Backyard Poultry Forum

Keeping Chicken Records
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Author:  globi [ Wed Jun 27, 2018 7:07 pm ]
Post subject:  Keeping Chicken Records

I wonder if somebody would be interested in discussing chicken records, and how best to keep them?

Many years ago I started with a bit of paper, writing down things like (date) “Globi has yet again gone broody”, or (date) “wormed whole flock with... (whatever):, or (date) “Croadie has laid her first egg”...

Then, about 8 years ago I graduated to a spreadsheet and a calendar on computer.
And it says things like Hysteriker, (date), prolapse. And I would like to have a connection to the (successful) treatment and the post on this forum I found helpful, and her recovery.... they don’t fit into the spreadsheet I created.

So now I speculate if it would be a good thing to make a proper database, so I could check up on quality of offspring and so on... (like this male is a stunning looking bird but 10% offspring has no leg feathering.)

There are many ways of keeping records, from having pictures of favourite pet chickens to sophisticated breeding records, tracking genetics.
Yes, I know, there are commercial programs available, but I don’t like them. They never quite seem to do what I want them to do.
I’m sure we could help each other with ideas on whatever level. And there are many free computer programs available.
It will be a lengthy process as I have to learn some programming along the way.

Just wondering how other chicken keepers do it, and if they would be willing to share?

Author:  Okaru [ Wed Jun 27, 2018 9:25 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Keeping Chicken Records

Well, Globi, I too would be interested to hear what others do.......
I have a notebook. (labelled "chook book") :)
Each bird as a number. As something happens to / with each bird, it gets recorded in the notebook on the page for that bird. Stuff like worming and events that happen to all of them get recorded elsewhere in a diary.......otherwise I would have to write it lots of times in the notebook.......... You can see problems with this already can you not?

Also, since mr O calculated we need 22 thousand eggs to pay for their accommodation, we record egg tally.... :rofl: Ha ha, and worming records also happen there.....

As a consequence, we know that a particular bird has been broody "this many" times and another bird matured early. This is all fine.

However, I think that if I had more plans than one lot of breeding, or more complicated matters to record, like who was bred with whom for what purpose, and whether their progeny met the imagined / desired outcomes, my notebook would not be adequate.
Sooooooooo, I too would also like to know what others do ?? :)

Author:  healzam [ Thu Jun 28, 2018 10:38 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Keeping Chicken Records

I'm very new to chicken keeping. I keep entries on my phone, sort of likes journal.

Chooks arrived this date. Such date this chook did this. On this date chook laid first egg etc. Such an such got wormed etc.

I often wonder if I should write it in an actual book

Author:  Lani's Croads [ Thu Jun 28, 2018 4:29 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Keeping Chicken Records

I normally keep my records on paper first off and do three assessments before choosing my chosen ones for breeding and showing. I input the 2nd assessment and update it on the 3rd assessment.
At the end of message I have put how I input them onto the computer in columns.
At the top of the page I put the year of hatching.
Then the sex of each chick in the first column. I then put down the breeding pairs no's against which birds I used if you know what I mean. You get to choose out of the four depending on what you use.
Then with the below suggestions I use abbreviations such as Pr (Poor) G (Good, Vg (very good) or Ex (Excellent)
I put colour of eye in as such as dark or light or medium. (D) (L) or (M) - I'm meant to have dark brown eyes preferably.
Then how many serrations in the comb. (1, 2,3,4 or 5)
Colour I use for the sheen as I have Croad Langshan which have the green sheen as to whether it is poor, good, very good or excellent.
Type I put in the same as above but will update when they go from 2nd to 3rd assessment.
Feet is usually for me the colour of feet such as pink, light spots or dark spots.
Type is the shape of the bird for me which I also put poor,good,very good or excellent or sometimes Gd-Vg or Vg-Ex or you could put G-Vg or Vg - E.
Status is the end result such C for cull, L for layer or B for breeder
Id No is the leg ring no which changes from 2nd assessment to 3rd assessment so I update.
In comments I put things to remember such as how many dark toenails or dark underfoot, twisted toes etc. If the spots on the heel and outer toe. Of course I abbreviate.
Faults I use to put down how many faults they have because for me three strikes and they are out. When I say 3 strikes I mean say they had twisted toe, light eye colour and very dark underfoot they would be a cull as to go into freezer or layer for backyard chook.
Location is the name to where I sell my birds to breeders or backyarders.
If you have questions then let me know as it makes sense to me but maybe not so clear to others.
Just a suggestion!!!! Regards Lana

Sex Cockerel Rooster Pullet Hen Eye Comb Colour Feet Type Status ID No. Comment Faults Location

Author:  Lani's Croads [ Thu Jun 28, 2018 4:30 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Keeping Chicken Records

I can't seem to get the columns to show seperated so I hope you can understand what I mean as they all joined together.


Author:  globi [ Thu Jun 28, 2018 6:21 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Keeping Chicken Records

Thanks everybody for their feedback.

Oh yes, very clear, Lana.
Similar to what i do, but more extensive in some parts. (I'm not a proper breeder)
Was just thinking yesterday maybe I should transform things like poor, excellent and so on into figures like 1, 2, 3...
Then I could do a table with type multiply by 5 and beak colour multiply only by 1, as an example.
Then I could get a figure for overall rating in a flash....

healzam, book is more easy to look at, but electronic records can be searched. And you can have a backup somewhere.
Do you have a computer?

