Use these free, printable Livestock Care Sheets for evacuations or farm sitters to record important care information about your animals and have it ready in case of an emergency!
I spent the morning working on a project that I hope I will never have to use! I created and filled out these Livestock Care Sheets for evacuations and/or if we are ever unable to care for our animals due to an emergency. Specifically, in the case of wildfire danger.
Here on the West Coast, it’s pretty inevitable that at some point, we will have to face the reality of a wildfire that comes a bit too close for comfort. Most of us, if we haven’t experienced it ourselves, know someone who has.
For those of us with livestock, our biggest concern is the safety of our animals. We have all heard stories of friends and family members who’ve had to evacuate their farms and homesteads. Some of the animals have to be left behind while others may be able to be evacuated to nearby farms or fairgrounds for temporary housing.
In either situation, you are probably not going to be able to be with your animal every moment. There’s a lot of confusion during evacuation situations and there isn’t much time to react.
That’s why it’s so important to have information ready for rescuers and caretakers.
Preparing for natural disasters & evacuations
I cannot tell you how much I absolutely hate having to even think about this. The thought of my precious horses being away from me… being scared… and my sweet spoiled dairy goats and chickens…
I tear up just thinking about it.
But we do have to think about it so that we can be prepared.
There is a good chance that a natural disaster will happen near us at some point. I mean we do live below the shadow of a giant volcano, on top of a major fault line, and right in the line of wildfires! Yikes!
As much as I hope to never have to deal with a natural disaster, I can’t deny that I need to start gettin things in order! Last summer was a bad fire season and I know that this year could be even worse. Which is why I decided to start facing the reality of our situation and preparing for the worst.
I already have first aid kits packed in 5 gallon buckets so that they are ready whenever they are needed. So that’s one step in the right direction! You can check out more info about my first aid kit buckets and their contents here.
As I continue to prepare for what will hopefully never happen, I’ve begun thinking about packing evacuation kits and what kind of information I need to have on hand for myself and caretakers. So, I decided to start by making these Livestock Care Sheets for evacuations and/or any other times when we are unable to care for our animals.
Livestock Care Sheets for Evacuation & Sitters
My intention with these Livestock Care Sheets is to provide the most important information about my animals to whomever is caring for them in the event that I can’t.
While I designed them for emergency evacuation situations, they could also be used for a farm sitter. And, they would be incredibly useful for emergencies (like a sudden hospitalization) when a neighbor or friend may need to come feed and care for the animals.
Let’s face it: life is unpredictable. I hope I will always be there to care for our animals. But I also take comfort in knowing that there are instructions available if someone else needs to step in. I also appreciate that I won’t have to try to remember everything and relay it in the middle of the stressful situation!
Where to Store your Livestock Care Sheets for Evacuations & Emergencies
The ideal time to fill out these care sheets is obviously before you need them! It’s also incredibly important to keep them up to date and to keep them on hand in a location where they are easy to find and access.
I have one Livestock Care Sheet for each of our horses and one combined sheet for our goats. I actually have two copies of each of my animals’ Livestock Care Sheets. One set of copies stays in the barn feed room (in a sheet protector to keep it clean) and the other set stays in my animal management binder. That way, if there is an emergency and I’m separated from the animals, one set can go with the animals and one set can stay with me.
In my animal management binder, along with the Animal Care Sheets, I also have our registration papers, proof of ownership and health records. I also have printed resources on providing emergency medical care for the horses and goats (how to deal with bloat, dosage amounts for antibiotics, etc.) in the binder.
This binder is my go-to in case we need to evacuate. It’s one of the first things I will grab and pack since it has all of our animal info in it!
Need to start your own animal management binder? The Homestead Management Binder has an entire Animal Management section which includes printable health and herd records. You can grab the entire Homestead Management Binder in the Freebie Library, along with the Animal Care Sheets.
How to Use the Livestock Care Sheets
The Livestock Care Sheets are easy to fill out and fairly flexible so they can be used for a variety of animals. They are designed for livestock but they can also be used for domestic pets, especially if you are leaving info for a caretaker or pet sitter.
The front of the sheet has room for the most important info: your animal’s name (if applicable) and identifying characteristics such as coat colors, ear tag number, etc. I also print out a current picture of each of my animals and attach it here.
Next, there is a spot for important medical information that a caretake would need to know. If the animal is on medication, you’ll want to record the medication name and dosage rates.
On the bottom of the first page, there is a spot for contact info. Be sure to include your own info, your veterinarian’s info and anyone who may be able to help if an emergency arises.
On the back of the page, there is space to record feeding information (AM feedings and PM feedings). Along with feeding times and amounts, be sure to include where the feed is stored if it isn’t obvious or labeled.
Finally, there is an “other” section to record any other care details that a caretaker and/or rescuer may need to know.
Grab your copy!
To get your free copy of the Livestock Care Sheets, pop on over to the Freebie Library. And, while you’re there, don’t forget to grab the Homestead Management Binder which has a whole section for Animal Management! Then you can create your animal management binder and keep all your important documents organized and on hand.
I hope and pray that neither you nor I will ever need to use these documents in an emergency evacuation situation. But, if we do, I hope this helps us all be at least a little bit more prepared!