Are you looking to track the egg production of your chickens, quail, or ducks for free? We’ve got you covered with our 4th annual updated chicken and poultry tracker. If you are new to the tracker you can review detailed instructions on how to log your poultry and their eggs below. This tracker keeps all the details of your chickens, quail, and ducks, the eggs they lay, and expenses/profit. This year we have a quick FAQ and what’s new for 2021. If you are already familiar with our previous egg and poultry trackers simply skip to the bottom to get the newest version! As always this egg tracking utility is free. Please just follow us on the social media of your choice Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, or Pinterest and share this tracker with other folks who need a utility to keep up with their backyard egg production.
What All Can I Keep Track Of?
There are four main areas you can keep track of for your flock:
The Poultry (Chicken, Quail, and Ducks)
The Expenses (There are many)
The Income (Not nearly enough)
As with previous years you can log as much or as little information about your flock as you want. Highlights include birth, deaths, lay dates and notes for ducks, chicken, and quail. The only required field is a date for laying if you want the hens of all species to average correctly. Don’t worry about perfection, I sometimes can only get a lay date within a couple of weeks depending on how many pullets I have going that year.
Shooooo, folks really have opinions on this area. Track by size, color, species OR skip it all and just put your total eggs by day. We aim to please everyone in this area
The Income and Expenses
We offer some items in the dropdowns but you can easily add your own line items. We also have a handy place to put in some customer notes
Wow This Is Overwhelming, Where do I start?
First scroll down and make a copy of the sheet into your own Google Drive. Then follow the instructions on sheet one. Summaries and charts are automatically created from entering your chickens and eggs in the various tabs. Don’t worry if you still need help, we have a handy guide from 2018 that still gets you going:
We also will assist folks (when time allows) via comments or Facebook/Instagram chat. Please remember we don’t make money doing this and we work full time outside of this website.
Can I get an Excel/Paper/Other Version of this Egg Tracker?
Please keep asking in the comments below, but for right now the free version is only available via Google Sheets. If we ever have enough interest we will make other options for a small fee.
Can I Use This Egg Tracker For My Small Business?
ABSO-FREAKING-Lutely. While we cater to small backyard flocks, we firmly support small farm businesses! Please let us know if you use this poultry tracker for your small business. We would love to support you on social media and make changes to assist you. Farmers are the backbone of our food supply! We just ask that no one packages this sheet up and sells it for a profit or posts it as their own work. We make this for free so everyone can enjoy.
What’s New for 2021?
You asked for it and we came through: First the summary page now contains a WEEKLY view of your total egg counts. The egg counts by size, color, and species are automatically calculated just like the monthly counts.
We also created a new chart that shows the total eggs by week. A great way to get a visual on your egg production throughout the year.
How Do We Get Our Copy?!
Click the link below and you will be prompted to make a copy to your Google Drive. Make the copy and then run with it. Please note, I only give copy access to the Poultry Egg Tracking Spreadsheet. This avoids someone accidentally messing the entire sheet up.
How Can I Make You A Millionaire for Your Awesomeness?
If you like/use the tracker we simply ask that you spread the word about the free poultry egg tracker to others and send in suggestions via comments. Each year we try to incorporate what readers want to see. You are free to use it for personal or business use. Just don’t try to sell it as your product because that makes you a meanie, not nice person.
If you really NEEEEED to give us compensation check out our Support Us page!
Constant readers, thanks for hanging in there. What started as a promising year for adding content to the website has been a miserable fail. In our last post we focused on how 2020 had been a nightmare, and mentally, sometimes monetarily, but at least not physically that theme has continued.
The greenhouse is FINALLY up, the tree work did get done, the house is painted, runoff is diverted, the garage is leaning (still), quail got hatched, quail got eaten (delicious!), the svart hona rooster died :(, but the svart hona hens are finally laying eggs. The kids have started back to ‘virtual’ school and the weather finally cooled off. I (Brianna) have tried my hand at some new things like lemon curd (also delicious!) and ground cherry jelly (didn’t set but made a lovely honey consistency). I also brushed off some old skills and tried some stained glass and sculpted tiny polymer clay Pokémon. Adam revamped an entire shed, painted the porch, took spinning back up, and cleared out a ton of left over trash with a full yard, garage, basement, and attic clean out.
