Poultry Farming Record keeping 101
As a chicken farmer, you understand housing, disease control, vaccination, and brooding. However, do you understand record keeping? It is a very vital part of your chicken farming venture.
Put in mind that for you to succeed, income and expenses have to be factored in so that you can know if your business venture is sustainable or not.
Records usually show the weaknesses as well as strengths of your agribusiness.
As a business owner, you will be able to tell where your business has been and the direction it is heading.
Why Record Keeping is Vital.
- For you to make critical financial decisions as well as create a budget, you will need to analyze your records.
- For you to make feeding decisions especially on the number of feed rations, types of feed rations and the effectiveness of the specific feed ration you will need to look at your records.
- A record will help you identify mistakes that can be avoided in the future.
- You should keep records on the productivity of your chicken such as kilos of meat, reproduction, eggs that will be used when culling your flock.
- When you need to breed your birds, you will need to analyze your records to be able to identify the most productive ones.
- Records will help you study the production performance and check whether it meets the prescribed standards
- Most banks will look at your records before giving you any loan.
Methods of Record Keeping.
Hand recording systems.
Advantages of hand recording system.
• Easy to start.
• Low initial out of pocket expense.
• Only requires paper and pencil.
Computer recording system.
Advantages of a computer recording system
• Easier to create analysis.
• Accurate and faster.
• Tax deductible as an expense.
Chicken farming records classification.
Records should be simple, easy to understand, with no repetition and have all the necessary information. Chicken records can be divided into three categories. They include;
Management records usually include data that is related to management issues. They include number, date, and type of vaccination or medication administered, type and amount of feed given, death or loss of chicken, date of chick placement as well as workers shift.
In layers, it should include management practices such as beak trimming, de-worming dates, culled birds, disease incidence and the steps taken.
Management records will help you when assessing the levels of production of your chicken. You can promptly go back in time and know where things started going wrong. You will also be able to know if you are on the right track.
Financial records are supposed to contain all the financial transactions in your chicken farming ventures. You, therefore, should be very keen when entering records of huge expenditures such as those of feeds and purchase of day-old chicks. Ensure that you also keep any financial records of any items sold or bought including supplies, veterinary costs, and equipment.
Remember not to overlook any production cost. It usually adds up to a lot of money in the end. For example, in broiler production, you can easily ignore the cost of slaughtering and transporting the meat to the market. In the end, your financial records will not give you an accurate production cost.
Production records are vital in assessing productivity. For example, in broilers, the daily or weekly weight gain indicates productivity. You can use that to compare the records to the standard chart. You can then make changes in the feeding program if you see the need to.
Many farmers usually weigh their chicken right before slaughter. However, the best way is to weigh weekly to identify any negative deviations. You will be in a position to minimize losses because you can make changes as soon as you notice a deficiency.
In layers, your record should include dates, eggs produced, opening balance, and eggs sold as well as the closing balance of the eggs. Ensure to include daily day to day sales of your eggs. Never forget to maintain a record of the number and sale price of breakable saleable eggs as well as those of the pullet eggs.
It is time you embrace record keeping for your chicken farming. Whatever methods you use in record keeping, whether a computer or hand you should ensure that you maintain and categorized correctly. It better to identify problems right after it happens, right?
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