Recordkeeping on the Homestead: Goat Records (including free printables!)


Recordkeeping on the Homestead, part one


Recordkeeping on the Homestead: Goats


Even if you have just two goats, keeping records is important.


If you have more animals - a small goat herd, rabbits, chickens, etc. - the need for record keeping is multiplied, as well as the amount of information you need to keep.


This post contains affiliate links. Read my full disclosure here.


But record-keeping depends on, you know, keeping records. If I don't write something down, I will probably forget it.


Ok, let's be honest and just forget about the "probably" part. I will forget. But I've figured out what works for me, and I'm here to help you figure it out too.


Types of livestock records


Livestock records fall roughly into 5 categories: 

  • Identification - information about a particular animal such as date of birth, description, sire and dam, etc.
  • Health - vaccination information such as type given, date and dosage, illness, deworming, hoof trimming, injuries and how they were treated.
  • Production - including how much milk a dairy goat produces.
  • Performance - breeding dates, kidding dates, the number and quality of the kids produced.
  • Feed records - how much an animal is fed, including hay, grain and supplements. This information is directly related to your animal's performance and production, and can help you fine-tune your livestock management as well as your homestead goals.


Paper vs digital record keeping systems


The simplest way to keep goat records is on paper. This basic method is available to all goat owners and is perfect for the homesteader who owns just a few goats as well as larger herds.


Animal records can also be kept using specialized software. These digital records are usually kept by large enterprises such as commercial dairies.


How I keep records for my goats


Like most small producers, I keep paper records. My record keeping system uses forms that I've designed, kept in a 3-ring notebook. 


My goat binder holds all of the forms, sheets, registration papers, receipts and more in one safe and convenient place. 


However, I don't have an office in my barn, or carry my goat notebook outside. It stays safely inside the house, and I need to bring information from the barn to my notebook.


I tried carrying a small spiral notebook in my back pocket, but it didn't work well for me. I kept losing my pen, and I hated that the papers got bent up and dirty. 


I tried, really I did, but it just wasn't working. (Perhaps it will for you, but it didn't for me.)


So my current method is this: when noteworthy things happen outside, I write quick notes on my phone, such as "Phoenix bred," "goats dewormed," "gave CDT shots on 5/22."


The speech-to-text app is wonderful when it's too sunny to see the phone screen. Sometimes taking a photo with my phone is a good-enough reminder of what needs to be recorded.


As soon as I go back indoors, I transfer those notes to my goat binder. 


3-ring binder with a black and white goat on the cover.


In the front of the binder, I have a calendar page for each month. I transfer the notes I made on my phone onto the day's square on the calendar. 


This is the quick-and-easy way to keep the data in one place, perfect for my busy life.


I also write down farrier and vet appointments on the calendar pages, plus trips to the feed store and when we buy hay. You can't figure out how much you spend on feed or how much hay you need to buy to last next winter if you don't keep records!


However, eventually these calendar pages get a little chaotic and it takes longer to find the information I need. I regularly schedule a day - at least once a month, but preferably more often - to sit down with my notebook and transfer the "data" from the calendar pages to the proper forms.


I try to do this regularly, and not let so much time go by that I've forgotten what that scribbled note meant.


I keep track of 

  • Each goat's individual information and pedigree
  • Medical/health records, including vaccinations and hoof trimming
  • When a doe was bred, the expected kidding date, the date she actually kidded, number and gender of the kids, and whether she is an excellent mother or if we had any problems with her
  • How many kids a buck sired in a year's time
  • Hay and feed records, what brand/kind of grain, supplements, and loose minerals I purchase
  • Income and expenses, and more


Breeding season records


When breeding season arrives, I write down the dates when my does were bred and use this due date calculator to figure out their due dates.


In past years I've done it both ways. I've bred them all in one week's time so that they all kidded at once, and I've had kidding season strung out over several weeks and even months. It's a personal decision that you will make for your herd, your homestead and your family's needs.


I much prefer to have the kids all due at once, even though it can get pretty crazy for a week or so. That's when I'm most thankful for my easy but thorough method of record-keeping.


