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Farm journal?

Discussion in 'Everything Else Homestead Living' started by Ayla_noemi, Feb 28, 2018.

  1. Feb 28, 2018
    Ayla_noemi

    Ayla_noemi Lovin' The Homestead

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    Hello,

    So I’ve been thinking about getting serious about my homestead in terms of tracking and planning. So far I keep all information about births, laying records, fertility, planting, 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.
     
  2. Feb 28, 2018
    Britesea

    Britesea Sustainability Master

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    I had a friend who grew up on a farm in Norway that had been in the family since the Middle Ages (I am still amazed at that, living in the US where nothing is more than a few centuries at best). Anyway, they decided to take down an old shed on the property and discovered it had been insulated inside the walls with all kinds of papers dating from the early 17th century- things like newspapers, letters, even a Bible as I recall. They called the curator of the museum in Oslo and told him if he wanted the stuff to get down there before they burned it. Well, it normally takes about 3 hours to get from Oslo to their farm but he got there in 2, lol. While he was loading stuff up, the farmer asked him if he would be interested in some of their farm jounals- which dated to the Middle Ages; he only wanted to hang on to the last hundred years or so. They said the guy almost peed himself....
     
  3. Feb 28, 2018
    sumi

    sumi Sustainability Master Administrator

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    Oh wow, that must be fascinating reading!

    @Ayla_noemi I'm terrible with keeping records etc, but if needed, my go-to is Google sheets and Docs. It's online, secure and pretty easy and straightforward to work with. You just need a Gmail account to sign in with.
     
    Ayla_noemi and tortoise like this.
  4. Feb 28, 2018
    tortoise

    tortoise Wild Hare

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    I'm following the thread. I have hardcover books that I take notes in, but it's a messy system at best and I don't even know what all to record!
     
    Ayla_noemi likes this.
  5. Mar 1, 2018
    Chic Rustler

    Chic Rustler Super Self-Sufficient

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    I could use a bit more organization and record keeping myself.
     
    Ayla_noemi likes this.
  6. Mar 1, 2018
    Mini Horses

    Mini Horses Super Self-Sufficient

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    You have to decide what you want to track...first. Then spreadsheets are great for recording such as breeding dates, due dates, setting eggs, collecting, etc.

    If you want info as to $$$ then work with some of the simpler booking programs. Not only will you then have it for your own review but, for taxes. This will allow you to prepare reports with info as to expenses and income.

    I often use calendars to jot down the setting/breeding/due dates but, use a separate calendar from those which I enter my other "schedules" upon. Keeps it a tiny bit less messy as I do work outside the farm.
     
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  7. Mar 1, 2018
    Ayla_noemi

    Ayla_noemi Lovin' The Homestead

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    That is awesome I myself dabble in genealogical research and historical context so I understand his excitement.
     
  8. Mar 1, 2018
    Ayla_noemi

    Ayla_noemi Lovin' The Homestead

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    I’m not too concerned at the moment about the expense part ( maybe I should be). But as our animals have begun reproducing it’s getting harder to recal who was born when and what they weighed. Right now it’s obvious who the parents were but as I decide who to keep and who to replace that might be an issue in the future. I also want to keep track of who had multiples who had complications at delivery. Also who developed what skin condition or injuries. What their behaviors were like. Who provides how much milk. Who lays the most eggs. Who lays eggs without shells. Who dies when and from what. Who makes good breeding stock. What plants have given fruit. What issues they’ve had. When was the last time I tended the soil and with what. It’s so much info I’m not even sure if it’s all important I just feel like writing it all down. And if I don’t do it in an organized way from the begining and soon I feel like it will be pointless.
     
    tortoise likes this.
  9. Mar 1, 2018
    Britesea

    Britesea Sustainability Master

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    Had a friend who was homeschooling her kids and one of the things she did was assign each child a journal- they had to write something about what was going on with the farm every day ( I think the youngest just kept track of the weather, including max and min temps, cloud cover and precipitation). At first they hated it, but then they found some value in being able to look back and find out things like when did the aphids show up on the broccoli and such.
     
    moxies_chickennuggets likes this.
  10. Mar 1, 2018
    Mini Horses

    Mini Horses Super Self-Sufficient

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    Spent years raising mini horses for show & sale. It was important to have exact info, especially for registration and DNA, production results, etc. Of course there was only one foal per, not like our mutis with goats/sheep but, I found a file for each animal was essential. In it I could see a record of when she cycled, was bred, ultrasound results, dates foaled, info notes as to her actions before, etc. Of course, vaccines, vet needs, hoof trims and all were also in there...for all, not just foaling. Great when selling for new owners

    You may want to consider such a file. I kept about 50 minis plus a herd of 30is mini donks, a herd of 50-75 Boer goats. All registered....was a busy time. :)

    On the mares stalls I kept a plastic folder with a card inside that had a picture of the mare, her age, feed & breeding status...it was essential for an emergency that came up, or anyone who might have to come in to help. I kept full time, on farm, workers but -- never know! Stallions had folder with their pics & basic as to age, feed, etc. Their folders would have a list of animals bred that season, resulting foals and notations for the conformational results and trends. Yeah, it was a business and a nice one, looking back. :clap

    So my minis here were from my herd and no longer being bred, they are just retired and living out their days. Most are 20's & 30's now...lazing around. My dairy goat herd is now the ones with folders. :old Chickens get some pages in a folder, the flock, and some bands to designate ages, or breeding lines, broody status.

    They lay eggs....go broody...the pure breds are penned for egg fertility & roo selection, part of the year. Otherwise....loose & foraging. Just what I need to control & track now.

    Once you decide what you want to track, you can work out a more streamlined tracking system. Of course, it is only as good as YOU making the entries. :cool:
     

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