Farm journal?

Ayla_noemi

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Hello,

So I’ve been thinking about getting serious about my animals in terms of tracking and planning. So far I keep all information about births, laying records, fertility, issues, interventions, sales and purchases etc. on my smartphone calendar. However my husband has become frustrated with my current system because as our homestead grows my calendar has become more “cluttered”as he calls it. I was thinking about keeping actual logs where all this information can be stored outside of my calendar. I was looking online and there are a few options for farm journals but I wanted some advice from the group as to what you have tried and what you recommend. I could just jot things down in a notebook but I do better with structured formats that cover all bases needed otherwise it will end up a mess. I’m not too tech savvy but if it’s worth it I can give apps and programs a shot. I’m open to keeping multiple logs for different purposes. I just want it to be organized, detailed and easily referenced. Thank you in advance.
 

Latestarter

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I can't answer your specific question. However, I will comment that over the years I have stored many things on computer disks and hard drives. Of all the things I've lost doing this, my many pictures bother me the most. I think most farmers, even the tech savvy ones, STILL keep written records as a back up for when that catastrophic computer crash comes. Be that a desk top, lap top, tablet, or now cell phone.
 

Baymule

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Agreed. If I make records on a computer, it is subject to loss. I make a thread each time I get pigs, but I still keep written records in a plain ol' manila folder.
 

Mike CHS

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We did a lot of our initial record keeping on computer but after we started to increase our herd numbers we went to paper. Every one of our animals has their own page that shows all of the pertinent info. It's easier to take a notebook down to the handling area when tagging, giving shots or any of the other routine things.

We even went back to paper for farm expenses and put all expenditures in a ledger which we hand off to our book keeper at tax time.
 

greybeard

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Too many storage/backup options nowadays to have to keep things on paper with written entries.
The cloud, external hard drives, even an old 'dinosaur' computer with a 2 gb hd that's no longer fast enough to up/download from the internet will make a decent backup storage device. 2 gb should be plenty for text data and 480x600 pictures of your animals.
Have so many pics that 2 gb isn't enough storage?
There are other options available.
Best Buy for instance, sells external hard drives for backing up data for about $60 starting with 1 terabyte capacity....1 tb is a LOT of data. Connect via usb cord. Keep it disconnected when not in use and you don't have to worry about frying it in electric surge or getting a virus while you cruise the internet.
Here's a 2 tb backup device for $10 more that includes 500 gb cloud storage free for at least 1 yr over and above the 2 tb capacity of the device itself:
https://www.bestbuy.com/site/wd-my-...able-hard-drive-black/5605528.p?skuId=5605528

How much storage do you really need?
PCNinja_1TBHold1-1024x791.jpg


Many ISPs provide a fairly large cloud storage too with your data plan.
 
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Wehner Homestead

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We keep paper records for each individual bovine, caprine, canine, and feline. Poultry and swine notes go in a notebook. The poultry is in groups and the swine are just feeders, not year-Round breeders at this time.

I have a binder for each species. I also use the clear sheet protectors so that the pages hold up better. I’ve been known to use tabs and placed culled/sold animals under a tab so that I can pull their info if need be for offspring that was retained or a new owner needs some type of info.

We also have iPhones and use an app called Evernote. It’s been great to track quick things like a cow that was noted in heat on the way to work or gave the dogs wormer. I can then move it over to paper if I want. The app is free but we pay a yearly fee to have our phones linked (mine and DH.) He can see every note I make. This helps for tracking regularity of heats when we go to AI our cows. We miss writing down fewer things this way. I also created a file for the kid weights when Diamond kidded. We just entered them quickly while in the barn and transferred them over to paper at our convenience. We have an ongoing grocery list also. I have a medical file with a note for each of us that has pertinent medical info so that it can be easily accessed if something happens to me and no one knows the info. The app is very user friendly. (We also have a farm section for mutual usernames/passwords that we both need for things related to the farm.
 

babsbag

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It really surprises me that one of the "older" (sorry @greybeard) members is the one that nailed it as far as computer data storage. There are so many cheap ways to store data now that computers are the way to go. I do have my goats registration papers in a binder but I have to have hard copies of those, everything else is in an Excel spreadsheet. I use Dropbox to store the files that I really can't live without and then they are stored on their server as well as my laptop. Pictures are on my laptop and an external hard drive. A good online program for goats is Easy Keeper, but it isn't free, other than that I have no ideas for other species.
 

greybeard

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It really surprises me that one of the "older" (sorry @greybeard) members is the one that nailed it as far as computer data storage.
It really surprises me that one of the "older" (sorry @greybeard) members is the one that nailed it as far as computer data storage.
See avatar. I got interested in it early. The military went to computers very early on, even analog in the late 60s (tubes and resistors and wired boards oh my!) and our modern integrated digital became fast, reasonably cheap and plentiful as soon as single chip digital signal processors & other advanced semiconductors were invented by Texas Instruments in early to mid 80s.
I first sat down in front of a computer before many of BYH members were born--1977. Up until 2006 I built all my own desktop units from off the shelf parts, (first one was just Dos) then lived for nearly 2 years where there was no real (affordable) internet service available. By the time I moved where there was service, my computers were already obsolete, the technology had outrun my expertise so I just buy everything nowadays. (My first one had a 30 mb hard drive IIRC but the DOS shell took a big chunk out of it. )

I use CattleMax. Not a free program.
https://www.cattlemax.com/pricing
 

greybeard

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Mike CHS

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We developed our own but it was based on the Goat Notes e-book.

I first started "programming" via punch cards for a aircraft carrier landing system in 1977.
 
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