The AotG >> Groups section allows you to define any number of categories that suit your purpose. A group could be:
- an on-farm paddock or pasture name (eg ‘windmill paddock’, ‘top pasture’). When you move animals in the real-life windmill paddock on your farm to another paddock, record that movement virtually as well in AotG. Very handy when locating specific animals in large herds!
- a specific group of animals (eg ‘weanlings’, ‘pregnant females’). Animals in the ‘weanlings’ group may be spread amongst several paddocks in real life (you can group them this way as well), but placing them all in a specific group like this allows you to record a common management procedure (eg a vaccination) in one go to all weanlings wherever they are physically
- an abstract concept (eg ‘agisted’, ‘deceased’, ‘sold’). Agisted/boarded animals could be spread over several paddocks (and recorded in paddock groups), but placing them in an ‘agisted’ or ‘boarded’ category as well makes locating all such animals in your care so much easier. A ‘deceased’ or ‘sold’ category may be useful for people wishing to maintain historical records but without wanting those animals to appear elsewhere
Or anything really! You could be really creative and have small niche groups like ‘Snowy’s cria’ or ‘2018 show team’, or anything that has meaning for you.
Animals can be placed into as many groups as you like. For example, newborns could exist in the ‘crias’ group as well as the ‘windmill paddock’ group where they run with their dams. You could of course have another group called ‘dams’. Some of those dams could be in a ‘show team’ group as well. Moving those animals to the ‘back paddock’ group doesn’t move them out of the ‘crias’ and ‘dams’ groups. And when time to wean, you can move the crias in the ‘crias’ group to the ‘weanlings’ group in one go.
One advantage of multiple groups is that you may wish to peform husbandry procedures to the cria group but not to the entire paddock group. Or you may wish to apply one procedure to the crias, and a second one to the whole paddock group as well. AotG lets you select subgroups of animals with any amount of precision.
When setting up AotG, we suggest adding groups first, simply because you’re more likely to have less groups than animals. Thinking about what groups to create may also help you think about how you wish to organise and track your herd in this program. You can add any number of groups at any time later and as you need them: you don’t have to get this perfect the first time!