Thursday, April 16, 2015

Morning Chores

I have mentioned that we have 9 1/2 acres of land.  On this land we now have 1 dog, 3 cats, 18 chickens, 3 ducks, 2 horses, and 2 goats plus 2 small raised bed gardens.  The homestead is not even close to being self supporting, so I call it my hobby homestead.  Hobbies tend to be expensive and a lot of work, but you continue them for the joy derived.  Because this is a hobby, I help to support our home and homestead with a full time job (as well as being a full time mother).

I am often asked how I can possibly do everything that needs doing, especially in the morning before loading one child on the bus and bringing another to daycare and heading off to work.  So here is my typical morning on the farm:

Fritz says "Put some catfood in that bowl!"

This is Fritz, who has a self dog food feeder with all the dog food he could want, but he would much prefer to eat the cat food.  If I filled the cat food feeder up, he would eat it all.

So every morning I put out a cup of cat food for our indoor cat, Liza (and for Fritz), and a cup of cat food for our outdoor cats, Guess and Trixie, and, unfortunately, for the opossum who cleans up what is left over at night.


I also take a cup of cat food and/or table scraps for our chickens and ducks who greet me at the fence clucking, quacking, and fluttering every morning. 

The horses are fed their grain next and are given hay when the pasture is down.  Fritz is enthusiastic to accompany me to the barn where he gets his daily horse treat.  Every morning the horses greet me at the gate, then I open the tack room door to a horse butt facing me, and I have to remind them to get into their stalls for breakfast.

Since this is their routine, I truly think that they feel without this system of gate greeting, butt display, and stall command, they would surely not be fed.  (Horses love routine.)  In the winter I also have to check the temperature and put on/take off blankets as necessary. 

Next come the goats who are fed a small scoop of sweet goat chow - they are always so happy to see me!

I check everyone's water, then give a cup of sunflower seeds to the chickens who once again cheer me on from the other side of the fence.  I fill up the chickens' feeder, check their water, collect beautiful eggs from the nest boxes, then water the garden. 

I currently have strawberries in one garden with plans for zucchini, and sugar snap peas in the second with plans for cucumbers.  I will also be making a vertical garden "potato tower" out of field fencing, and I will let you know how that works out!

The whole production takes approximately 20-30 minutes.  Many people would cringe at the thought of these morning chores every day but, as it is my hobby, I usually find them quite enjoyable!  I hope you do, too!

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