Friday, May 20, 2011

Morning Chores

This morning I took pictures as I was doing chores so I could share my daily routine. I skipped the inside stuff, like letting the dogs out to potty, feeding them, etc. After I get the dogs fed and pottied, and I get showered and dressed, I head out to feed the outside animals.

First stop is the barn to let the 8 turkeys and 3 pullets out for the day. They've been enjoying free-ranging during the days and only go back to the barn to roost at night. They're growing pretty good, and starting to actually look like turkeys. I've seen a few strutting too....very cute to see a pint sized turkey displaying his feathers. :-)

Then I head out to see the sheep and goats. June and Ida are waiting for me. Normally Brutus is up on the gate with them, but not this morning. June looks funny because I clipped her body but not her head. Can you see the color difference? I open the gate and try to hold the baby goats back, and let June slip out so she can go to the barn to be milked.

After I milk June, I open the headstall on the milk stand so she can make her way back outside to the pasture. I take a few moments to feed the Romney lambs (still for sale, btw). I fill their haybag with hay and make sure they have water.

Then I take an armful of hay and grab June's collar to remind her she's supposed to be going back to the barn. Sometimes I'll just leave without her, and she'll come blasting out of the barn running and jumping all the way to the pasture gate. I put the hay in the feeder and watch everyone pig out. Soon I'll order some electric netting so the sheep can graze more in the yard. It would be nice to stop feeding hay.

June has to get the best hay, and everyone knows the best hay is at the top!

The goat kids follow along and think they also need to stand in the feeder to get the best hay. It's a goat thing. Notice how all the sheep are standing nicely, and all the goats have to be rebels.

Purl said, "Why are you taking pictures of us eating hay? Do you mind?"

After the small ruminants are looked after, I head to the chicken coop. I used to let the chickens out first, but I got tired of walking around and over them, so I now let them out last. As I walk to the coop, one crazy pullet flies up and hits the wire mesh over the window. She does this every morning. I think she's telling me to hurry up and open the door! So I oblige her and open the door and watch the poultry rush out in a tumble.

Then I watch the feeding frenzy for a moment before I head back inside.

On my way back inside I see the turkeys are once again trapped in the small pen, even though the gate they walked through to get in the pen is wide open. They'll figure it out, they do this at least twice a day.

Once I get back inside I strain the milk. I use a coffee filter instead of using the ones that go to the stainless funnel I have. The gold mesh coffee filter works so well and I can re-use it. It cost about $10 but will last quite a while.

June milked about a half gallon this morning. She's milking about a gallon a day now, which is way too much for us to keep up with. The kids are only here half time, and David isn't a big milk drinker. I've been making pudding and farmer cheese to try to keep up with it! I would like to expand my cheese-making abilities and try something "real" like cheddar or mozzerella, but I need to order cultures and I have been putting that off. Right now I'm on the hunt for a young piglet so I can feed it all the extra milk. Apparently nobody breeds pigs around here!

After all the chores are done and the milk is labeled and put in the fridge, I quickly pack my lunch, let the dogs out one last time, put a diaper on Scooter (more on that later), and head out the door to work.

Oh what I would give to be able to stay home!

Now head on over to Verde Farms for Farm Friend Friday to see all the great farm blogs out there!


Allison at Novice Life said...

Gosh, don't I know your pain trying to get all the morning chores done only to then have to head out to work! I always imagine how nice it would be if I could stay home all day :)

Isn't it too funny how animals are! I laughed about the goats being rebels and the turkeys getting stuck at least twice a day :)

Have a good weekend!

Becky said...

Whew! I'm tired just reading about all you get done before most people are awake! I just love goats. :) Such personality. Those animals are lucky to have you to take care of them. Picturing that chicken throwing herself against the window every morning makes me laugh!
When we win the lottery, we'll both quit working and farm full time!! :)

Buttons said...

Wow you are a very busy girl. All that before work most people would be ready to lay down. You are a true farm woman I know this as so am I. Thanks for the tour. B

Lori Skoog said...

All of your critters are beautiful and look well taken care of! A busy life...but so worth it.

Dad said...

Katie, thanks for sharing your morning. I can imagine all of the squawking and bleating going on as everyone is anxious to be set free or provided a meal. How about pictures of the nightly routine? Love you.

Deb said...

Katie - I feel like Becky. I am exhausted just reading all you do before going to work. I wish I could wave a magic wand and you'd be able to stay home and delve into cheese making and crafting in between feeding/milking times! Those silly turkeys!! They are really pretty even though they are stupid! :-)) Love you, Momma

Jennifer said...

One busy girl with all your chores... The animals love you for it :)

Alana said...

You exhaust me just reading that.

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