All that to say:
I haven’t the foggiest where the summer went…
I can say that one of the best parts of the summer was that the kids got to be home with us while we worked from home. I can also say one of the worst parts of the summer was that the kids got to be home with us while we worked from home. Just kidding, they are great kids and outside of a broken arm and a hornet attack the summer has been both hectic and slow all a once. It is though Covid makes every day last forever and pass in the blink of an eye at one time.
The news of the world is still dire, though we’ve moved on from the death of Covid and just pretend it isn’t a thing so we can focus on elections. Folks gunned down at protests, scandals abound, and finger pointing politician after finger pointing social media star just make everything seem so hopeless.
But here at the Reaganskopp Homestead we still deal in HOPE. We wear our masks, we talk about what we can do to help the world, and we try real hard to be good partners and parents (minus a bit of the screamies at each other from time to time). In fact, we have so much hope I was super excited to go about digging up the potatoes.
It was much easier to dig up the potatoes than one would expect because a groundhog came and helpfully ate every single leaf off my squash plants. While, the squash and the groundhog are no more, I’ve been waiting patiently for those potato leaves to start dying back, and this week they turned yellow. and started to curl and die.
I can tell you, folks, my heart beat a little faster as I pushed in my pitchfork and gently lifted the dark brown soil. Oh yes, I harvested those potatoes.
Though, harvest might be a strong word. I think a better description would be that I carefully scoured the earth for each fingernail sized bit of potato and threw them in a bucket. I can’t even say I was mad at this point. I think by potato plant four I was kind of giggling, madly, under my breath as I pulled the smallest amount of potatoes that I think could even support a leaf. As Adam put the finishing touches on the porch paint, I hauled my giant bucket over to him with glee!
“I harvested the potatoes!”, I said in an excited voice I hope he mistakenly took for glee.
“Oh, let me see!”, as he climbed down from his ladder to peer into my giant bucket.
Oh yes, I was not about to rob him of the mirth and joy of the situation. 2020 had struck again. We both started laughing as we held up our tiny potato harvest. Thank god, our food supply had not depended on these because we would definitely have not made it through the winter.
And so, the Great Potato Famine of 2020 continued.
And while I don’t have some rocking, awesome post about potatoes to write I do have lots of learned lessons that I should put down to help you readers. We had enough beans to both eat and dry. We had a family of hummingbirds followed by monarchs. Fall raspberries are ripening. We had enough Egyptian walking onion bulbs we were able to donate a whole paper sack to Burton Street Community Garden. I’ve enjoyed slices tomatoes and the kids are pros at spitting grape seeds. We learned that fresh celery is an entirely different beast than the watery kind you get at the grocery. We also were reminded that peppers hate rain. Quail are still the easiest bird on the planet and heritage chickens take forever to lay. Years of experience tells me that, while 2020 wasn’t the year of potatoes or websites, 2021 just might be.
Stay safe, stay sane, and go try to grow some fall spinach. We plan to seed ours this weekend!
It all started with Covid-19. Maybe you remember back those long years months ago… back to mid-March? I mean it had to be at least an eternity ago… Right? Back to that time when I naively thought I would exercise each day, cook meals, write content for the website, and film homesteading videos… Back before we knew we would be homeschooling four elementary school kids while working full time… Yeah, that time. Per the usual, I was behind on ordering garden things, and due to Covid panic there wasn’t a seed potato to be found.
DISCLAIMER: Oh, and if you haven’t guessed by now, this isn’t our usual tutorial! I used to write personal posts, then I stopped and went solely to tutorials. Adam has always been straight business when he writes :). While tutorials been great for readers it has made me lose some of my passion for writing content. This is my long winded way of saying, if you want to read my growing potato fiasco it has some salient points about growing potatoes, but most of this going to get drastically off topic. Basically, I’m putting the FUN in Fiasco. A FUNiasco! If you are looking for just tutorials (or don’t like foul language) skip this and hit up my next post.
