I posted before about how goats are not beginner livestock. I’ve also posted about the basics you need to care for your goats. But how do you keep track of all of the things that you’ve done, need to do, or want to do? I have tried many different ways of trying to keep track of who has gotten what meds, who was breed by who, and who needs vaccines or boosters. But my herd health sheets have been fantastic over the last several years and I wanted to share them with you.
Why Keeping Track Is Important
Unlike other livestock, goats can be pretty fragile creatures that require constant care and maintenance. If you don’t know who is who, or maybe forget that you dewormed your milk goat, you can have some pretty serious problems.
For example, if you are breeding your goats for milk, you need to know who bred them around what time. Then you need to know if they have had any issues with milking in the past, how often they have had to be dewormed, how many kids they throw, and if they have any contagious diseases.
Another reason to help keep track is breeding. We decided to keep Champ’s kid Stella. We CAN breed Stella back to her father but that’s not an awesome idea. Also, by knowing that Champ hates being milked, we know that we need to work with Stella a lot on the milking stand.
We also had an issue with Orf’s within the first few months of having Bella, Champ, Midas and Texas. So by keeping track of who had it, it helps keep us updated on who is likely to get it.
Obviously, if you only have two goats, you can probably remember these things. But we have more than two and will definitely have even more. Not to mention that we plan on breeding goats for a long time. It would be nice to be able to go back at a glance and see who has been healthy and who hasn’t. I am working towards breeding healthier genetics with less need for worming
Who Needs Herd Sheets
If you have livestock that you need to do treatments to or have on a breeding schedule, I would say that you need these herd sheets. Sure, if you only have one bull, buck, rooster, whatever, you probably don’t need the breeding part for them. But I’ve got two bucks and I do need to be careful about who gets bred to who. Midas can breed everyone but Stella. Spike can breed anyone this year. But I want to wait until the girls are at least eight months old.
While I can go down the rabbit hole of all the technicalities of this, I think it’s safe to say that it’s better to have all this information in one spot. If I’m having to flip pages or do mental gymnastics, someone could get left out and that is dangerous when dealing with creatures that are not so great at keeping themselves alive.
Sheets In Use
The first video is Champ’s sheet and the second is the actual product and how to use it.
Its important to note, on Champ’s sheet, that before I created these sheets, I totally missed documenting fecals and other medications that were given. That can be life threatening when dealing with worms. Here in the south, worms are lethal. Sure, you can have a strong herd that rarely needs deworming. But we aren’t there yet. You can see at the bottom, that the last entry she was dewormed because the strongyles can back with a vengeance. Not to mention that her FAMACHA was a 4.
This sheet also helps keep me aware of weight loss, FAMACHA trends, and so on.
This is a brand new sheet and how to set it up.
Where To Get These Sheets?
You can find them on our store as a digital download. The PDF is for the Google Sheet link and they are super easy to fill out. The best thing to do is to make a copy of the first page, by right clicking and then click duplicate. Then rename the copy to your goat name. After that you can remove the information on there and replace it with your own.
I hope this sheet will help you as they have helped me. I strongly suggest either creating your own or picking up ours.
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