Tracking Data for larger collections

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hurricanejen
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Tracking Data for larger collections

Postby hurricanejen » Wed Jul 10, 2013 8:39 am

Hi all!

So, I am still working on a system for easily and efficiently tracking husbandry data for the skinks. I know what I do and the kind of hodgepodge of tactics I use to remember who does what and eats this and weighs how much, but I'm certain there's gotta be an easier or more efficient way to track that information.

Those of you with larger collections (or small ones that you feel you track efficiently), what do you do to keep track of everyone? Do you have a spreadsheet you use? Date stamps with codes..?

I've pretty much just been writing notes in shorthand on index cards and sticking to the same routine weekly - since it's a hassle and a half removing the index cards from their sleeves daily, I've taken to just noting aberrant behavior, a problem, or weight, rather than noting normal feeding days. I'll be having to enter data every week into a spreadsheet system to track over time (figuring that out is going to be fun), and I want to also be tracking high temps, low temps, and humidity as well as notes on diet, misting routines, and obviously pairings or behavior. I've been toying with the idea of a laminated card that I just use a white board marker to write on, or a date stamp that I can write a code next to... maybe color coded stickers?

In any case, I'm really looking for ideas or suggestions, especially from those of you who've had collections for a long period of time or maintained large collections for a long period of time. How do you track data so you can follow trends in your animals over time?

-Jen
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Re: Tracking Data for larger collections

Postby Spindown » Wed Jul 10, 2013 1:00 pm

I use Iherp.com. They have single animal as well as batch feeding etc options. Its amazing.
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Re: Tracking Data for larger collections

Postby hurricanejen » Wed Jul 10, 2013 1:34 pm

For 50 animals and more likely to arrive, iHerp just isn't going to be a viable option. It used to be how I tracked my animals at home, but the data entry aspect became too much once I had more than a couple dozen animals. It also doesn't offer suitable options for the kind of note taking/tracking I utilize, such as temps and custom diets.

I need an excel spreadsheet friendly kind of method, rather than a website. Thanks anyway!
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Re: Tracking Data for larger collections

Postby Jeff » Wed Jul 10, 2013 3:13 pm

I'm not terribly bright, but something that has worked for me is having a white board/dry erase board for each group of skinks (northerns, easterns, blotched, shinglebacks). Each individual animal has a column for all their info. When the board gets full, I just take a picture of it with my phone and email it to myself. Then I can file it in my skink folder.
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0.0.0. T. occipitalis
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Re: Tracking Data for larger collections

Postby hurricanejen » Wed Jul 10, 2013 3:22 pm

Jeff wrote:I'm not terribly bright, but something that has worked for me is having a white board/dry erase board for each group of skinks (northerns, easterns, blotched, shinglebacks). Each individual animal has a column for all their info. When the board gets full, I just take a picture of it with my phone and email it to myself. Then I can file it in my skink folder.


That is a really excellent idea! What info do you track for yours?
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Re: Tracking Data for larger collections

Postby El Lobo » Wed Jul 10, 2013 5:30 pm

I'd suggest developing a relational database rather than a flatbed database spreadsheet like Excel to track multiple animals. Spreadsheets will store the data but as the number of animals tracked and data categories increases a spreadsheet becomes unwieldy tracking whereabouts on the sheet you are.

I use Apache Open Office instead of Excel. It has a database module in which data fields are customizable and will produce SQL reports.

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Re: Tracking Data for larger collections

Postby Jeff » Wed Jul 10, 2013 8:53 pm

I mostly just keep track of weights throughout the year, brumation temps, and anything unusual that comes up. The way it is set up though, you could include anything. Everything is recorded chronologically. By labeling files "January - June 2012" or whatever, it is very easy to find whatever I am looking for when I need it.
6.10.9 T. s. intermedia
2.2.7 T. s. scincoides
1.2.1 T. nigrolutea
2.2.0 T. r. rugosa
1.2.3 T.g. keyensis
2.0.5 T.s. chimaera
0.0.0. T. occipitalis
0.0.0. T. multifasciata
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Re: Tracking Data for larger collections

Postby Richard.C » Wed Jul 10, 2013 8:55 pm

when ive done it in the past I just have an exercise bookand note dates of shedding,feeding,what they eat,how much ect ect,any personal notes of interest and keep books with enclosures,ive been very slack for a few years now,actually just noting things on here,lol
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Re: Tracking Data for larger collections

Postby hurricanejen » Fri Jul 12, 2013 9:01 am

Thank you gents for the good ideas - short term I'm noting things in a notebook to see what data I'm really writing down and willing to write down for animal after animal, and I'm looking into the OpenOffice as an option for a better data storage method.

Ultimately I'd like to track meaningful data that I can share, I just gotta find a way to do it first. Can't upload my mental checklist as easy as a spreadsheet :)

El Lobo, thanks for linking me to the page on how to make the spreadsheets, that was very helpful. I like the whiteboard idea too, I think I'm gonna pick one up this weekend.
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