Importing additional animals or updating pedigrees from your Breed Association

Sometimes we are asked about importing additional animals or updating pedigrees from a breed association. Here is an explanation of the process and what to expect.

When importing records from a breed association, CattleMax first checks to see if an animal already exists in your account based on registration number. Normally, if an animal with the same registration number is found, their record will not be imported.  Some (most) breed association imports of herd inventory, allows a Sync option to be added to the import process.

The Sync option, when activated by checking the box, will check for registration number (it must match exactly the association registration number) and if found, will add pedigree information, performance information and EPDs to the animal's record. 

If the registration number is not matched exactly, a new or duplicate animal will be created in the file.  So, we caution you to be extremely careful about the matching of registration numbers!

Problems Encountered

Animals in CattleMax without registration numbers

These may be animals used as sire/dam, semen/embryos, breeding records, etc.  Sometimes these animals, for whatever reason, do not have a registration number entered.  If an animal without a registration number is also present in the file to import, duplicates will be created.  The original animal without a registration number is already there but CattleMax cannot identify it as a duplicate since a registration number is not present.

Animals in CattleMax with duplicate registration numbers

On some occasions, particularly when importing data from older cattle software programs or spreadsheets, there may be two animals with the same registration number.  In this case, CattleMax will link pedigrees based on the first animal found since it is not possible to determine which duplicated animal to use.

Animals in CattleMax with no sire or dam (or sire/dam with no reg #)

Since pedigrees are linked based on each animal’s sire and dam, importing an animal’s pedigree stops when there are no longer any sires or dams to link. When a customer manually enters a Reference animal without a registration number for an import to sync with and/or the manual entry or import does not indicate a sire or dam of the reference animal, CattleMax is not be able to complete the pedigree information.


Technically speaking, it is possible to import additional animals or update pedigrees. However, due to incomplete or missing information, this process can often create more headaches and wasted time than will the manual input of the information.

If you recently imported animals from your breed association and have not added many records, there should not be a problem with importing and updating records.  Likewise, if your records are complete with registration numbers, duplicate-free, you shouldn’t have too much manual cleanup.

Those who have used CattleMax or another cattle software for years generally find the number of duplicates created to be time-consuming to clean up.  Since there isn’t an “undo” process to importing data, we generally discourage importing animals in this scenario.

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