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Chicken Egg Tracking Spreadsheet  RSS feed

 
Posts: 13
Location: Asheville, NC: Zone 7a-6b
cat chicken forest garden homestead kids rabbit trees urban
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I'm new to posting on permies (long time lurker) but wanted some real feedback.  I work in business intelligence and reporting so I am always playing with data and graphs.  I created a Googlesheet that helps track chickens and egg production.  I did a short write up on how to use it on my website.  Here is the link to the webpage  http://craftthyme.com/egg-chicken-tracking-spreadsheet/  I am looking for feedback on the following:

  • What works?
  • What doesn't work?
  • Is this useful?
  • What would you like to see/how to make this better


  • So what's the catch? There is none.  This is completely free. As in completely free, I don't do click advertising on my website, just affiliate links, which there are none on this page except maybe in the sidebar.

    No really, what's the catch? I'm really just a person who wants people to use things I make, and if they don't find them useful, then try to fix it.  This is the first time I have tried to combine my day job (IT-Data) with my passion (Gardening, chickens, etc) and I just want to make it that much better!
     
    Posts: 156
    Location: 54 North BC Canada
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    Interesting spreadsheet.....

    Unless your hens are in individual enclosures--as in factory farms with the egg[s] sliding down a chute
    past a sensor, how do you know which hen lays what egg.  What if the two hens that lay the same
    color egg share the nest box?

    The only small livestock animal that I know that you can do individual stats like that on are caged
    rabbits,and I have workable spreadsheets for them.

    Usually a person sizes their flock using the figure of 4 eggs per chicken a week...unless the bylaws in
    in your locale state that you can only have so many chickens per person.

    Looking at your website, you appear not to have enough property to have a "chicken" garden --space
    to grow just food for your chickens.  A meal-worm tower only takes up 3 Square feet and can give
    enough of the "protein" component to homemade feed. Even then, making a profit from selling a few
    dozen eggs is pretty unlikely.  

    You would have a better chance of at least breaking even if you are allowed to have a rooster and were
    be able to sell day-old chicks at 5 to 7 dollars apiece.

    Quail is an easier bird to raise.....1 square foot per bird, 3 eggs are equivalent to a chicken egg [but
    supposedly more nutritious] and can be raised is over-sized rabbit-style cages.  Two birds per person
    for a meal.  Cages can line up on one side of a 2-car garage; make it harder for urban predators to
    get to them

    Your spreadsheet can be used.  For a small flock you can also use a pen and some paper....and not
    worry about back-ups,crashes,or viruses......

    Just my opinion.....



     
    Posts: 27
    Location: Just outside of Asheville, NC
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    I LOVE it! It inspired me to maks a much simplified spreadsheet for myself!

    I guess, since you're asking for feedback, that would be what I'd say, is I would find it more useful if it was a little simpler. Trying to keep track of the egg size and color isn't that useful to me and the extra steps in recording would make me less likely to use the spreadsheet, but if it's just the total number of eggs, it's much less of a hurdle to recording daily.
    Having said that I'm whatever the opposite of type A is (type Z?) and I can definitely think of people I know who would LOVE the level of detail.

    Also ps I read your blog and realized we are almost neighbors! We're up in Barnardsville. Love these mountains.

    Thank you so much for taking the time to make this, and sharing it! It's really going to help me keep track of everything!
     
    Brianna Ganskopp
    Posts: 13
    Location: Asheville, NC: Zone 7a-6b
    cat chicken forest garden homestead kids rabbit trees urban
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    R Jay wrote:
    Interesting spreadsheet.....

    Unless your hens are in individual enclosures--as in factory farms with the egg[s] sliding down a chute
    past a sensor, how do you know which hen lays what egg.  What if the two hens that lay the same
    color egg share the nest box?

    The only small livestock animal that I know that you can do individual stats like that on are caged
    rabbits,and I have workable spreadsheets for them.

    Usually a person sizes their flock using the figure of 4 eggs per chicken a week...unless the bylaws in
    in your locale state that you can only have so many chickens per person.

    Looking at your website, you appear not to have enough property to have a "chicken" garden --space
    to grow just food for your chickens.  A meal-worm tower only takes up 3 Square feet and can give
    enough of the "protein" component to homemade feed. Even then, making a profit from selling a few
    dozen eggs is pretty unlikely.  

