Thursday, April 24, 2014

Raising chickens? 5 ways to use your smartphone.

If you're anything like me, you constantly have your cell phone with you. Even while tending the backyard chickens! According to Forbes, more then 82% of adults in the USA own a smart phone. Even farmers. (That was 2013, imagine the number now!) It's like a minicomputer in your pocket, and if you think you can use it to help organize your everyday life, imagine how you can use it in chicken care!

Of course we all know the usual things: take pictures of the chickens, post to Instagram, FB, Tweet about that new hatch, text hubby to pick up shavings or feed, answer email about the eggs you have for sale etc etc. All the usual suspects. Did you know you can use your phone in other ways? I have a few ways you probably never even thought of...


Using your smartphone for raising chickens

Raising backyard chickens: 5 ways to use your smartphone 

1) Candling eggs with your phone.

The flashlight app on your phone works by turning on your cameras flash. The app is free on both Android and Iphones. Did you know that this light is strong enough to candle an egg? I use it constantly, and it works like a charm! No more running in the house for a flashlight, just whip out your phone and you're good to go.


2) Taking notes in the coop.


Smartphones have apps that allow you to take notes. Many of them allow you to jot down 'voice notes' so you don't even have to type. Make feed store lists, repair lists, wish lists etc. No more getting to the feed store and thinking "Now, what was it that I needed?" You have a list in your phone...easy peasy!


3) Keep track of dates with chicken pictures.


Did you know that every picture you take automatically records the date it was taken? When you notice that hen has gone broody, snap a picture right away. There's no guessing when her eggs are due, just check the photo data for an exact date! Take pictures of anything you want to keep track of....the phone will keep the date for you. Also, if your Andriod phone automatically stores your pictures to google photos, they are stored under the date they were created so it's super simple to look up!

I also like to use the camera in my phone to keep track of things like prices. I was always scrambling for receipts to try to remember who had the best prices on feed, scratch, buckets etc.  Now I simply take a picture of the shelf tags and I have a record of the prices (and the date in the case of feed prices which can fluctuate)

4) Chicken ebooks!

I'm a huge fan of Amazons free kindle ebooks. I think I have 80 at least. There are probably 20 that are just about chickens, many more about farming and gardening....and they were all free! I read books on my phone/Ipad when I'm waiting to pick up the kids, on hold on the phone, in a long line somewhere....etc etc. The great thing is, I can read 2 pages then close the app and it keeps my place for me. Here are 2 that are available for free, right now: Backyard Chickens: a beginners guide and The working Chicken: everything you need to know to become an egg producer. (links updated October 2017)


5) Chicken apps! 


This runs the range from informative to downright dumb! You can get several poultry magazines in app form (subscription required) You can play stupid chicken games that will either have you laughing for hours, or shaking your head saying "You've gotta be kidding me!" Don't forget to read the reviews before you buy!

Of the more useful apps: I think Cluck-ulator is cool. It's a free app and it has a breed selector, coop planner, egg estimator and even a calculator to help you determine how much feed and water your number of chickens will use. There's a free app by SmartSteader that can help you keep track of your chickens and your garden! Brinsea has a free app called eggWISE Mobile Lite which can help you to manage your incubation and is especially helpful if you have multiple incubators. I use this constantly in breeding season! I'm sure there are others out there...those are just the ones I've used.

That's just how I use my smartphone to care for my chickens. How do you use yours?


~L

4 comments:

  1. I am amazed that there are "apps for that" - although I probably shouldn't be. Calculating how much to feed is neat. I also use mine to take photos of things to remember, and to make notes and shopping lists. Handy gadgets, aren't they? Thank you for sharing this at the HomeAcre Hop; I hope you'll join us again this Thursday.
    Kathi at Oak Hill Homestead

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    1. There are apps for everything I swear! lol Thanks for stopping by.

      ~L

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