Setting Default Animal Attributes

In this post I’d like to explain how to make sure animals have the correct sex, breed, color, cattle type, and source attributes. It’s important to understand that these attributes can be stored at both the lot and animal level. If you are only interested in this information at the lot level, you don’t need to worry about anything else, but if you want this information to be correct for the individual animals within a lot then the following information will help.

The key to making sure the information is correct is to include the Change Attributes subjob in the first job that sees the new animals. If you do not include this, Fusion will do its best to assign sensible values for these attributes, but you won’t have as much control. Here is the logic for assigning these values to new animals without this subjob present:

  • If the animal is being assigned a lot, the sex, breed, color, and cattle type will be the same as the lot. This means the lot must have these values assigned before the job starts. If the animal is not being assigned a lot during the job, the sex will be “Unknown” and the other attributes will be left blank.
  • The source will be left blank if no lot is assigned. Otherwise, Fusion will try to assign the lot’s cattle buyer as the source first. If no cattle buyer has been assigned, the lot’s originating herd will be assigned. Again, these values must be assigned to the lot before the job starts for them to be assigned to the new animals.

When you include the Change Attributes subjob, if you leave all the settings to their defaults you will get the same behavior as just described. However, there are two advantages to including the subjob:

  • It is more apparent that attributes are being set as they can be seen as part of the job. This means it will be more likely that someone will notice if a mistake is being made. It also means that the attributes can be changed for individual animals during the job.
  • You can allow the defaults to be changed during job setup to ensure that values are correct for this group of animals. For example, you may have a lot that was built from multiple sources and you are processing them in groups. At the beginning of each job, just change the default source for the group.

If you have made mistakes or this wasn’t done in the past, you can use the Bulk Update window to set these attributes for whole groups of animals at once. Once caught up, we recommend the above approach for new animals in the future.

As feedlots move to a more individual animal level of information tracking, knowing the source and other attributes for each animal becomes more important. Hopefully this post has helped you understand how to do this in Fusion.