For the good managements of poultry keeping, farmers are advised to update all records books accordingly. In case of a busy poultry farmer who hardly find time to record or go through the books, he must employ someone to do this task for him/her because it helps the farmer keep the track of everything that is going on among the birds and the farm at large.
One of the first steps in being a successful farm manager is keeping well-maintained, accurate records and establishing a sound record-keeping system. Keeping accurate records has its benefits, like helping farmers plan and complete realistic forecasting for the next year.
Types of Poultry Records
- Farm Records
- Egg records
- Stock records
- Selling records
- Financial records
- Mortality records
Poultry Record Board
Below is an example of what a poultry record board should look like in your poultry farm:
Mortality for Today:————————————-
Mortality for the Month:——————————–
Culled/Supplied for marketing:———————–
Balance for today:—————————————
Balance for the Month:———————————
Now the content on each form is as follows:
Date: you must keep the date of an incident regarding birds. for exampl: date bought, date sold, date treated, date died etc.
House nos: if the poultry houses are many, care should be taken to note the particular house by identifying them with numbers where a bird or more are removed either to the market for sale, consumption, gift, treatment, transfer or any other reasons.
Breeds: Farmers should know the types of breeds her or she is raising.
Date Hatched: you should know the date your baby chicks were hatched.
Mortality for Today: you should take the records of birds that have died for the day and monthly records must be taken also.
Birds may die either from sickness or mismanagement.
Culled: This is concerned with the number of birds taken out of the house. Birds could be culled either for the fears that they may transfer diseases, given out as gift or supplied for marketing.
Whether taken away for one reason or the other, it must enter into the record books.
Balance for today: You should take records of the remaining birds in the farm daily and monthly records must be taken also.
Poultry Attendants: The names of the attendants in each of the houses must be known and written in the record board, it must enter into the record books accordingly.
Read Also: Pecking in Poultry and How to Control it
What is it to ‘keep records’?
To keep records is simply to collect relevant information that can help you to take good decisions and to keep track of activities, production and important events on a farm. Records can be about any performance of the animals, economic development, or any activity of the farmer or veterinarian.
It is important to keep record keeping simple, and to keep records systematic. If records should be of use for the farmer, than they must be complete (none missing), they should be true (collected carefully). When record can’t be trusted because they are not complete or true, time should not be spent on it at all.
The records can:
- Be used in determining profitability of various techniques used at the farm
- Be used to keep your memory on what you did and/or what happened
- Be used in decision making, especially on a strategic level
- Be used to compare the efficiency of use of inputs, such as land, labour and capital, for example when implementing a new / alternative systems
- Help the farmer / investor in improving the efficiency of farm’s operations
The real value is to support the farmer and the advisors to keep track and take decisions. Too often, records are only kept for the purpose of official reporting, e.g. to the Ministry headquarters for the parasitical and not used as a tool on the farm/ranch for making the decision in time.
The records should be simple, easy and quick to interpret, and then they can be supplemented with remarks which can explain some unusual events or findings.
What can records be used for?
If a farmer wants to build a financially successful livestock enterprise, record keeping is a must. The records can be used to further develop the farm and the herd, and thereby the sector in the country.
For many farmers, it helps to think of their farm as a business, and to see that good care and good management actually also influences the production and profitability of the farm.
Records are important in (animal) farming because:
- To keep track of all animals (Identification records)
- Evaluation of livestock for selection (breeding records; financial records; production records)
- Control of inbreeding and aid in breeding planning (breeding records)
- Aid in selecting animals with the right characteristics for breeding (production, health, feed efficiency) to improve the herd or flock
- To rationalize labour
- Aids in feed planning and management
- Aids in disease management; keeping track about treatment (disease records)
- Aids in finding the effective treatments
- To assess profitability/losses (financial records)
- Improves bargaining power on products, because you can see the investment and the price of the production (financial records)
- Credit/loan access (financial records)
How Proper Record Keeping can Assist your Poultry Farming Business Growth
(1) It may be a requirement
Lenders, government agencies, insurance companies and others often require detailed and well-maintained records of the farm’s income and expenditure before giving out loans to farmers.
(2) Better farm planning and forecasting
Farming is a business and good farm record-keeping helps the farmer plan and do realistic forecasting. Record-keeping provides valuable information on which methods work. The farmer can better predict price changes of inputs and produce from expenditures and sales records kept from previous years.
(3) Track income and expenditure
By keeping accurate records, at any time of reconciliation, the farmer can report the correct amount of money spent or gained from the farm. This helps for proper planning and budgeting.
(4) Better management of a farm
Someone who keeps records on seed germination rates of seeds purchased is in a better position to select seeds for seasons. In the case of livestock, the farm should keep records of bloodlines, pests, disease, feed types and consumption. These records help to prevent inbreeding, control pests and disease and provide the bets feed for optimum performance.