Potatoes and Covid Continued
So seed potatoes… Yeah, it was impossible to find them in March. With St. Patrick’s being the traditional potato plant day in Western North Carolina I was shit out of luck. At least I had gotten my arse in gear and ordered my seeds early. Panic buying upset the gardening world in a big way! (I’m still wondering what folks did with all those dang seeds.) Anywho, I was still in the early Covid days of actually cooking nice meals and had a really fancy mix of fingerling potatoes on hand. I took a couple of each type and sliced them into seed potatoes planning on sharing my absolute ‘garden brilliance’ with everyone at a later date.
Garden brilliance in the form of potatoes never materialized. I went from congratulating myself on a smart experiment to being thankful I didn’t post my plans on social media. Not a. single. potato. poked its leafed head above ground. Weather was warm, plenty of rain, and excellent conditions for potato making. It may have been perfect weather for potatoes but was not the time for excellence in personal growth. We scrambled, as a family, to find a new normal with homeschooling, coparenting, and working full time from home. We got work handled, the gardens planted, school done, tree work scheduled, and a host of other things. But all the other stuff? Yeah… Lets say the quarantine 15 is a real thing and we are still not Youtube famous. Despite that, those damn potatoes should have sprouted.
Was it Easy?
If I make all the above sound easy… IT FUCKING WASN’T. The mind has a way of glossing over stress, and both Adam and I have a habit of just slogging on through things and dealing with the fallout when shit isn’t hitting the fan. Which is why I like to think hardly anyone checked on is during this chaos. People just have the expectation that we have our shit together. Much like, THE BEAR, we just keep going but it doesn’t mean that chaos wasn’t all around:
The Bear aka THE BEAR
Speaking of THE BEAR: I could have done without the goddamn bear that got trapped in the chicken coop. News flash: A bear proof chicken coop becomes a bear trap when you leave the door open. Also, they absolutely will kill and eat a chicken (or three) if it is early spring and nothing else is available. I do not give a single shit what Google says on the matter. And THE BEAR is quite vexing. I live in the city, so dealing with a full grown bear knocking over fences, eating crops, and generally being a giant, furry death machine just shouldn’t be on the docket.
Other problems came along; kids, work, worry. We both had excellent employers that got our butts home in a rapid manner and shifted to remote work in the span of days. At least we didn’t have the hell of trying to figure out how to pay bills during the rest of it.
To be clear our children are absolutely resilient! I am amazed at how they actually did school work while I attended meetings, how they figured out video calls with teachers (even the kindergartener), and are slowly learning how to be bored and deal with that. But if you think for one second they were perfect with it… Throw in night terrors, missing friends, having to explain to teachers the differences in school work and split households, and just a general sense of anxiety. Shared custody is difficult in the best of times and really hard on everyone in the worst of times. All I can say is I hope my children one day read this and realize how PROUD I am of them for getting their ‘kid shit’ done! Cause you are fooling yourself if you don’t think your children have full lives. But as good as they were I always felt like someone… work, husband, kids, or farm was getting short changed.
And let us not even begin to mention I got a promotion during this insanity. If you are already feeling a tiny bit stressed about making sure to be a good employee when working from home, trying to do that while living up to a new title with 10,000 distractions. It will make sure to put work anxiety into HIGH gear.
Oh yeah, and I accidently let half our quail run away. Good times. Good times.
But We Keep Plodding Away
So without potatoes growing and half a million other problems, I moved on to planting the bazillion squash (And other) starts I had under my grow lights. I repurposed the space where the potatoes had been planted and never sprouted. I mean it was mid-May FFS. Time to let it go and move on. Of course right after planting all those squash we had to spend a week dealing with freezing temps that required buckets and plastic on, buckets and plastic off, rinse and repeat while in huge windstorms and pelting rains. I may have gotten in a fight with Adam and cried in the shower after the stress of likely losing all the vegetable starts I had been coddling for three months. We shall suffice to say: Why we lash out at the ones we love the most when stressed, I’ll never know, but at this point in my life I just know it is fact.
Fast forward to the first week in June.
