Every animal is an individual with unique needs, but Farmbrite knows that it is usually easier to work with multiple animals together as a herd or group. Specifically, we want to save you time - its quicker to move a herd of animals into a different grazing field with one action than it is to move them individually. This "bulk change" concept can be used when applying treatments, changing breeding statuses, adding notes, and much more. Creating a group also allows you to associate Tasks and Activities to it, so you can more easily assign work that is specific to a group of animals to your workers. You can even create groups to work with animals you might not normally keep track of as individuals - perhaps a colony of bees or a brood of chicks.
To get started creating a group, navigate to Livestock on the left, and then choose Groups.
Any groups that already exist in your Farmbrite account will be displayed; to create a new group, click the New Livestock Group button.
A new window will pop up. First, name the group and optionally give it a description. Then decide if you'd like it to be a Smart Group, Basic Group, or a Set Group. We'll talk about the differences in each below.
A Smart Group uses filters to automatically assign animals to this group. Rather than you picking each individual animal to add, you'll set filters to include all the animals who meet your filter criteria. When you choose this type and click Next, you'll see many different filters presented to you.
You'll first choose what animal type(s) to include in this group, and then add any additional filters. For our "Cattle Spring21" group, we've just chosen that animal type, and a birthdate in March or April. This is a quite simple group with just one filter, but you can use any combination of filters to find just the animals you're looking to add to the group. Breeding Status, Withdrawal Dates, Keywords, Breeds, and Genders - there are so many ways you can create unique groups to find your specific animals. Bonus: New animals that you add after creating the Smart Group that still meet this criteria will automatically be added to the group as well!
A Basic Group allows you to hand pick what animals will be added to it. Maybe your group is unique where the animals do not have common characteristics you can filter on - perhaps you are putting a donkey or a dog in with a group of goats for protection, or with a horse for social companionship. After clicking Next, you'll search for specific animals by typing Names, Types, or Keywords in the box and pressing Enter.
In the example above, our donkey is being added to our Basic Group by checking the box on the left and then clicking the Move To Group button to create the Group. If you'd like to add other animals to this Basic Group, you can then click Add Animals on the next page.
We searched for our goats, and added them to this same group by clicking the boxes on the left, and selecting Move To Group.
This is a good illustration of how a Basic Group works - it's not automatic and will take some more work, but it allows you to pick and choose individual animals to add to the group. We now have a group with a donkey and four goats!
A Set Group is used when you don't need to track every individual animal in the group - the group itself itself is effectively the "animal". A good example of this might be bees - you would not track every individual bee in a hive, but rather think of the hive as a whole. When you choose Set Group from the Group Type and click Next, your group will immediately be created. You can add additional information about it on the next screen - maybe you'd supply a breed, or how many are in the group. When complete, be sure to click Save Animal in the upper right.
You might also use Set Groups for poultry flocks - chickens, turkeys, and so on. Also, be aware that you can combine multiple set groups/flocks into a basic group or smart group. For example, we might have a 2022 flock of chickens set, and a separate one for 2023. We can make a smart group with the animal type "chicken" to group both together, or add them both to a basic group if we needed to add another animal as well.
You're now more familiar with adding groups - if you do have any additional questions about how to use them, please reach out to us.