Okaru, do you have a computer? By the way I gave up the total egg counting and feed bill, it became too depressing.... :-) But it is important to know who is a good layer and who is not.

Also, I have started to take lots of photos and stick them into the spreadsheet. Helps my memory.

Have to think about it all for a bit. At the moment I'm collecting the fields that I want to record...
Will certainly be back with more questions. :read

Author:  Lani's Croads [ Thu Jun 28, 2018 6:56 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Keeping Chicken Records

Yes I have a computer but had to ask my husband for help.
As for worming etc I keep that in a book still.
I thought by looking at the photo attached to you if that is one of yours it is excellent


Author:  globi [ Sat Jun 30, 2018 6:10 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Keeping Chicken Records

Yes that's one of mine in the old vineyard block. Croads are ALWAYS beautiful.

Author:  Ricky Bobby [ Sun Jul 01, 2018 10:15 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Keeping Chicken Records

theres a lot of computer programs available.

Author:  globi [ Sun Jul 01, 2018 7:20 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Keeping Chicken Records

There are actually not a lot of computer programs available. zooeasy is one of the few or the only one?
Do you use it, Ricky Bobby? (For this incredible breed in your picture?)
I love programming, even though I'm not very good at it, and want to do my own.

Author:  Okaru [ Tue Jul 17, 2018 9:26 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Keeping Chicken Records

Hi Globi,
I've been meaning to come back to this post. In answer to your question, yes, I have a computer (unfortunately)...... I have to sit in front of it all day, every day.........
I was also thinking about a scoring system, why not set it up so "points" as outlined by the Australian poultry standards?
The other thing about records, which makes it harder to organize a one stop shop as far as programs go, is everyone (may) breed chooks for different reasons. The features I may look for could be different to what someone else wants.
What I am saying, is that if you are looking to keep records, even to go as fast as designing a database, you would need first to start with the premise behind keeping of the records. What's important? The answer might not be the same for everyone.......

Personally, I am still working out all of "what's important" for me. ...........

Author:  globi [ Wed Jul 18, 2018 9:17 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Keeping Chicken Records

Hi Okaru,
I totally agree. Most chicken records are just setup to count eggs, which is not always the most important thing. And yours is a good idea.
I was actually thinking of making the "importance" an input feature. Like at the moment I have problems with footfeathering, so for my selecting breeders this may have priority over something that is higher rated in the standards. So I may want to have the standard points as default and the option to change to private priority?

At the moment I am trying to find a good system to keep track of breeding lines and crossing them.
And fighting php/mysql.
I think I'm getting to old for this stuff... Do you do breeding lines?

Author:  sue55 [ Wed Jul 18, 2018 1:55 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Keeping Chicken Records

My record keeping involves lots of scraps of paper. I use the standards (points) as a guide and different coloured cable ties to identify the score.

This is the year to take control - this seems to be a simple, practical way to manage breeding groups.

Single spiral rings are my permanent ID's

A 4 year colour rotation to identify breeding season (yellow,green, orange,purple) and (3) different colours to identify clan. (red,white,blue) I can see at a glance who is who.
The Barnevelders will have 3 clans, - red, white and blue. The red clan (dbl laced) will have a pink sub clan (blues) so I can avoid using a dbl Laced male bred from blue.

Author:  Okaru [ Wed Jul 18, 2018 9:37 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Keeping Chicken Records

Well......... Globi, I am only just starting out, still not clear what the objectives are and negotiating with mr O about allocation of time and space for various possible projects. So no, apart from the main line, there is no real "line". There's a new cockerel that may turn out to score better than my current main roo, but he is not yet fully developed. (not yet 1 year old, so I don't know how big he will get, but in all other features, looking good)
I have a group of egg layers that I have been recording production on and am thinking of developing this group further. Even during the winter, we have been averaging 70% laying eggs per day.
At the moment, this is "playing around". I am still looking and thinking about priorities. I am lucky mr O puts up with my whims and is happy with the chooks......
Sue55, the idea of colour coding using leg rings is cool. I have not quite got my head around what you were describing, but I can see potential with the approach, especially if they are allowed to mingle with each other. This can then be a good way to easily sort them out when you do want to breed from them.

Author:  globi [ Tue Jul 24, 2018 7:41 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Keeping Chicken Records

Okaru, my objectives are to get a few eggs, and I get an amazing amount of pleasure out of observing them running around on the farm.
I have become incredibly interested in chicken behaviour.
That my eggs are having show success is a bonus. (I don't show, just sell eggs.) :fead

And the record keeping stuff:
Sue, I think you have convinced me. I always called my breeding pens A, B, C..., so I could sort them. But I think colours are better. And they can be made to sort, of course.

By the way, I keep links to some Croad breeders talking about record keeping somewhere. They colour code, too. If you are interested I find the links and post them (YouTube).

Also I want to keep track of genes. Like I have black and white Croads. I have not yet crossed them, but may have to at some stage. I want to record which ones may have the (recessive) white gene. The same goes for people breeding blues, of course.

Still thinking....

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