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In an effort to improve my herd management, breeding schedules, mineral dosing and more, I figured out early on keeping handwritten records wasn’t going to cut it for me. I needed to stay organized in the easiest way possible with access ability that would allow me to keep everything updated. I attempted to create my own spreadsheet, but it was cumbersome and I couldn’t access it as often and as readily as I needed to.
After some digging, I discovered EasyKeeper Herd Management Software and it seemed to offer a fantastic solution for my management needs. After using it for over a few years now I feel I can speak confidently about it’s advantages and drawbacks.
- Accessibility – I can see all of my herd’s information on any computer with internet capabilities, and my smart phone. So if I’m out in the barn with my vet, I can easily look up information on any goat in my herd
- Ease of use – It’s very easy to input information into the system. If your goats are part of a national registry, it can even import pedigree information for you
- Record keeping – I love being able to easily go back and access information for who I’ve sold goats from, and track pricing on goat purchases and sales. To be able to see a goat’s entire medical history at a glace is incredibly helpful in so many situations. This helps with important management decisions, and keeping up with basic maintenance activities.
- Price – I have the very basic package, and it’s $14.99 per month. To me, that’s a lot of money. But, I have also found it useful enough to justify this cost for myself – others may not.
- Limitations – There are a few options that I wish this software had that I feel should be pretty basic. Most of these have to do with recording medication administration. I get really frustrated when I do a treatment for the entire herd, and have to do an individual entry for 20 + goats rather than one entry for the whole herd. The same applies to a medication that is administered over several days – there is no option for a date range and you have to create an entry for each date you use the medication. There’s more, but those stand out because they make things very time consuming.
The developers at EasyKeeper have been asking for user’s input on what features they would like see added, and I’m hoping for really great things to be coming down the line soon. One of the features I’m hoping they will add is a 145 day gestation calculation for Nigerian Dwarf breeders, as opposed to the 150 day gestation calculator they have in place now. Not a big deal all things considered, but still a feature I’d love to see, along with some of the other ones that were being proposed.
So for now, I will continue with EasyKeeper because for me the benefits to myself and my herd are well worth the monthly fee. Hopefully as it grows it will continue to add features that will keep me a happy customer.