We’re wondering how other sheep farmers keep records of their flocks.
We used some little booklets OMAFRA sent us, which were great for one year; the second year, we had to write very small, in the margins, between lines, etc. Obviously not sustainable.
So we tried a couple of computer programs. We liked the idea that you could sort groups of animals by different characteristics - weight gain, health, number of offspring, etc. Ranch Manager stopped working on day 24 of the 30-day free trial; customer support never answered when we asked about that, although they had responded when we wrote them about some glitches we’d run into earlier. Sheep Tracker can’t be backed up on another computer, and after we’d entered a bunch of data about our flock, the free trial version reinstalled itself for another thirty days, wiping out our data.
Not very encouraging experiences. Probably a computer-savvy person could make up their own system with a spreadsheet program; we’re not computer-savvy!
It would be interesting to know how other people keep track, especially when their flock gets to be a fair size.
Hi Jim, We kept Registered Suffolks for 33 years and used paper ewe record forms in addition to being on the ROP type performance testing OMAFRA sponsored in those days. I’ve just searched the internet for a similar form and the Ontario Sheep Marketing Agency has a similar card imaged on P.51 of the .pdf that downloads at this link, www.ontariosheep.org/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=XYaJ6Snnf4I=
( It’s in Chapter 4 Animal Identification and Record keeping) It might be worth contacting them to see if they sell the form- the ones we used were on card stock, eg a heavier weight paper, and 3 hole punched, making it easy to keep them in binders.
The forms had space for the the ewe’s data and ancestry on the top and enough lines with columns below that you could see her offspring information for the first 5-8 years on the front of the page and many more lines on the back if she was a keeper.
That link has a number of other forms in the appendix to that chapter that might interest you too…
Computers can be useful for computing but there’s nothing like hard copy of records you need easily available !
Thank you for this! Looks very useful - I think we’ll use it, and maybe some other forms from the same place. Much obliged!