    You would have a better chance of at least breaking even if you are allowed to have a rooster and were
    be able to sell day-old chicks at 5 to 7 dollars apiece.

    Quail is an easier bird to raise.....1 square foot per bird, 3 eggs are equivalent to a chicken egg [but
    supposedly more nutritious] and can be raised is over-sized rabbit-style cages.  Two birds per person
    for a meal.  Cages can line up on one side of a 2-car garage; make it harder for urban predators to
    get to them

    Your spreadsheet can be used.  For a small flock you can also use a pen and some paper....and not
    worry about back-ups,crashes,or viruses......

    Just my opinion.....





    Thanks for the feedback, but I was hoping for people to actually look at it and try it out.  Just to answer a few of your concerns since others who don't try it may have the same thoughts:

    It doesn't track egg production by individual hens...  Not sure why you think it does.  You can track by color and type, but I give directions for the lazy who don't even want to bother with color.  You can just put total eggs and everything continues calculation.

    As for making a profit, I actually mention in the intro how I don't and jokingly don't ever expect to.  The profit/loss is purely optional in the spreadsheet, as mentioned in the directions and web page, and can be skipped by a backyard owner who does not care.  I, personally, like to know exactly how much I am in the hole .

    As for crashes and viruses: This is a cloud based application. If Google loses all my info then we are probably in a place where we will all be using paper and pencil... indefinitely...  But you are correct you can absolutely use paper and pencil.  The point of creating a utility is so you don't have to calculate everything out by hand.  If you enjoy logging it with paper then go for it!  Totally defeats the purpose of making an online item, though, you could technically print it out and fill it in if you wanted.  So maybe I'll make a pdf for the paper and pen people with helper formulas!



     
    Brianna Ganskopp
    Posts: 13
    Location: Asheville, NC: Zone 7a-6b
    cat chicken forest garden homestead kids rabbit trees urban
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    Jessica Milliner wrote:I LOVE it! It inspired me to maks a much simplified spreadsheet for myself!

    I guess, since you're asking for feedback, that would be what I'd say, is I would find it more useful if it was a little simpler. Trying to keep track of the egg size and color isn't that useful to me and the extra steps in recording would make me less likely to use the spreadsheet, but if it's just the total number of eggs, it's much less of a hurdle to recording daily.
    Having said that I'm whatever the opposite of type A is (type Z?) and I can definitely think of people I know who would LOVE the level of detail.

    Also ps I read your blog and realized we are almost neighbors! We're up in Barnardsville. Love these mountains.

    Thank you so much for taking the time to make this, and sharing it! It's really going to help me keep track of everything!



    Thanks for the feedback!  I need to make it clearer that you can track color OR just put in total.  Hmmm....  Way to make it simpler in the view....  I'll need to think about it.  Nice to meet a neighbor!
     
    R Jay
    Posts: 156
    Location: 54 North BC Canada
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    Well....let's see...first off, the "cloud" is good for keeping backups....in my opinion, it is not the
    best way to keep your original docs.  Just how do you access the "cloud" if your computer crashes
    or is locked up by a "ransom" demand, or another nasty viral infection?

    I guess I got the idea of individual egg production of each hen from the fact that if you don't enter
    the lay date every time a particular chicken lays an egg in the chicken log, then the
    egg log will not be able to calculate the daily size and color

    Add to that, in the summary statistics sheet, if you don't input the lay date in the chicken log
    for each individual chicken, you will not get the average number of eggs laid per hen in both
    the monthly chart or the total per year entry, or the number of laying hens per month.

    As far as profit and expenses are concerned, it depends on whether it is just a hobby that you sink money
    into, or whether it is an attempt to establish something that is sustainable.  A backyard owner
    can be either.....just look at Justin Rhodes.....

