Keeping track of how much feed we’ve got coming in during a week, month, or year adds up with a farm the size of MacFarlane Pheasants. We’ve learned early on to monitor how much feed has come in and especially how much we paid for it. It takes good book keeping, but here’s how we reconcile our pheasants’ feed.
When feed is ordered, we’ll receive an invoice. We’ll take it and compare it to the form the driver has when the feed is delivered. We check for a few things. First, we make sure the weights match up—every pound we buy should be in the truck when it arrives. The next thing we’ll look at is the price. We contract our feed out at a certain price by a certain amount, and so if we’ve agreed on a lower price, we make sure we’ve been charged by it. If either of these is off, it’s back to the manufacturer to make sure the discrepancies are righted. The final thing we’re checking for is how far into that contract with the feed manufacturer we are, for example, we may lock in 500 tons at a certain price, we need to know where we are in that contract. Reconciling pheasant feed gives us that information.
We keep track of all these details and more in a spreadsheet. If there’s one thing we recommend, it’s keeping a good spreadsheet. Consistent bookkeeping in this area can make sure you get your dollar’s worth in feed. If it were only dollars, maybe it wouldn’t matter as much. But last year we purchased almost 7,000 tons of feed, and when you’re dealing in such big numbers, a small mistake can cost thousands—and that’s hoping you catch it. Some mistakes are never caught, meaning that money is just gone. Get a good spreadsheet going now and you’ll save yourself money down the road. We’d recommend starting with the following information: what type of feed, when it was delivered, and at what price. You can tweak it over time. We do it every year.
By keeping good records now, you’ll be able to avoid some common mistakes in the future. Sometimes a feed company will lose a contract or go off an old contract when pricing feed. Good records make it easy to go back to them to correct these issues.
It always comes down to record keeping. That’s why at MacFarlane Pheasants, reconciling pheasant feed is really a matter of diligence over a long time. Get a good spreadsheet and it will save you money and let you spend every dollar on raising quality pheasants.