Record Keeping for Goats

I was surprised by the number of people commenting on my organization and being able to keep track of all the breeding choices of my goats.  I really think my years of doing genealogical research has helped.  I also have two forms of written records.  I didn’t start this until about my second year of having kids.

Bonnie and Blaze

Looking at the spreadsheet below, you can see the year, the buck is in bold print, and the does go across with their kids listed below.  It’s a very basic record that lists all the goats ever born on the farm.  You’ll notice that my Millie was born in 2004 and had her first baby in 2005.

After seven years of kidding, my spreadsheet is on it’s third page.  The page for 2012 is a constant work in progress.  I typically print it out and track the girls’ heat cycles in pencil.  I do go back and fill it in on the computer.  Their due dates are hi-lited in yellow.  Sometimes, I will change the color.  Yellow for March, green for the two due on May 12th; blue for the ones due in the first part of June, etc.  Even if I don’t plan on breeding a doe, I’ll keep track of her heat cycles in case a buck gets out.  I have the three wethers listed also because I can have an accurate count of my goats that way.  By the way, it’s 46, not 47 as I stated last week.  I guess I just can’t count.

In my third year of having kids, I realized that a record of kids born by years was great, but I needed to look at each doe.  That’s when I created the record sheet below.

Click HERE for a printable version of the record.

This is what I envisioned~a picture in the box and a neatly typed sheet for each girl.  I can keep all those records in a file folder on my computer.  You’ll notice there is nothing to the right of Scarlet’s picture.  That is because I bought her, and I don’t know her pedigree.  The ID # refers to the Scrapie ID tag that was in her ear when I brought her home.  She has since lost the tag, but I did record her number before that happened.  There is generally enough room that I can put notes down regarding the birth.  For example, I pulled Luna, but it was pretty easy.  The (H) or (P) refers to whether the kid is horned or polled.  If there is nothing, both parents had horns, so the kids did too.

If you really want the Microsoft Word version that you can insert a picture into the square and type on, you’ll have to e-mail me because I can’t get it uploaded.

The reality is my records look more like Haley’s.  Kind of.  I generally print out the blank form and just write things in by hand.  I keep them all in alphabetical order by first name in a three-ring binder.  On the sheet below, you can see that I know a fair amount of Haley’s pedigree.  I know Fionn has bred her, but if she comes back into heat, I can always change my due date.  I figure the date by using my Bred/Birth chart.

Even after a girl has retired or died, I’ll keep her record.  It simply gets placed into a different section of the binder.  I keep it because occasionally I have to cross out the retired and record more births.  Millie!  After a year off, she and Marley decided to end her retirement, and she’s due to kid on March 2nd.

Millie Ann Saanen

With these two simple forms, I do a pretty good job of keeping track of my goats’ genealogies.  People ask or laugh about the last names of all my goats, but that also helps me keep track of my breeding lines.  I won’t breed an Osboer to an Osboer.  All of Fionn Osboer’s girls have the last name of Blackboer.  I know they are no relation on their fathers’ sides.  They might be related, but it won’t be close.  For example Fionn and Cinnamon are half second cousins.

Fionn Osboer

I highly recommend you start keeping records because the herd has a way of growing.  It’s just too hard to sell those cute kids!

Linking to Homestead Barn Hop.

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58 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Kim,USA
    Jan 09, 2012 @ 13:17:34

    I am interested in raising goats. In the Philippines there meat is more expensive than pork and if to choose which one is the best meat I prefer goat. ^_^ Happy Monday!

    Reply

    • Teresa
      Jan 09, 2012 @ 13:44:15

      Goats are wonderful, and I wish I could keep all of mine as pets. :-) I hate to admit that my kids do end up in the food chain, but it is an expanding market here in the states. I milk some of my girls for my own use and make goats milk soap to sell.

      Reply

  2. Sharon Qualls
    Jan 09, 2012 @ 13:25:50

    Very, very good way of keeping track! (Bow now, for the applause)

    Reply

  3. Tracy
    Jan 09, 2012 @ 13:52:40

    Great system Teresa! I’d love a copy of the Word version for the pic.

    Reply

  4. Sandy
    Jan 09, 2012 @ 17:16:42

    Very nice! Beats the heck out of my spiral notebook with printed pictures I cut out and tape on the pages lol

    Reply

    • Teresa
      Jan 09, 2012 @ 17:23:31

      Whatever works. If you want, I can e-mail you the word document so you can just paste a picture in and type in the boxes.

