I have a terrible memory. Even if you have a memory better than mine, it’s difficult to keep track of all the birth dates, weights, last vaccination or worming dates, and so on for your entire herd. This is why record keeping is so important!

Everyone has a different system for record keeping. Some prefer to do things digitally using a smartphone app, Word, or Excel. Others (like me, despite my career as a web developer) still prefer good ol’ pen and paper. I prefer paper notes because then everything is together in one 3-ring binder. My binder is divided into 4 sections:

  1. ADGA paperwork (pedigrees, my herd registration information, etc.)
  2. Health records for individual goats
  3. Print-outs or photo copies of useful articles I’ve collected (the articles section is subdivided into categories for general health, kidding, showing, etc.)
  4. Extra note paper (because you always need extra note paper!)

When I go to a show or 4-H meeting, I just grab my entire binder and know it’s ALL with me, without having to drag along a laptop or make sure my smartphone has a signal and good battery. It’s also easy to take out to the barn with me to make notes as I’m administering vaccines or trimming hooves. When I was doing things digitally, I’d go out to do the vaccines and when I came back in I’d get sidetracked (kids, pets… life!) before I updated my Excel spreadsheet, and before I knew it, it was a month later and I couldn’t recall who had been treated or on which day it occurred.

 

Goat Health Information to Record

Whatever system you prefer, here’s some things you may want to keep track of:

  • Name
  • Birth date and weight
  • Sire and Dam
  • Sex (doe, buck, wether)
  • Date of wethering (if applicable)
  • Tattoos
  • ADGA and/or AGS registration ID number
  • Color description
  • Horned, polled, or disbudded (and disbudding date, if applicable)
  • Vaccinations and medications — medication name, date administered, dosage
  • Wormings — medication name, date administered, dosage
  • Blood tests (e.g. CAE, CL, etc.) — date performed, results
  • Dates of hoof trimmings
  • Feed ration
  • Dates of breedings & kiddings
  • Milk records
  • Shows/awards

Your system doesn’t have to be fancy at all. It can be simple notebook paper, or you could start with a template. I used the one from FussBudget farm (linked below) for quite some time, then eventually adapted it into my own version. If you aren’t sure where to start, I think it’s good to start with one of these templates, and leave the back blank so you can make extra notes if something doesn’t exactly fit into the template. Then once you figure out all the “extra” things you are making notes about, you can add them to have a custom template of your own.

 

Goat Health Record Template Downloads

 

 

Photo from Unsplash • Jan Kahánek

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