals allows you to repeat this process as often as you like to record additional measurements for your animals over time. 

You'll then choose your spreadsheet file from your computer, and import it. 

Farmbrite will read the column headers from your spreadsheet, and then ask you to map them to standard fields within the system. Since your particular scanner might name these columns differently, this step allows you to connect the data your scanner provided to the right fields in Farmbrite. As an example, your scanner might record "HT" and "WT", which you would then map to the "Height" and "Weight" fields within Farmbrite. 

Once you've mapped the fields appropriately, click the Import Records button in the bottom right. 

Your records will be imported, and associated with the correct animals based on the electronic ID supplied. 

Remember that you can repeat this process over and over, every time you use your RFID scanner to record measurements that you want to add to Farmbrite. As long as you continue to choose Update Existing Records, the imported data will be associated with your existing livestock. 

If you still have questions regarding adding your RFID scanned records into Farmbrite, feel free to reach out to us