Livestock Management

I currently use CattleMax software to manage my registered, commercial and bottle calves operations. It probably is the best on the market for a cow calf operation but has many shortfalls after that.

I have often circled back to FarmOS and leave as disappointed as I was the last time I was around.

I would like to develop/sponsor/architect/whatever I can do a comprehensive cattle module that can be used for cow/calf, stocker, and feedlot tracking of animals. A real life use case that has a large audience in the United States and around the World.

I am by no means knocking FarmOS as I see the value, but it is so generic across so many different niches its not filling any one well. I’m sure if a person has a small vegetable garden or a few laying hens it is awesome but for real commercial operations in is in need of a module. Hopefully one that can be used by a large audience.

Thoughts, Opinions, Ideas



Welcome to the forum @WHFarms! :slight_smile:

I would like to develop/sponsor/architect/whatever I can do a comprehensive cattle module that can be used for cow/calf, stocker, and feedlot tracking of animals.

That would be great! Perhaps you could share some of the specific features that you like (or things you don’t like) in your existing software. That might help to get ideas flowing around how to architect something in farmOS (or reveal existing options that you may not have found).

Starting with Cow/Calf Operation:
Flexible Identification done well today

Breeding and Pregnancy:
Should track Embroyo, Natural and AI breedings, pregnancy checks and other activities related to proper management of a cow calf herd. These mostly are “Logs” that just need to be created and then task and reporting from there.

Purchase/Sales/Co Ownership
Should accurately track dates of cattle status changes, death losses, and price of cattle.

EPD and EBV’s
Calfhood details (weight, date, weaning date and weight) including of the dam condition. Performance data

Breed Details
Color, Horns, markings

Rotational Movement History. In reality everyone is a rotational grazer. Some people just move them more than others but everyone takes cattle and puts them into a pen and then removes them from a pen. I use daily paddock moves, ranchers out west us section pastures for a few weeks or months but everyone moves them sometime.

Pedigrees at least 3 generations

Reporting. This seems to be a major open issue. There needs to be the ability to quickly create reports and change criteria.

Possible feature request would be a grid view vs form view. It is hard to compare and analyze in form view. People want to be able to see a grid view where you can see rows and columns of data.


And medications and vaccines. Those are huge.


Meds, Vax and Inputs. I like this one. It’s huge for sure.

Reporting: Hellye!!!

I agree that too generic is… generic. Problem is, whenever you start brining in specifics, then it becomes a disaster to manage for setups that do more than one thing.
I reckon that most of what you refer to, can be augmented by defining specific taxonomy, categories and fields (but again, this isn’t obvious or simple to do, and how future update proof will it be?).

In my case, I care alot about my goat genetics, family lines etc. I hard a hard time logging and adding all the animals, and then I had to add a pile of animals I never saw, owned or knew about as assets just to be able to reference them (I just learned that term from a post now) and when all is done, I can’t really “See” my family lines. The same holds true for a lot of data, which just becomes lines of logs on pages of data - to no fault of FarmOS, but the way it works. So again, this is something it seems only I need, and too specific for anyone else, who is just happy to see walls of text. I am now writing PHP scripts to make things with data I exported from FarmOS. A pita indeed.

I am going to ponder your concerns. Perhaps I can come up with ideas too.


I don’t think at all that this is a problem that just “you” need. I believe that goats or cows or horses or deer all need some structure more that this base is delivering. From a animal standpoint people want to be able to track and document and log all sorts of activities that occur on there farm or ranch and then be able to retrieve that data in a fast comparable manner.

With that said most of the base is available in FarmOS like you say. This thing is set up as perfect (normalized) as it could be to use as underlying architecture in a software package. Now it needs to have custom specialized modules that make it even more useful.

I mentioned a cattle specific module but maybe a “Large Animal” module that can be for cows and goats would help us both out:)

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I wonder if many of these things can be tackled in incremental steps with specific and well-defined Quick Forms (for data entry that follows a specific convention) and Reports (for summarizing/visualizing the data in a way that’s useful). These could be multiple modules instead of one massive all-encompassing one, in other words. So each instance can pick and choose the ones that are most useful to them. It’s also easier to bite off concrete development tasks for scoping and finding developers/sponsors when there are smaller well-defined steps to the grand future we all want. :slight_smile:


PS: I spoke with someone the other day who is looking to organize a hackathon with college students and was asking for “some areas where there is need from the community but not enough hands on keyboards”. Feels like there could be some nice problems to tackle in this thread. Whether or not they can be simplified down to things that can be tackled by students over a weekend… that’s the question. I invited them to join the forum and start a topic about the hackathon so I’ll cross-link if I see that pop up. If we want to see these things happen we have to find the people willing to help build them!


I think some of the issue is the lack of a defined Dashboard or reports/display of data thats customizable to a specific farm type. FarmOS is very good at storing data but often the desired data is hard to visualize or compile the desired report. For me it works really well as a backend and I use the API for retrieving data more than I do from the farmOS GUI itself. I’ve often wondered about making a module to represent the data better within farmOS but keep going back to the idea of building a dedicated livestock app with farmOS as the Backend only.

My current setup is a mess of bits that were stuck together in a baling twine and pallets sort of way mostly using Node-Red, but I’ve been trying to expand my coding abilities over the past 2 years, so maybe it’s time to put some of what I’ve learned int a more structured app.


Farmer ed. Do you happen to use agopengps??

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No, not yet anyway. I’ve been looking but I know @pat does.

I like this idea of having applications draw from FarmOS. This mitigates the risk of turning a good tool into a flimsy swiss army knife.
It would be nice to just see reports, graphs, visuals on data from time to time. All inputs and data sanity should stay with FarmOS. It’s good at it.

I had to chuckle at your baling twine and pallets reference. I have two piles of the actual physical forms of those, entangled into important projects on the farm. The reference hits home, sorely below the belt… accurate

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I have done work on many farms from the humble backyard hobby farms to large high-tech operations. I’ve yet to find one without some sort of baling twine / pallets fix somewhere.

Here it is! Hi @timperry :wave:

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