Record keeping is an important part of running a successful breeding set up. Birds should be identifiable by rings and/or microchips and pairs should be recorded in a book or an electronic device (make sure you back up files).
There are many benefits to record keeping, such as identifying pairs that are doing well or not doing well. Making sure you are selling unrelated pairs. Tracking previous clutches and comparing them to current ones. Being able to know the genetic make up of mutation birds. Knowing hatch dates and therefore ages of chicks.
Sometimes there are problems or successes that you can't pinpoint until you look back over previous records and notice patterns. This is especially helpful for breeders to correct problems experienced in the past.
What should I be recording?
You should first record the ring number and/or microchip number of each parent. A note of the type of box and nest material used. The nest step is to note the breeding behaviours, keep a close eye out for aggression or egg breaking.
When eggs are laid, the egg should be recorded as well as a date or number written on the egg itself (a 2b graphite pencil works well and will not damage the chick inside). An accurate recording of date laid on the egg will give you an accurate incubation time frame. Incubation can vary and it's definitely worth your time to write the temperature and if the day was dry or wet during the incubation period because these factors will change the incubation time.
Once the chicks hatch, a note of their colour and size is helpful. At this point parental behaviour should be monitored. Some birds will exhibit problem behaviours when chicks reach certain ages, or if they decide to breed again. Age of banding should be noted because it gives you a timeframe for future chicks to be banded.