Nope, fuck that, lets rewind. Because when they put the entire city under curfew and I watched (via live stream) while hearing (in real time) my neighbors being tear gassed. Yeah, I just couldn’t handle it.
The divisiveness when we should come together. The mask versus no mask. The black versus white. The casual cruelty. The fact that I wrote a friend in Canada about the rioting a mile from our home with casual ease. As if these things were okay. Trust me, she called my ass to attention on that matter and asked me what the hell was wrong with me? Why wasn’t I more upset and scared and enraged.
A simple answer: you reach a saturation point.
Also, I think a lot of homesteaders are practical. Our gardens die, our livestock get sick, hours of canning can be ruined by a busted glass jar… Like everything else in life I just tackled it head on. We talked with the kids about covid, racism, economic status, and a host of the world’s ills. Then we set the expectation that we will do better and not worry what others are doing. We will wear our masks and be polite to those that don’t. We will support melanated voices and business with our money and celebrate everyone’s effort toward a just cause instead of judging the efforts of others.
We will plant our goddamn squash over the graveyard of our failed potatoes.
And With That We Find June.
First, most of the plants made it. I still have two really stunted tomatoes and one squash that is tiny from the frost. I lost a few things here and there, but overall the garden seems to be hitting its stride. Despite my warm shower tears in early spring our losses weren’t great. Everything gardenwise is going well except for the flea beetles on the eggplant, and the curl leaf aphids on the apple, and all the usual host of bullshit we deal with on a yearly basis. At least the bear isn’t eating my swiss chard at the moment… And yes, this is a thing.
And our own potato famine? Well it appears to be over because the fun in fiasco is that I now have potatoes in my squash.
That folks is how you make seed potatoes from grocery store potatoes. So now you can finally bask in my garden brilliance all these months later.
Whether you save your own seeds or buy them in packets it is important to know what seeds you have on hand and how long the seeds are good for in storage. Like most things here at the Reaganskopp Homestead we have a a Google Sheet for seed saving and seed inventories. I know you all are shocked (#sarcasm). As and added bonus we even made a handy dandy printable seed saving chart too! (gasp… paper?!)
But First: Why a Seed Saving Chart?
So what do we mean by “How long are seeds good?”. Well, seeds are only viable for certain lengths of time. Meaning if seeds are properly stored and then properly planted you are likely to get a certain percentage of healthy seedlings after a certain length of time.
I repeat: Properly stored and properly planted
For example, if I take my saved tomato seeds and keep them dry and cool, I can likely still have good germination after three to four years. That means that if you have half a packet of seeds from last year, that you loved, there would be no reason to throw them out and spend more money this year.
But Why a Seed Inventory?
To get the most bang for your seed buck I combined a seed saving chart with a seed inventory. Why? Because you can think you will know what seeds you have, and how many you have, and how long they are good for, and you will be wrong. Then you will see a deal on seeds and end up with about 50 varieties of cherry tomatoes and space to plant out three. Which is even more exciting because out of six family members only you actually eat cherry tomatoes… Or maybe you won’t because you have control when it comes to plants… In either case, it is good to know what you have and when it expires. It makes garden planning a cinch and if you opt for the online version you can reference it when out shopping for seeds.
But wait there is more!
So why do we also have a printable seed saving chart when we usually focus on non-paper solutions? The Reaganskopp Homestead is hosting their first community seed swap and garden planning session. We partnered with a local gardening/homesteading store (Fifth Season Gardening – Asheville) to host the event. Since we are having an in-person seed swap I wanted to have print outs of guidelines for the seed swappers. We made a printable seed saving guide and inventory to take with us.
Spoiler: It is pretty too!
How do you use the Seed Saving Chart & Seed Inventory?
Both the electronic and paper versions are pretty easy. Log your varieties of plants, how much seed you have on hand, and the year you purchased the seed. The electronic version will calculate the expiration date automatically once you put in the year. The paper version will require some addition. I update my sheet once I have everything planted out, so that next spring I’ll have a complete list of what seeds I have left.
How Do I Get a Copy?
Click the link below and you will be prompted to make a copy to your Google Drive. Make the copy and then run with it. Please note, I only give copy access to the Seed Saving Chart and Seed Inventory. This avoids someone accidentally messing the entire sheet up. There is a tab that has examples of use.
