Ok… so your chickens would probably just peck on a notebook, but I’m serious about the need for some solid coop related bookkeeping. At times I like to use a notebook using the bullet journal method to keep track of coop happenings. When I have more complex or business related farm activities to track I use an Excel file for my chicken coop records related. What’s important is to have a method to constantly take note of the good, bad, and ugly happenings in each season.
Some of the things I find helpful to track include the hatch date of my chicks, types and amount of feed consumed, egg production, and any flock sickness or deaths. I also like to track infrastructure problems for each season.
This is especially important when starting out on a new place like we did last year. Each season produced its own surprises. In the spring sudden changes from cold and windy to hot and sunny called for more insulation and a better brooder for young chicks.
In the summer we found our watering system was inadequate. When it’s around 100 degrees fahrenheit 50 pastured chickens will drain a five gallon bucket in no time flat. (And hauling another bucket to the pasture will feel something like crossing the Sahara… )
In the Fall our heritage breed roosters suddenly reached an age where they needed a lot more space to coexist.
And, well, this winter was a doozy. With record snowfall and following a series of ice storms I found myself struggling to walk on— then breaking through— an ice crust several inches thick with more than two feet of snow beneath that. A trip to the feed storage shed that seemed handy for the past ten months was now an epic journey.
Are you planning some improvements to your chicken raising set-up this year? Or do you have a chicken raising tip to share with our online community? We’d love to hear from you! Just send me an e-mail.
And remember, whether it’s time to build your first coop or upgrade to a new hen house we have high quality plans available in our book bundles. With every $29 purchase you get immediate access to a digital copy and if you choose the $49 (plus shipping) bundle we’ll also ship a hard copy to your home.