Oops! It happens to nearly all of us who own goats - occasionally a buck gets in the doe pen when he isn't supposed to be there. If and when that happens, that date goes in my goat binder too, just in case.


It might end up being an "oops" breeding and I want to know when any kids might be due.


Here's how I plan breeding season.


Goat binder supplies


My goat record keeping system uses simple office supplies that you can purchase just about anywhere. I use a 3-ring view binder, with a clear pocket on the front to hold a cover page, but a less expensive binder can also be used.


I also use the following:

  • Sheet protectors to hold registration papers and other registry papers (I don't want to hole-punch those)
  • Index dividers - this set of 12 tabbed index dividers might be enough for your herd. If you have more goats, you might purchase several sets of 12 dividers, or perhaps this set of 31 divider tabs would be better.
  • 3-hole punch to punch the forms 
  • Printable goat record-keeping forms - keep reading to learn how you can download four of the forms for FREE.
  • a monthly calendar, such as the 12-month calendar in my Goat Records Pack.


Goat printable forms


You can download four of these goat record keeping forms for free further down in this post. These are pdf forms that can be printed out or saved to your computer.


If you'd like the additional forms I've designed as well, you can check out my Goat Records Pack down below, or here in my Etsy shop.


Graphic of goat recordkeeping forms on a green background



Four FREE printable forms for you


Get off to a great start with these four free forms, which you can download further down in this post. They aren't cute or fancy, but they serve their purpose: keeping track of things that need to be kept track of.


First is the goat ID form, with spaces for purchase information, color, pedigree and so on.


The second page is the medical record form. Use this one to note the date kids were born, when they were disbudded and by whom, when vaccines were given, when the goat was dewormed, and any injuries or illnesses and how they were treated.


Fill out a kidding record page for each of your does. This page keeps track of the date the doe was bred, when she kidded, and how many kids she had.


This form will help you see if a doe has a pattern of kidding a few days early or a few days late, or whether she had any problems with kidding.


You can also write down if you need to milk out her very thick colostrum so her kids can nurse more easily, or that she's an outstanding mother (or not).


Use one line on this form for each kid, rather than one line per year.


Next is the Record of Progeny form. Use one sheet per buck to record which does he was bred to each year, how many buck and doe kids were born, and any other notes you want to keep.


For many years I only had one buck at a time, replacing him after several years so I could breed the doe kids I'd kept to an unrelated buck. It was easy to remember who sired which doe at first.


Now that so many years have passed, and I've owned quite a few bucks, it's harder to remember. If I notice something wonderful in a goat after a few years - like a wonderfully-soft, easy-to-milk udder - it's easy to check this form and compare the doe to her half-sisters. 


Likewise, if a genetic flaw shows up, I can keep an eye on the goats that are related.


These four forms are free for you to download and use. You may print as many copies as you need for your own personal use. Keep reading for the download link.


Brown and white Nubian goat with twin kids


Even more forms in my Goat Records Pack


If you'd like even more forms, you'll find the perfect companion for your free printables in my Goat Records pack, which includes 23 forms and reference sheets to print out PLUS a 12-month undated monthly calendar to keep track of all-the-goat-things and directions for using each form.


The Goat Records pack is an instant download, and you may print as many copies as you need for your own personal use. To see what's included click here.


Download your 4 free printable goat record keeping forms


These forms are copyrighted. They are free for your personal use, but do not sell them or include them in a body of work that you sell. And if you know someone who would benefit from using them, please send them here to this post so they can download them too.



Please note that sometimes it takes an hour or so to receive the email with the link to the free printables. Please check your junk and spam folders... and if it isn't there, please be patient for a bit. But if you still don't receive it, please contact me here and let me know! Thank you!


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Goat record-keeping with free printable forms - from Oak Hill Homestead



Related Posts:
Part Two: Recordkeeping on the Homestead
10 Must-Have Items for Goatkeepers
How Changing My Milking Routine Changed My Life
What's in My Goat First-Aid Kit



This post has been shared at some of my favorite blog hops.


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My hope is to inspire you, and to encourage your homesteading plans and your dreams of a
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