Sunday, May 20, 2012

how NOT to keep records

Someone once told me in order to be a good farmer, one must keep good records.

On our farm though, being a good farmer is knowing where the cows are at all times. Especially if half the fence is falling down. (Don't tell the cows~they haven't noticed. Yet.)

Since we're losing more money at this farming thing then making it, records haven't seemed all that important. We know that we spend more on goat, chicken, turkey, dog, and cat food than we do on human food. We know that during haying season, the whole family working our tails off together gets us a reduced price of about $800 for 300 bales. We also know that half of that hay goes to waste because our cows are a little finicky and the goats won't touch it unless they're squatting on it.

But record-keeping? We never saw the need. Until now.

Both of our girls are in a delicate state.

Just don't call Bailey fat. She gets a little testy. Since Bailey went the traditional method of run-around-a-pasture-until-the-bull-catches-up, she could be due anytime between mid-July and mid-September. It all depends on when she got tired of running. And since she's done this a few times, we're not too worried.

Tilly-mook is a different story. She went the got-tied-to-a-fencepost-and-hope-she's-not-allergic-to-latex method, otherwise known as AI (or artificial insemination). Because of our poor record keeping skills, she could have gotten pregnant during any of the 5 times we paid the AI man to visit.

According to our farm books, a cow is pregnant approximately 280 days. So I took last year's calendar (because I keep everything for absolutely no reason at all) and started counting from each heat cycle we kept track of.

Tilly could have gotten pregnant on October 1, which would put her due date on July 7.

Or October 22 with a due date of July 28.

Or November 12 with a due date in mid-August.

According to my calendar, a pregnancy could have happened on December 3rd or 24th too. But since it was close to Christmas, I'm going to rule those out.

We were too broke to pay the AI man and I was busy eating pie.

I'll pencil her in for July 28. It just so happens that we're free that weekend.☺

This post is linked to The Homestead Barn Hop and The Morristribe's Homesteader Blog Carnival.


Tina - Our Rustic Roots said...

LOL. Good luck with her cooperating!

Sadie said...

I am a pretty poor record keeper too. I told myself I would do better this year- seeing that I wanted to actually delve into the selling of some of our excesses....but records are in my head, or on my blog...oh well...maybe soon I will make a spreadsheet or something. I had to check my blog to remember when we got our buck and my memory to remember when the goat went into heat after that....luckily I did good that time and got the right dates :)

MamaHen said...

I too keep things for no apparent reason, but look at you-it came in handy :)

Well, at least you know she is due sometime this year!!! :)

Jill of all Trades said...

This is such a good reminder. Especially for folks who, like you, are pretty sure they might be losing money on their ventures. Why spend more than you need to?

I buy seeds from severa different companies, but don't track which brands are successful and which aren't. Same with plants from the six nurseries I frequent.

And I've often thought I should weigh my produce for no other reason than to see how much I would've spent at the store had I not grown my own.

Good reminder! And good luck with your girls!!

Candy C. said...

Hope she's good for July 28th too! LOL!!
I actually have been keeping track of how much we spend on feed for the horses, goats, chickens and dog. I was surprised to find that it isn't as much as we thought for the goats and chickens but more than we thought for the horses and dog, especially the dog! LOL!!

Mountain Home Quilts said...

Record keeping? Huh?
Well, I did try once. I actually kept track all last summer how many eggs we got each day. But, since I didn't also keep track of how much food we went through the prior was pretty moot. Except that I now know we can eat over 200 eggs a month. Ya learn something new every day. :)