      Reply

      • Haley
        May 04, 2012 @ 19:25:38

        This is Great!!! would you be able to send me the word document to please? I would really appreciate it a lot.

  5. Candy C.
    Jan 09, 2012 @ 17:51:54

    Wow! Your records sure beat my index cards! LOL!! Very impressive!

    Reply

  6. Alica
    Jan 09, 2012 @ 19:08:44

    Very nice record keeping!
    Give Fionn a hug for me! :)

    Reply

  7. Chai Chai
    Jan 09, 2012 @ 20:45:20

    OK, I now need to get busy. Some wonderful ideas here!

    Reply

  8. Susie Clevenger
    Jan 09, 2012 @ 22:32:25

    You are so organized…I have a hard time keeping up with my ink pens. Maybe that should be a goal for this year.

    Reply

  9. Talon
    Jan 09, 2012 @ 23:28:51

    That seems a perfect way to keep track of your goats, Teresa. Your dedication and organization is inspiring. I don’t keep goats, but I could apply some of your skills to other areas for sure :)

    Reply

  10. Mimi Foxmorton
    Jan 10, 2012 @ 08:14:43

    Ok….those goatie smiles are breaking my heart!!!!!

    Fionn turned out so handsome I’d almost marry him myself! ;)

    Remember when he was all smushed out and looking like a selkie…..?

    I only have a single record to keep: Darla-Zero
    lol

    Reply

  11. Autumn
    Jan 10, 2012 @ 08:45:33

    How neat and organized for so many goats you have!

    Reply

  12. EG Wow, Canada
    Jan 10, 2012 @ 11:24:03

    It’s not always fun to keep records but it sure makes life easier in the future if you do!

    Reply

  13. Nancy
    Jan 10, 2012 @ 14:25:08

    I still think this is an awesome method you have. :) I’m thrilled because Millie is due to kid on my birthday!

    Reply

  14. Mandy
    Jan 11, 2012 @ 09:44:59

    Wow! I’m impressed. Thanks for explaining how you keep records. This is our first year kidding (and lambing) so this is really helpful. Now we’ll at least look like we know what we’re doing! :)

    Reply

    • Teresa
      Jan 11, 2012 @ 10:22:38

      It took me a few years to really get a system down. It’s nice to be able to go back and look at a doe’s production record. I hope this was helpful.

      Reply

  15. jen
    Jan 12, 2012 @ 09:59:23

    Thank for all the info. I really am so glad I started following your blog, so much great info. for me to learn :)

    Reply

  16. Nicholos Neil
    May 31, 2012 @ 15:56:19

    I’m interested in receiving the microsoft word record sheet. I’m from Jamaica and have been raring goats for over thirty years now but have never done any record keeping. I’m really impress and would love to have a copy. Keep up the good work.

    Reply

  17. Nicholos Anthonio Neil
    May 31, 2012 @ 16:00:31

    I’m from Jamaica and i’m really impress with your document for record keeping. Would love if you could email me the Microsoft word one for me to start my own. I have been raising goats for over twenty five years now and never kept any records. Due to the change of environment with the government.

    Reply

  18. Chrisanne
    Jun 15, 2012 @ 09:38:49

    What a wonderful system you have created! Would love to have the Microsoft document to get our goats records organized (no more index cards).

    Reply

  19. Rhonda
    Jun 26, 2012 @ 16:47:40

    I too appreciate your record keeping and your forms. Would you e-mail the forms so that I can add pictures and type in my information for our use? Thank You.

    Reply

  20. Bev
    Aug 02, 2012 @ 11:56:44

    What a great system! This is my first year with goats, pigs, and chickens. My Emelia is due the end of August. I also have a 4 month weather for company. I will use this form for all record keeping. Thanks for sharing your knowledge and experience. I feel, at least I’m on the right track. One question. How do you decide to disbud the kids or not? What are the pros and cons of horns? I have 10 acres and there are fox and coyotes in the area although, I’ve not seen them in the yard. The goats are put up at night
    Thanks in advance!

    Reply

    • Teresa
      Aug 02, 2012 @ 12:26:58

      I do not disbud any of my goats. There is no correct answer. You have to do what is comfortable for you. If they have horns, you are going to get bruises. I’ve only had one wether that tried using his horns as a weapon, and I sold him. I don’t want a mean goat with or without horns. They do fight, but usually it’s not violent. I’ve only had one goat in nine years get hurt, and there were extenuating circumstance. I have had a couple of kids get injured, but they were trying to nurse the wrong mom, and that wrong mom is on her last hoof here. She’s been fine since retiring. It does seem like they got through a stretch where they get their horns stuck in fences. I do worry a bit, but my bigger pasture has seemed to take care of that. I’ve also fastened something to their horns so they can’t get their heads through to start with. The horns really do serve them well for scratching~this year has been horrible for ticks, and the horns work well for removing them. They also help to serve as part of the goat’s cooling system in hot weather. I personally like working with goats that have horns because they make great handles for catching, leading and holding.