If you like/use the Seed Saving Chart & Seed Inventory we simply ask that you spread the word about it to others and send in suggestions via comments. Each year we try to incorporate what readers want to see. You are free to use it for personal or business use. Just don’t try to sell it as your product because that makes you a meanie, not nice person.
Urban homesteaders who want to add livestock into their rotation are generally limited to small fowl. Backyard chickens and more recently quail (and ducks) are a go to for the small urban homestead. Why? Urban Homesteads usually have one premium: SPACE, and lets face it a goat needs some room to roam. But which is the best choice of livestock? Bring in the great battle royale Quail Versus Chickens for the Urban Homestead.
Couple of things before we get down to Quail v. Chicken!
I’m not adding ducks to the mix. They are an option, but I consider anything that needs to account for water and potentially plumbing to be for a more advanced livestock keeper. (Argue away in the comments)
We are discussing coturnix quail. They are the most ‘domestic’ of quail. There are a ton of other varieties that have more specialized needs than listed here.
Now Down to the battle: Quail Versus Chickens
We are going to look at the following factors:
Quail Versus Chickens: Space Requirements
Goes to QUAIL.
For urban homesteads space is always limited. And if your space isn’t limited then I don’t want to hear about your Shangri-la in the city (#jealous). But for the rest of us working with usually less than half an acre, space matters! I’m just going to call it here: QUAIL WIN
Internet wisdom says 1 square foot per quail. I personally would go more in the 1.5-2 square feet per quail. I like space for all of my animals and provide over the minimums for all my animals. I wouldn’t be doing this if I felt like factory farming was a great thing.
In addition to the general space requirements chickens just need more complex accommodations. They need roosting bars, nesting boxes, and run space to move around. Quail need…. A floor and roof? In fact roofs that are much higher than 2 feet (but shorter than 6 feet) can end up potentially hurting a bird that ‘flushes’ and can get up enough velocity. Quail floors can be open mesh or cages can be stacked. I will be honest, my quail have an old small chicken coop with access to wood chips, dirt, a small ramp and coop space (which they use). I also throw in fresh grasses etc, because I like my animals to have a more natural life, when I can. I’m not into the stacking wire cages, but if that works for you, then you do you boo.
One final piece on space: Free Ranging Quail v Chicken
Free ranging quail is just not a thing as far as I can research. They aren’t terribly domestic (even when I handled the little boogers since hatching them). I mean every, single. time. I change their food or water they act likes it is the first time they have seen these objects and they are most certainly harbingers of their impending death. Quail free ranging would equal quail gone.
My chickens have a lot of access to the backyard and woods. I had to put up a small section of bird netting so the would leave the neighbors south facing foundation the hell alone. There was no where else they wanted to sun themselves… but this outdoor time has been great. We get lovely orange yolks, haven’t seen ticks on humans since we let them out, and cut our feed costs considerably during the summer. Also, there is just a real soothing aesthetic to watching the chickens happily scratch and root around the yard. Its like watching a feathered fish bowl. So if you want that free-ranging aspect then consider chickens may be more for you even if they take up a bit more space.
Quail Versus Chickens: Noise and Ordinances
Goes to QUAIL
Oh boy, Quail win on the noise and ordinances (most of the time) for an urban homestead. First noise: Quail ladies are basically silent. Unlike the clucking, chattering, bantering, constant racket of a group of hens quail are soooo quiet. Your neighbors will likely be unaware quail even exist. (Although, I don’t condone clandestine homesteading, the hideability of quail may be a huge factor in strict neighborhoods)
Now for the menfolk! Roosters are loud. Even teeny, tiny bantam roosters are loud (click for proof). I cannot even begin to discuss how much crowing, one rooster can do during the day. In our city, roosters aren’t even allowed (Though I can hear across the street. One of the neighbors does not subscribe to this law). Even if roosters are allowed your neighbors may hate you. Just saying.
