Large Flock Keepers - Keeping Records

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by RanchHens, Jan 15, 2014.

  1. RanchHens

    RanchHens Out Of The Brooder

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    Central Texas
    This all sprang from necessity...

    On Monday, about five, or six, normally healthy birds came into roost with runny noses and a little labored breathing.

    Since my big, free-range flock is my pride and joy, I sprung into action. Our most important bird, Queen Pico, Goddess of All the Light Touches (Aka The Boss Lady's Pet) came inside to live in the lap of luxury while this all blows over.

    Unfortunately, with nearly 100, free-range birds of varying breed, species, and religion, still outside. The race is on to get everyone antibiotics, before whatever respiratory ill this is takes over.



    This brought up a huge issue though...

    With so many birds, it would be impossible to know who had been vaccinated and keep track of who was sick, and who was getting better/worse.


    So was born my new management system...

    First, I had to find a way to differentiate between the birds. That was easy enough after I decided the way that would give me the best/quickest results was the Zip-Tie Method. After buying out the local hardware store, we have six colors to choose from.

    Then, I fashioned an Excel Workbook (See Below) that would allow me to keep track of who was sporting what Zip-Ties. The Workbook also includes Names, Breed, Color, Gender, DoB, and a section for Comments/Notes about the bird. I also have a few other pages where I am entering in when they are examined/given injections/etc.

    Hopefully, this will allow me to keep better track of who's been sick, who's been broody, who's gotten a shot, who needs a shot, etc. It'll also let me know when a bird goes missing/dies, because when you have ~25-28 brown hens it's hard to keep a good headcount going, much less keep track of who's missing.

    I wanted to share it, just in case there's anyone else out there who needs a good system to keep track of their birds.

    (If anyone would like me to email them the Excel File, please let me know.)


    Name Right Leg 1 Right Leg 2 Left Leg 1 Left Leg 2 Sex Breed Color DOB Notes

    Marilyn Black None Black Blue F Buff Orpington Buff ?
    N/A Black None Black Yellow F Buff Orpington Buff 2013 Nervous
    N/A Black None Black Orange F Cuckoo Maran Black Cuckoo 2013 No Right Wattle, Missing Middle Toenail on Left Foot (Racoon Attack)
    N/A Black None White White F Ameracauna Wild Type 2013 Nervous
    N/A Black None White Pink F Barred Rock Black Barred ?
    Farrah Black None White Blue F Ameracauna Wheaten 2013
    Dumpling Black None White Yellow F Buff Orpington Buff 2013
    N/A Black None White Orange F Buff Orpington Buff 2013 Large Red Comb
    N/A Black None Pink Pink F Light Brahma Columbian 2013 Fighter
    Diego Black None Pink Blue M Ameracauna White/Possible Splash 2013 Willow Legs
     
  2. Triple Willow

    Triple Willow Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 1, 2013
    Looks like a nice system of keeping track of things. I guess you sell a lot of eggs? Can you tell about that?
     
  3. RanchHens

    RanchHens Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 7, 2013
    Central Texas
    Actually, we don't sell any eggs.

    Our flock is a hobby flock gone mad, with a variety of birds (Barred Rocks, Boven Browns, New Hampshires, Rhode Islands, Buff Orpingtons, Ameracaunas, White and Black Austrolorps, Cochins, Brahmas, Cuckoo Marans, a Favorelle, White Leghorns, Bantams, and some Siver Sussex Blood). We'll be adding Wyandottes, French Marans, Buckeyes, Lavender Orpingtons, and Cream Legbars this year.

    Next year, I may start breeding Easter Eggers/Olive Eggers and I'd like to buy an English-type Lavender Orpington Roo to have a little project flock of Lavenders.

    The eggs are a happy by-product of our desire to have so many chickens. Our Chicken Man, Victor, takes all of the eggs and donates them to the elderly in our rural area. Judging by the number of eggs I collect on the weekends, when he's off, I'd estimate that even in winter he collects about 35/40 eggs a day from our ~60 hens (We'll have an accurate number tonight when we finish tagging/giving shots.) Though our, usually, mild Texas winters probably have a lot to do with that.

    We also give about two dozen a week to friends and family, who stop by.
    I may eat 2-3 eggs a week myself, as I'm a vegetarian, bordering vegan.
     
  4. Triple Willow

    Triple Willow Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You have an expensive hobby there! My hobby/habit is about half as big is your layer flock. LOL That is a wonderful thing you and Victor are doing. I'd like to do that myself. I have a soft spot in my heart for older folks. :) My birds have done great this winter but I'll be glad when spring gets here and everybody starts laying regularly.
     
  5. ChickenCurt

    ChickenCurt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 2, 2014
    Thanks for the tip :)
    I was banding mine for age reasons only and only logging egg count for book keeping reasons but this is exactly why I hang out in the managing thread... TIPS :D
     
  6. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

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    My Coop
    Since you are planning on possibly breeding, please know that your flock likely has something respiratory, which is contagious to other birds. Some of the poultry diseases can transmit vertically (through the egg to the chick) thus could possibly infect someone else's flock. The same goes for selling/giving away live birds. I would advise finding out exactly what your flock has before you sell any eggs or birds.
     
  7. RanchHens

    RanchHens Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 7, 2013
    Central Texas
    Hi Happy Chooks,

    Thanks for the warning! We've been monitoring the situation really closely and since the first night that we had the sniffles no one's had so much as a boogery nose. We are always on high alert for even a sneeze, and tend to give everyone antibiotics immediately as a precaution. With so many birds we never want to give any kind of illness even a chance to get a foothold.

    I honestly think that our crazy weather (going from the 30's overnight to the 70's during the day) is playing mayhem with everyone. Even. I've had a runny nose the last few days.

    We definitely aren't sending anyone anywhere until we're sure it's nothing serious and are giving everyone another round of Tylan this coming week.

    I'll be sure and let you know how everything turns out, but at this point I'm not too worried as this seems very under control.
     

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