Tracking the size of a sheep mob

Is there a way to manage/see the number of head in a mob of sheep? The flow on from this is to be able to tally total stock numbers on my farm.
Thanks, Simon

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Hi @soxeshall - yes there are a few ways to do this, depending on what you need.

First, a question: do you keep track of animals individually? In other words: do you have a separate Animal asset for each sheep?

Or, do you have a single Animal asset that represents the whole mob?

farmOS is not opinionated about which method you use, but it is generally best to pick one and be consistent. It usually depends on whether or not you need to track individual actions with each sheep or not (eg: medical records, birth logs, etc), or if you are not tracking that level of granularity.

If you have individual sheep assets, then you can use the Group asset module to organize them into herds/mobs and then manage the movements of the mob as a whole. For more information, see: Group membership | farmOS

If you are not managing individual sheep assets, then you can use the Inventory module to give your mob asset a head count inventory. You can increment/decrement/reset the inventory of assets at any time, and see the “current inventory” on the asset record. For more information, see: Inventory tracking | farmOS

I think most people who manage sheep with farmOS use the group asset approach, because they generally keep detailed records of each individual sheep. The inventory tracking approach is sometimes useful for bird flocks or aquaculture, where you don’t need individual asset records, and just want to know how many animals there are.

If you haven’t already, I would recommend enabling the Group Membership and Movement quick form modules. They make it easier to manage herd membership and movements.

You can view a list of all members of a group by clicking on the “Members” tab when viewing that group asset. At the bottom of this list it will show a summary of results, including a total count.

For what it’s worth, the dashboard will display rough metrics of the total number of animal assets you have, but it does not break them out by group.

Another way to achieve this would be to add the ability to filter the main list of animal assets by group, and then just look at the result summary count at the bottom of the page. This is something that I started working on a while back but got sidetracked. I’ll dig that up again too and see if we can get it over the finish line.

It might also be fun to brainstorm a “Herd Report” of some kind, which is specifically tailored to grazing herds, and could summarize various high level metrics. I would love to hear ideas about what would be most useful in a report like this!

And then there’s also the “Grazing” module, which we had in farmOS v1 (but was never ported to v2/3). It would be great to make a new version of that with the lessons learned from the previous version.


This is a very details response mstenta. Thanks for your time. I think the Inventory module would work in my situation. I will have a look at it.
Cheers, Simon


@soxeshall In that case you’re in luck… we are just about to add a new “Inventory quick form”. I just opened a pull request for community review, and we hope to add it along with a few other new features to the 3.1.0 release of farmOS (hopefully soon!)

Here is the forum topic discussion about it if you would like to see how it will work: Interest in an inventory adjustment quick form?