Lambing Bugs

We are nearing the end of lambing season, we only have 6 more ewes to lamb, and this year we uncovered a few more lambing bugs. Most have been fairly minor, things like forgetting to update the sheep record for new lambs with some of the new fields for management group and location. Others are on hold until lambing is done since it’s working fairly well as is and I don’t want to break anything until I don’t need it for real data.

I am also entering in historical lambing data and have developed a workflow to get the information in. I am going back to my original paper lambing books and crossreferencing with my calendar and my original spreadsheep records. I have the database up on another computer looking at all the sheep sorted by dam and then by birth date. I have a spreadsheet I created to insert lambing history records and I have a copy of the database that I am working on on a second computer.

The procedure is I look up a lambing record in the paper book, start creating the insert record in the update spreadsheet. Look to find the sheep_id for the dam then use that to look at the other copy of the database to find all her lambs. Verify that the number of lambs in the database matches the paper record. Add the lamb numbers to the lambing_history_table record. Go to my calendar and pull any notes about that lambing and add those. Go into the sheep_table and add the reference to the soon to be adde4d lambing_history record to each lamb’s sheep record. When I have a batch of maybe 10 or so done, I save the update spreadsheet as a .CSV file and then run the CSV to SQL converter to create insert statement. Copy and paste the code into the database and execute it. Then I save a copy of the database as a backup. I continue tis until all lambing records are entered for the year. Then I go to my population history records and figure out all the ewes who failed to lamb in that year and enter in a record with them listed as barren for that year. This step is necessary to allow for more accurate reporting of percentages of lambs born and weaned each year.

My final verification step takes place after I have entered in an entire year from the paper and calendar records. I pull up all my old spreadsheet records on the entire flock and look at the lambing notes for that year and make sure I have the right lambs and the right data in the lambing_history record. I do this final step at least a day after I have finished the original data entry. This is my final chance to catch any data entry errors.

So far I’ve managed to enter in 10 years worth of lambing records and only have 7 more years to go. It’s slow and tedious but necessary.