Record keeping is an extremely important part of every rabbitry. We use a combination of cage tags and computer software to monitor what has happened, what needs to happen and what will be happening in our rabbitry.
Our rabbitry is a total family effort. The daily care of the rabbits is the main responsibility of our three daughters, ages 15, 12, & 8. They take care of the feeding, watering, grooming & nail clipping. Mom oversees the cleaning of the cages and trays, and gets help from the girls. She also makes the decisions on cage assignment, and monitors all the new born kits. I take care of the financial end, recommend breedings to the girls, keep track of show records, and give the ok on new rabbit purchases.
We use Breeders Assistant as our record keeping software. We tested several other software brands, but found for our situation, Breeders Assistant had the most to offer. In future articles we will discuss some of the features of the other software, like Stibbarís pda interface.
Breeders Assistant is very comprehensive. It keeps track of your individual rabbits, show records, health records, genetics and accounting records. One of my favorite features is the ability to print ARBA show entry forms, and with the report writer, we created a report that will also print stickers for show comment cards. As a result, we do not have to hand write any forms for the shows we attend. When we arrive at a show, our paperwork is already complete, and all we have to do is take it to the registration table, and pay the registration fees.
The printed pedigrees for our rabbits are awesome. We get many compliments from other breeders on how great they look. The software allows you much flexibility in creating and designing your own pedigrees. The software comes with many already configured pedigree forms for you to choose from if you donít feel comfortable designing your own.
I would also recommend you purchase the optional genetics module. With this module you can do trial matings to see what possible kit colors you would get from breeding two of your rabbits. Also, when you enter the genotype of a rabbit, the software verifies it against the parentís genotype.
I wonder if the accounting on the software is a good idea. Not because, the software lacks anything, but because you realize just how much you spend on all these rabbits! The accounting portion is integrated with some of the other areas of the software. For example, if you create a show entry in the show records, it will automatically add an accounting entry for the show fee if you choose for the software to add the entry. The same is true when you add a new rabbit in the rabbit records, and you enter a cost for the purchase.
We arenít perfect in our organization, but the cage tags and the software gives us enough organization to assist us in effectively running our rabbitry. Without these two things, we would have a great deal of frustration, and difficulty in keeping our rabbitry running.