This morning I decided you might like to share my morning chores with me. I get a lot of exclamations of “That’s a LOT of work!” when folks come to visit the farm. Well, yes, it IS a lot of work, but it’s joyful work. We love our animals and they love us. They greet us every morning. Actually, they fuss at us to hurry up with their breakfast!
I start off my chores with a visit to the brooder house very early to open their door so the birds can get outside. Then, later in the morning, I go back to start my chores in earnest and feed and water our young pullets. They make quite a mess, so I have to clean up the feeder and waterer before I can refill them.
The whole time I’m taking care of the pullets, Rosie, Samson & Delilah are fussing at me to hurry up. I take them their feed, make sure they have plenty of mineral, replenish their hay and clean and fill their big water bowl.
Next comes Thelma and her four young ram lambs that she guards. The lambs are getting big! We give all our sheep just a dusting of grain so they’ll be trained to come to the green buckets so we can check them over to make sure they’re in good health. I give the young rams their snack, feed Thelma her grain free kibble, and clean out and replenish their water, too.
While I’m feeding and watering Thelma and the rams, Gracie and Martha are fussing at me to get a move on. Gracie is spoiled rotten and I’m still giving her a bottle every morning. I think I’m like some of those human moms who are reluctant to wean their babies because they really like the dependency; I love bottle time with Gracie. Here she is fussing for me to hurry!
Next up is Pork Chop, our pot belly pig. He’s a real talker and, since he can see me now that I’m at the sheep pen, he starts oinking and pacing. He loves his pig feed pellets and he always gets a special treat of vegetables and fruit. Isn’t he cute?
After that, it’s time to head to the Back Forty. I let the dogs out of their kennels, clean them, and refill the buckets. We load up in the golf cart and off we go!
We visit the laying hens with their roosters and throw scratch feed out for them to snack on.
Next stop is the top of the hill to check on Clarence & Peanut Butter. If the flies are bothering them, I give them a quick spray of fly repellent and rub ears. They are always happy for the attention! I refill their water tank in the evening, so the water is fresh and cool and I don’t need to do anything else here. They have PLENTY of grass to eat, so they don’t need feed or hay.
The branch is dry here as we near the end of the summer, so I can easily take the golf cart across and don’t need to carry buckets across the foot bridge. That’s a GOOD thing!
The dogs jump down from the golf cart to “help” me with the sheep. Actually, they wait for me outside the gate and watch all the sheep come to be fed. We are in a routine here, and the sheep see me with the green bucket and come running!
Here is one of our breeding rams, Rambo. (Novel idea for a name, right? lol) He’s a big boy and is in with a group of young ewes right now.
After they finish eating they follow each other back up the hill to their favorite shady spot in the woods. There always seems to be a gentle breeze blowing up there. That’s where I would hang out, too, if I were a sheep!
I pick up eggs on the way back. I LOVE to pick up eggs and check on “the girls.”
We head back to the house, and the last thing I do is feed the dogs and put them back in their kennel. They will eat and then nap till I come back outside in the late afternoon to do evening chores, when I’ll get them back out. During evening chores, we do the whole thing on foot instead of using the golf cart, so we all get a good amount of exercise. It’s slower, but also very relaxing, and we all have fun together. I don’t carry feed to everyone in the evenings; my main chore is to clean out and refresh all the water tanks and troughs and buckets so that everyone has cool, clean water after the heat of the day.
When you come for a farm tour, you can retrace my steps (without the work!) and enjoy all our animals. They love visitors and so do we. You can make an appointment for groups of 10 or more for a tour during the week, or come for our regular guided tour on Sunday afternoons at 2:00. The cost is just $5 for everyone older than 2 years old. Children enjoy throwing scratch feed to the hens and picking up eggs right out of the hen house, and they get a special honey treat at the end of the tour. Of course, you can stock up on eggs, lamb, honey and other farm products when you visit our farm market.
Call or text me at 803-804-3541 to arrange for a visit or with any questions you might have. We look forward to your visit!