      Goats are very easy targets for coyotes. I have a llama that really helps to keep them away. Good luck!

      Reply

  21. Theresa Peters and Devin
    Oct 17, 2012 @ 11:33:06

    My son, age 12, has just informed me he may never have cattle BUT he will have goats. SO he now has his first doe and he will be using your record keeping methods. Thanks so much for the ideas! ;)

    Reply

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  23. Katrina
    Jan 08, 2013 @ 12:38:34

    This is just what I was looking for! I’m going to share this page on my facebook page https://www.facebook.com/TheChickenWire?ref=hl
    I like the idea of having the picture in the corner. I’ll e-mail you to get a link :)

    Reply

  24. Tim & Kim Robinson
    Feb 09, 2013 @ 08:22:39

    My husband and I are in our first year of raising goats. I would greatly appreciate you sending me your form so we can keep records on each one of our goats. We have 3 females getting ready to birth in March and April. We are excited they are so fun to care for. Your blogs are helpful. Thanks!

    Reply

  25. Jenny Mansheim
    Sep 23, 2013 @ 08:32:59

    I love your record keeping papers. Would you have both of them for microsoft word? I would love both. Could I use them on my website when it is done? I will give you the credit. Thank you so much for sharing.

    Reply

    • Teresa
      Sep 23, 2013 @ 10:01:16

      I won’t give permission to have it put on a different website. I went to a lot of work to create this, and while I’m willing to share, I do think it’s not too much for people to come to my website to get it.

      Reply

  26. Jen Leady
    Oct 28, 2013 @ 20:24:19

    I really enjoyed your blog. Lots of great pictures and information. If you could send me the Windows version of the forms, the doe record especially I would greatly appreciate it. I don’t think the does care but my memory is so bad I usually can’t remember where I left my head.
    Jen

    Reply

  27. Ty
    Nov 23, 2013 @ 12:02:12

    Awesome sheets. Do you have one that you use for tracking any meds or treatments done to your goats? Like I always like to put down when hooves were trimmed or when I give probiotics.

    Reply

    • Teresa
      Nov 23, 2013 @ 12:31:33

      I don’t have a form made for that. I do keep that information, but I haven’t made a specific form.

      Reply

      • Ty
        Nov 25, 2013 @ 15:34:26

        So I do the opposite of you. I track treatments and meds and not family trees. I’ve not had a bunch of babies yet and no grandbabies so my trees are not big yet, :P I love your blog!! Keep up the good wok!!

      • Teresa
        Nov 25, 2013 @ 15:40:54

        Thanks. I do keep track of treatments, but I don’t have a form. I simply keep it on the calendar.

  28. nadeem
    Nov 27, 2013 @ 08:39:26

    very good effort ,,i appreciate u done great job by making this sheet and putting it online ,,can you please send me this sheet on my email i am asking because here we have diffrent breeds in pakistan so i would like to make new sheet on the sam epatteren as per the breeds available here ,,hope u understand and help ,,,

    Reply

  29. Charles
    Jan 13, 2014 @ 03:30:16

    This is very helpful! i would like the word version! is it by chance done in excel? thank you!

    Reply

  30. KIMBERLY LIN
    Feb 09, 2014 @ 03:42:39

    can you please send me a word document. so i can insert the picture. i would be deeply greatful. and thank you.

    Reply

  31. Elaine
    Feb 24, 2014 @ 09:52:30

    Your recordkeeping system looks very helpful. I am planning to transfer my husband’s paper records and start using my computer for more accurate and easy to read records. He has been raising a small herd of meat goats. Could you send me a windows version of your forms? Thank you.

    Reply

  32. Amy Matthews
    Apr 29, 2014 @ 14:47:07

    Thanks for the breeding record. Could you send me the Word version?

    Reply

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Disclaimer

The information on this web site is supplied for general reference and educational purposes only. This information does not represent the management practices or thinking of other goat breeders or the veterinary community. I am not a veterinarian, and the information on this site is not intended to replace professional veterinary advice. This information is not intended to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses without consulting your veterinarian. I disclaim all liability in connection with the use of this information.
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