I learned recently that my memory will not serve me to remember all the ages of my chickens. When you sell chickens, you want to be able to tell the person the age of the chickens or at least I do.
I have a calender with the big squares for each day that you can write in (a little smaller than a desk calender and it has spiral wire on it and it hangs up). I write down births, deaths, sale of chickens, when I buy some chickens, when I put eggs in the incubator, when to stop turning the eggs, hatch dates, money I make from selling eggs, money I make from selling chickens, money for feed and supplies and reminders of chicken related stuff.
The back of each page is great for writing down additional info that is lengthy. I write down…incubator hatch, first egg (green), second (Barred Rock), third (Silkie, white), etc. If I hatch out chickens the next month, it is easy to get them confused about birth dates but I always feel like if I can give the buyer an approximate date (say June or July of 2011), that is close enough. After all, it isn’t like they are going to throw the chicken a birthday party each year.
When I let the momma keep her babies, it is so much easier to identify the chicks because they get to the juvenile age and I can usually tell them apart….unless I have 10 white Silkies. lol If a hen hatches out chicks and my incubator chicks hatch at about the same time…within days….I have given the momma one or two of the chicks from the incubator. Especially if she only hatches one egg and is still sitting on her eggs days after the hatch date. I feel sorry for her.
I also write down which chickens I sell. I look back at my calender and find where the chickens were hatched and write down the sell date and price and who I sold them to.
I have only been doing the calender for about three years now…once I started getting so many chickens that I couldn’t keep track of their ages. I have two Silkies right now sitting on Guinea eggs (8) and a standard breed chicken sitting on 4 . I have a standard chicken sitting on 7 Silkie eggs, too. Then I have two Silkies who are sitting on 4 and 8 Silkie eggs. Oh yeah, and I have probably a dozen Silkie eggs in the incubator. Don’t ask me why. I already have 108 chickens right now but I am addicted to those baby chicks. Especially when I see them running around with their mommas.
I keep thinking I am going to treat this as a business instead of a hobby so I guess each thing I do to keep my accounting organized will help me to make a decision about hobby or business. Right now, I am sure I spend more than I make on my chickens. I guess that would be the appropriate time to claim it as a business…who doesn’t need another tax deduction?
I also need to start going to the chicken swap/flea market sales they have at the feed stores around here. I sell on Craigslist sometimes but perhaps I should try selling at these places, too. I am afraid I will come home with more than I sell. That is a possibility.
I think I will go visit a couple of the businesses that are on Chicken Swap to determine what I need to do to make my chicken hobby a professional business. Right now, it looks more like Grandma’s back yard. Why that’s a cute name, isn’t it? Grandma’s Back Yard. Maybe I am on to something. lol
Have a great day, guys and remember “don’t take life too seriously.” Nobody likes to be around grumpy people. Life is a journey, not a destination.