     
    R Jay
    Posts: 156
    Location: 54 North BC Canada
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    I like this chicken-tracker spreadsheet better:

    for downloading--

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B7DYHxGoNHhrSm5RdHZLdENNQmc/edit?usp=sharing

    Up, up and away...with Google sheet  

    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0ArDYHxGoNHhrdGZPbVVGMjl6N25OajUtOGNURGo3aVE&usp=sharing

    Edit: both versions are free to use

     
    Brianna Ganskopp
    Posts: 13
    Location: Asheville, NC: Zone 7a-6b
    cat chicken forest garden homestead kids rabbit trees urban
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    R Jay wrote:I like this chicken-tracker spreadsheet better:

    for downloading--

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B7DYHxGoNHhrSm5RdHZLdENNQmc/edit?usp=sharing

    Up, up and away...with Google sheet  

    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0ArDYHxGoNHhrdGZPbVVGMjl6N25OajUtOGNURGo3aVE&usp=sharing

    Edit: both versions are free to use



    What do you like about this better?  I am a bit confuse because in this spreadsheet you had to know how many hens were in laying mode each day and track that which you said you disliked about mine.  It was one of the reasons I didn't just adopt this one for myself as I am too lazy and want one sheet to track my stuff in instead of going day by day.  It does have the benefit of easily removing hens if you have molt etc. but you still have to track by color.  The other reason I didn't just use this one was that expenses and profits are split among all the months making a little harder to track if you are reconciling accounts.  Some people love calendars, so it is perfect if you like calendar entry.  It is a really good one  for that for certain.  I tried it for awhile but absolutely loath entering in unnecessary and repetitive data (That's just me)!  The original website where they housed it is gone, but you can find a variety of versions in backyard chicken forums if anyone else is looking for the origin.

    Also to address your comment above, I do monitor my chickens and track around when they start laying (which you would need to do in both versions).  Obviously with a lot of chickens it can be guess work as to who laid which tan egg to start with, but I think most people can nail down within a week or two when a certain chicken got old enough to start laying.  Also if you have a chicken that is having laying issues you generally notice.  I'm not sure how you would ever know an average egg per chicken, feed to egg ratio etc, unless you knew which hens would be laying.  It gets more complex if you want to subtract molting time, if you don't light them in winter etc.  I plan to expand into those areas, but wanted a general average to start with that didn't require me entering the same data every day.  
     
    R Jay
    Posts: 156
    Location: 54 North BC Canada
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    I am starting to see where the difficulty lies between our views of spreadsheats.

    I have 160 acres--a quarter-section of land.  You have an urban lot. A person's viewpoint can be
    influenced by their resources and their level of idealism.

    From what I have understood, people with urban lots are. of course, limited in land.  The challenge
    is to take these small plots of lawn grass and turn them into a food garden.  From there, using this
    a "showcase", maybe begin giving permaculture courses, landscaping consulting, and guided tours
    of their property.

    Other people do things differently.

    The deal with chickens is that they only lay so many eggs in their lifetime.  They lay the most eggs
    in the first few years of their life, then as they get older, they taper off.

    If a person gets them as chicks and raise them as layers for 2 years, there should little problems
    with individual hens laying.  Average eggs per flock are not a problem since the hens are the same
    age and usually start laying at the same time.

    Color of eggs....well...hens that lay different colors of eggs are separated from the "food flock".
    Different pens with their own rooster. The eggs are incubated and the resulting chicks are sold....some for a good price.
    Sometimes even the chicken itself....an Ayam Cemani lays cream-colored eggs but it is black both inside and out,
    One fertilized egg goes for $60...one dozen fertilized eggs go for $400...a chick can be shipped to you for around $60
    Even average breeds can be sold for $3 to $5 a chick.  A person with enough property can be sustainable....just has
    to find a market....

    After 2 years, a new batch of chicks are ready to start laying and the 2-year olds are butchered and
    put in the stew pot. A rabbit's lifespan is around 4 months.

    A spreadsheet that helps keep track of monthly expense is part of the business.  Your spreadsheet is
    not designed for sustainable raising of eggs and chickens.

    It is, however, an excellent tool.  With its charts and graphs, it could be part of a course that you could show
    to the "wanna-be" urbanites who desire to get into permaculture practices.  Good luck on your efforts!!!

    Edit:  the term "wanna-be" was not meant to be a derogatory term.  I just don't know what to call the people
    who sincerely feel that growing lawn grass is a poor use of land.

     
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