I just can't seem to find an app or excel sheet to suit my needs so I make my own. It's a word doc with pictures, pedigree, production records, and maintenance history. I will create my own notebook by printing each animals record on a front/back page of a ZipBind presentation kit. I carry it all around the farm in a plastic clip board case with a storage compartment. I'm a visual learner so pictures help me identify who is who or from whom. It's so handy during kidding season! All information is there and we can quickly write in notes and kid info. It's a lot of work initially but well worth it! I've kept our records like this for many years. I just update or add pages as needed.
I have had so much interest from other producers wanting me to send them a copy of the word document that I have made a downloadable file accessible to anyone to use! Enjoy!
Rotational grazing has been the most cost-efficient way to manage our farm, soil, and the livestock. It is a more labor intensive approach and not ideal for everyone's operation, but we can produce more meat per acre with rotational grazing. Our home farm is 95 acres which is split between pasture and woodlands. We have been fortunate enough to lease and own several hundred acres nearby for grazing and hay as well. There are 45 paddocks on the main farm ranging in size from .25 up to 7 acres. The goats stay on the same paddock during the winter from the onset of breeding season to just prior to kidding. The rest of the year they spend their time rotating paddocks across the farm at a rapid pace. Every move to the next paddock is dependent on forage availability. This means we may move the herd every few hours or every few days.
Initially we invested a lot of labor towards the design of the layout and the infrastructure for our farm. We began this system in 2011 when we purchased 5 doelings. Each year our management has improved immensely and as our herd grows our labor is now decreasing. There truly is a technique and method to rotationally grazing. The main concerns that we have are fencing, shelter, and providing water and mineral to each paddock. With 45 paddocks, not everything is set up as stationary or permanent. We are continuously improving our system, so portability is our best option.
laid out above ground in fence rows to each tub. We have been creative and found ways to make water tanks out of large tires and even from cheap plastic totes. With a little plumbing we can make just about anything work for our operation. If all else fails though, we have portable water carts that can be filled up and placed anywhere as well.
and easily cleaned if needed. Both designs are simple yet effective to offer mineral to the entire herd. Currently we use Vitaferm or Wicks high copper mineral. We always keep Sea-90 salt available as well. Sometimes I'll get creative with a mix of salt, kelp, and DE.