One of my most important tools on the farm is my lambing record book. In it I record the ewe, the number, sex and colour of her lambs and their tag number when they are tagged. I also make comments such as “keepers” or “bad udder, cull” or “can’t count”. These notes and information will help me make culling decisions, replacement decisions, and in some cases management decisions. I also record any treatments, pasture movements, deaths, and any other information I think I will need. This book travels with me all summer and in some ways is a diary of my days.
In addition to that book, I also record all the lambing records on my computer program. This helps me know lifetime production of ewes, weights, and many production specs, which I also use to make decisions. But with this program, it’s trickier to make those little notes and general information is harder to pull up.
In addition to both of these, I also transcribe all my lambing records into a binder. I don’t use this binder much, and thought about eliminating it, until a few years ago when I lost my lambing book. Then it’s real value as a back of record became pretty obvious! I used it to recreate my lambing book, and although some info was lost, I was able to keep most of it.
I know that 3 types of records is really overkill, and probably I’m wasting some time, but without them, I would never be able to remember all the details of every sheep, and wouldn’t be able to make decisions accordingly. If the saying is “you can’t manage what you don’t measure”, then I have no excuse!