Good Record Keeping

The Practice of Keeping Good Records

Keeping accurate records takes a little time, but it makes hatching, breeding and selling more efficient. It can mean the difference between $50 peacocks and $500 peacocks. With good records, it is possible to know what you are selling. The buyers know what they are getting. It also keeps you from accidentally selling a bird you want to keep for your flock.

Through the years we have developed a method which seems to work at our farm. We have sixteen large pens and several small ones. Every pen is numbered. A list is made before breeding season with the breeders in each pen.

When an egg is gathered, the correct number is written several times on it. I'm sure one of Murphy's laws says that if you only write the number once, that is exactly where the egg will crack or be destroyed in hatching. We have tried marking with pencil, crayon and ball point. Some rub off and some fade. We now use a Sharpie and write small numbers. The slight fumes and ink don't seem to affect the hatch at all and the numbers last.

Different breeders use various methods of keeping track of the hatching eggs. Here, eggs from the same pen are stored and set together as much as possible. We like to start the eggs under a hen. Ideally, eggs from the same pen would be started under the same hen. When the peahens aren't laying as well at the first of the season, this doesn't always work. If there is only one egg from a special pen, it is better to set it fresh with others than to wait. The eggs are brought to the incubators after a week or two anyway. They are then separated into different areas. If the peachicks hatch in the middle of the night and move around, they will still be separated by pen number in the morning.

Banding Equipment
The peachicks are wing banded as soon as possible the first day. Leg bands get lost. We use a permanent aluminum wing band. They come in different sizes and colors and are applied with special sealing pliers. Some breeders even have personalized bands made. It helps to always band the same side unless using double wing bands. Put the band in the wing far enough it won't be easily pulled out, but not in to the muscle or bone. It is easier to read the band if the number faces up. It looks awkward to see the little chick running around with that big old band, but he will grow so fast, it is soon rectified.

Record is kept in a notebook of the date set, date hatched, pen number, description of the chick, and any other information which seems pertinent. This record follows the chick through its life. It is updated when the bird is moved, sold, or dies. It's really interesting to read the records from several years ago to see if the observations made when the peachick hatched have meant anything.

Some of our friends who have much larger breeding systems keep records in spread sheets on discs on the computer. For us, it's still faster to look up information from the book. The spread sheets would hold a lot of information and a laptop could be taken to the pens to record medicating and other data. We don't have a laptop and have to write everything quickly so it won't be forgotten. The record book seems to be as efficient as anything for a smaller farm

When a new peafowl is brought to the farm, it is either banded with a new band or a notation is made if it is already wearing a band. The numbers are entered in the book with which wing has the band and the name of the person from which we bought it.

There are a lot of ways to keep records and each person should choose the one which works best for their operation. With trial and error, this is the one which has evolved for us. Just remember Murphy again. With peafowl, anything can happen; and it eventually does.





Templates in Time