How to Manage Livestock Information in an Excel Spreadsheet

By Anne Hirsh

Updated September 28, 2017

Manage information for every cow on your farm.
i 2 Cows image by Lucid_Exposure from

Livestock information management can become complex, especially on a large ranch or farm. Excel software allows you to create customizable spreadsheets to track information such as weight, breeding status, vaccinations, feeding schedules and medication in an easily sortable format so you can find the information you need without reading through several pages each time. Once you have determined the categories you want to include in your livestock management spreadsheet, you are ready to create either a single sheet or a workbook with several individual worksheets.

Open a new Excel workbook. If your version of Excel gives you a choice of templates, select "Create a blank workbook."

Right-click on the tab that says "Sheet 1" at the bottom of the Excel window. Select "Rename" and name it for the first type of animal you want to track, such as "Cattle" or "Horses." Do this for the other animals using other tabs, and create more tabs as needed by selecting "Insert," then "Worksheet" after right-clicking.

Enter "Name" or "Identification Number" in the first cell of the first row on each spreadsheet, then continue across row 1, adding headings for each item you want to track, such as age, last veterinary visit, weight or any other relevant data.

Enter the names or other identifiers for each individual animal you are tracking in column A, beneath where you entered "Name" or a similar heading. Fill in the rest of each row for each animal, leaving a cell blank if you do not have that datum for that animal.

Complete the worksheets for each animal type and save your workbook by holding down the "Ctrl" key and pressing "S." Enter a name for your workbook and click "Save."

Click in cell B2 and select "Window," then "Freeze panes." This will keep your heading row and animal identification visible no matter how far you scroll down or to the right on the spreadsheet. Check the "Help" function on your version of Excel for "Freeze panes" if it does not offer these options, as newer versions may vary.

Resize columns and rows as desired by clicking on the lines between them with your mouse and dragging them to the size you want.

Sort data in the order you want by pressing "Ctrl" and "A to select all. Click "Data" and select "Sort." Click the radio button next to "Header row," then use the drop-down boxes to choose the headings you want to sort by, such as age, then weight. Select ascending or descending to change the sort between A to Z and Z to A or lowest to highest and vice versa.


Press "Ctrl" and "A" then click "Format," then "Cells," then "Alignment" and "Wrap text" to keep all information in each cell visible if it is too large for the size of your cells.