Male quail aka cocks (Not making that up folks snickers while typing) call during mating season. Its a metallic sound… I find it pleasant, albeit a little odd to hear in Western North Carolina. The neighbors just thought some odd songbird had moved into the neighborhood. Everyone was a-okay with the quail and basically didn’t know they existed.
I love the pleasant homesteading sound of the chickens, but for urban environments the quail are certainly more user friendly.
Quail v Chickens: Feed/Water
I swear this is not a post touting quail but this one
Goes to QUAIL
I’ve had 13 quail for almost 9 months. I have more concerns I might get mold in a bag of feed than use it all. I buy 50 pounds of specialty high protein chicken food or game bird when I find it. I use a bag every three months? Something around that… They are tiny and they just eat hardly anything.
Same thing with water. A gallon waterer last for days. I’m more often dumping their water because it is gross and poopy than they have run out.
Chickens on the otherhand will gobble food. With 15 chickens we go through almost a 50 lb bag of food every 2 weeks when it is cold and they can’t find a lot free ranging. Don’t get me started on water. I have two five gallon waterers, but only one heater in the winter, so I’m getting water all the time for either thaw or thirst!
Chicken versus Quail: Eggs
Goes to CHICKENS!
Its a harder choice to make than one would believe. I looked at 5 important factors:
Time to Eggs: Quail
Eggs size: Chickens
Egg nutrition: Tie
Egg sales: Chickens
Eggs per lifetime: Chickens
Time to Eggs
Nothing beats a quail. From the moment they hatch to laying an egg is a ridiculous 6 weeks. I literally could not believe how quickly they feathered and started laying eggs. Chickens start laying eggs more along the 6 month range instead of 6 weeks. Yeah you can find some precocious hybrids that lay sooner, but if you are into anything fancy or heritage it may be longer than that.
Do you want to crack open 3-4 teeny tiny fragile eggs? Well that’s what you have to do when you want to have a full egg and you are using quail eggs. On the flip side tiny eggs do make lovely hors d’oeuvres.
Another one of those surprisingly hotly contested subjects. Some people believe that quail eggs have more vitamins or protein than chicken eggs. From my research that isn’t really the case. They do have different nutrition more B vitamin in Quail more D in chicken eggs, etc. But the truth is they are fairly similar in nutrition.
Many times you can sell quail eggs for a dollar to two more than a dozen chicken eggs BUT finding buyers is not nearly easy as chicken eggs. I don’t ever have to try hard to sell out of eggs. A quick post in our facebook group and they are all gone. Lots of times quail buyers are a bit harder. If you can find a steady buyer then quail might be a good way to go, but chicken eggs are reliable sales.
Eggs per Lifetime
Quail can lay 200-300 eggs per year which rival any chicken BUT they only lay around two years. Chickens will drop off on the amount of eggs they lay after 3 years but if you don’t light them in winter they can lay a generous amount of eggs for 4-5 years. You just can’t be the longevity over time per bird.
Quail are small so you are going to need a number of birds to equal one meat bird or dual purpose breed of chicken. But the time it takes to get a quail to full size (6 weeks) and how many you can fit in a small space it is easy to make up the difference. Cleaning both birds are about the same if you want to maintain the skin. This one is going to be up to personal taste.
Quail Versus Chickens: Pets
This goes to chickens hands down if you want pets. Quail if you don’t.
Quail just don’t make pets. I mean if you like a cage of nice exotic birds then they would fit the bill, but chickens can be pets. You may not choose to raise them that way (see the above meat comment) but if you want a friendly animal that can come when called and even wants to be held and hang out with you then chickens fit the bill. Honestly, we have some chickens that are such characters they’ll be allowed to retire, but we have a section of flock that just aren’t pets. It works for us, but each homesteader needs to figure out what relationship you want with your livestock and pick accordingly!
The Final Verdict
You’ll need to pick the bird or birds that work for you. We are lucky enough to be able to fit two types into our urban homestead but I can tell you I kind of wish I had started with quail. I adore my chickens and have had them for years, but having quail would have been so much easier in the beginning. They just do not require the upkeep and care chickens do. That being said you really can’t go wrong either way. Hopefully, you can pick from the above factors and choose a small livestock that works for your urban homestead.