SOGGY paper, human error and hard-to-read spreadsheets were the reality for the Clothier family's egg data collection since the operation started five years ago, but one forward-thinking employee may have changed the game for the South East business.
Derek Evans, an egg collector at the Woolumbool farm, started working for the family after a career change from computer coding and quickly realised he could make a real impact on the family-run operation.
"What we were originally doing before Derek came along was getting all the egg numbers out in the paddock, putting them on paper and then into a spreadsheet," Graham Clothier said.
"That wasn't really usable and it was time consuming, the pages would get wet if it was raining, it just wasn't working for us."
Mr Evans quickly got to work on an 'Egg Collection App' - a phone program that would not only keep data accurate, and dry, but would create graphs to track the data in an easy-to-see format.
"You take the phone out, put the data in as you're collecting, and download it into the computer, which puts it all into graphs for us," Mr Clothier said.
"Our spreadsheets before didn't really have the information we needed easily accessible and they just weren't up to scratch.
"But the data downloaded from the app has graphs and trend lines - we can see clearly, which is vital to keeping track of what is happening."
Mr Clothier said this includes tracking things like shell quality, allowing them to easily identify which hens were not performing well.
"We've got some birds that need to go now because their shell quality has dropped, which we can see through our data," he said.
"For instance, in today's graphs we can see 85 second eggs, which are not really saleable and that means those hens aren't producing the quality we need anymore.
"Or you can see the seconds eggs are starting to come down on another caravan because we put shell improver in the water.
"We've only been using it for three months now, but it's made a huge difference in our production already.
"I'm looking forward to looking at the data after a year, because I think that's when it's really going show its true impact."
With Mr Evans working on the property and tweaking the program as needed, Mr Clothier said the next step would be to put the app on the market.
"Now we're trying to get this app out there," he said.
"We've been looking at licencing and the things we need to do to get to that point, but we're really excited about it.
"Derek's done an amazing job here and we think it can really have a great impact on the industry."
Originally running a prime lamb operation, the Clothier family branched out into eggs five years ago when their eldest son returned home to work on the farm.
Looking to create another wage without land expansion, egg production was the best choice for the Clothiers, starting out with 1000 hens but quickly expanding.
"We had no experience with chickens when we started, we just jumped in the deep end," Mr Clothier said.
"We started with 1000 hens and had them for 12 months, then went to 3000 and we stayed there for three years and about 12 months ago we jumped up to 8500.
"We have one trailer to finish building, then the goal is to get to 10,000 hens."
Although it has been a step learning curve with chickens a different ball game to sheep and cattle, Mr Clothier said it had been a rewarding venture which will soon have paid for itself.
"Our enterprise purchase costs will stop in the 12 months," he said.
"Then it'll just be ongoing costs like any other enterprise. But it'll be good to sit back then and benchmark that data against our other farm data and see how it all sits.
"We have even managed to expand our land acquisitions to another 1000 acres.
"We're still learning, but you're always learning in any industry and we're really enjoying this jump into a different side of things."
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