My husband and I were getting ready for a lovely 6-day getaway cruise – just him and me, no kids! This is a rare treat for any parent, but for a parent with 4 human children and over 50 critter children, it is not only an incredibly rare treat but a logistical headache. When we take family vacations we hire a farm sitter, but since the kids were not coming along on this trip I decided to enlist my free help! Luckily, my kids are young adults and are pretty responsible- and willing to take the job on. As I was writing out a chore list for them, I thought you might be interested in taking a peak into our daily life with our backyard farm!
Daily Morning Chores
Get up, showered, & dressed. Feed the dogs & cats. Pull on those farm boots, grab some veggies from the fridge for the rabbits and any food scraps for the poultry, and head out to the barn.
Let the dogs out to run in the fenced paddock while you do farm chores.
Fill up the water bucket at the spigot and carry it to the rabbit stalls. Fill the feed, water, and hay for the female rabbits and sweep up their stall. Do the same for the male rabbit stall. Put out fresh veggies in each stall. Clean the water dishes every other day. Every three days dump & refill the rabbit litter boxes. Dump all the swept-up poop & hay into the wheelbarrow.
Grab your water bucket and move on to the alpaca stall. Give them each 1/2 cup of feed and fill their water. Scoop up the poop in the stall and put it in the wheelbarrow. Check their hay manger, put out a new bale if needed. Every other day, scrub their water bucket.
Every couple of days sweep out the hallway in the barn.
Take your water bucket, wheelbarrow, and poop shovel out to the paddock. Scoop up the outside manure pile and put it in the wheelbarrow. Fill the water bucket back up and leave it in the paddock for outside water. Check the outdoor hay manger, put out a new bale if needed.
Let the chickens, ducks, and geese out of their stalls. Empty, clean, and refill both water containers. Fill their feed. Give them any food scraps. Scrape the dropping board under the roosts and scoop all the poop into the waste bucket. Dump the waste bucket in the wheelbarrow.
Dump & fill the duck pool every few days.
Take the wheelbarrow to the compost pile and dump it.
Turn on the irrigation in the garden – set timer for 30 minutes so you don’t forget to turn it off!
Grab the dogs and go back inside.
I know it seems like a long list but most days I get through it in about 30-40 minutes. If I have some time to spare I like to hang out with the animals outside for a bit. After all that I grab my breakfast just in time to start work at 9:00 AM. I am really fortunate to be able to work from home so I have no commute, and fairly flexible hours if I spend too much time outside!
Evening Daily Chores
Lock the alpacas inside the barn for the night and give them 1/2 cup feed each for dinner.
Lock the poultry back inside the barn for the night. Take their feed bin and secure it in a metal can to protect it from rodents.
Collect the eggs.
Let the dogs out.
Before Bed Daily Chores
Before I head for bed there are some final chores to do:
Take dogs out one more time
Feed the dogs & cats
Clean the cat box
My husband and I returned from our trip well-rested. Our kids survived their week running the farm, the animals survived the week, and all was well! Everyone needs some time away to recharge their batteries, even backyard farmers. I am so thankful we got the chance for some grown-up time! My kids swear after this week they will never have farm animals, haha! It might not be a lifestyle many would choose, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. 🙂