Hello dear friends! I thought I’d share a few ‘snippets’ of my farm chore list [a typical winter day].
Most days, that is, each and every day begins with chores at 4 a.m. [and repeats itself generally on a 12-hour cycle]. The 4 a.m. time-slot began when I still worked at my engineering job and has since carried-over, now that I’m a stay-at-home mom [soon to become an empty nester]. Animals like and appreciate routine. They’re accustomed to a regular schedule. Whether sheep, dairy goats, horses or other ‘pet’, they intuitively know when it’s feeding time. I’m sure if you have a dog or cat, you can certainly relate to this phenomenon!
Hay is distributed amongst the barnyard menagerie, the horses and chickens are grained, bunny, dogs’ and cats’ food dishes filled and all the frozen water buckets busted-out and re-filled with fresh water. Our goats have the luxury of a heated water bucket! Stalls are mucked out.
Today I will also begin milking Cassiopeia [one of our dairy goats] every other day…from once per day…in an on-going effort to dry her off. She just keeps on giving!!! No grain for the goats and grass-hay! YUK! They want their alfalfa back!!! Coriander has been successfully dried-off. Both girls have been bred with a friend’s ‘borrowed’ buck [hubby still resists the idea of owning a buck]…but, that’s a tale for another day! I believe I could have easily extended Cassie’s lactation thru another season [she’s such a heavy milker], but Katie insisted on babies in Spring since next year she’ll be away [freshman] at college!
Next week, before my son returns to college [from Christmas break], he’ll help ‘rearrange’ my Shetland ewes who have been in the breeding pen since December 1. I have reconsidered/reduced the number of breedings…because I prefer NOT to eat my Shetlands [a ram lamb usually ends-up in the freezer], while the economy here is still depressed. We’ll also have to move another portable hay feeder from storage into the sheep pen…they’ve been grazing until the recent snow!!
We put a heat-lamp in the chicken pen/dog shed.
Most of the garden chores have been completed…with the exception of mulching the compost pile. That’s hubby’s job…need I say more?
As we settle into winter, I’ll focus on indoor/house projects, namely my mud-room [aka laundry room]. The wallpaper will be stripped and the walls re-painted. I can’t decide if I want to paint the cupboards? We’ll build another shelf or two in the closet for storage and make a few low-budget cosmetic changes.
Today I’m baking a cake for Katie’s 18th birthday tomorrow, making a hearty split pea & ham soup from the left-over Christmas ham and a loaf of fresh-baked honey wheat bread [in my bread machine of course].
I’ll be cleaning the farm shop [removing Christmas decorations] and giving some serious thought to putting together a class/workshop schedule. I’ll be ‘posting’ it soon! Until then, keep warm and take care!