“Farming with live animals is a 7 day a week, legal form of slavery.” – George Segal
This year, I’m endevouring to keep a daily journal of a few notes from each day in an effort to keep better track of when things happen and how the seasons progress over time. At the end of the month, I’ll share them here too.
But those little anecdotes will be less about context, more about observations.
A couple of years ago, when we were still living off the grid at Blue Jay Lake Farm, I put together a blog post that walked through our typical weekend mornings – when we would handle barn chores. Two cows were milked, green houses were opened, baby goats bottle fed and calves chased up the hill to their fenced in field. Why not do the same for our humble little beginner homestead now?
Unlike then, our responsibilities aren’t confined to a few hours on Saturday and Sunday. Every day we have animals to tend to, chores to complete, commitments that can’t be ignored. And a baby. Let’s be honest, most days all of this has to fit within the ever-changing parameters of the Bean’s needs.
So as a start, here’s what a typical day looks like for us at the beginning of January.
6:30 AM Bean wakes up, change diaper, snuggle back into bed as a family for nursing/snoozing.
8:00 AM Everyone up and out of bed.
8:15 AM Open up the coop, check food/water. Bring hay to the goats. Scrutinize four pregnant Nigerian Dwarf goats for signs of impending labour.
8:20 AM Chop firewood. Start a fire.
8:30 AM Check email, play with Isla, make coffee/breakfast.
8:50 AM Juggle working/baby time.
11:00 AM Milk Easter, more scrutinizing of pregnant goats. Feel for Spike Jr.’s eggs under the milk stand only to find that she’s still there and not happy about being poked in the chest.
11:45 AM Chill milk, evaluate how much is in the fridge, make plans for another batch of yogurt tomorrow.
12:00 PM Juggle working/baby time.
1:15 PM Peer out the window for 10 minutes at the pregnant goats for any change/signal/sign that goat kids are on the horizon.
1:30 PM Lunch time.
2:00 PM Take the goats/Isla for a walk up the mountain. Make a mental note to grab Spike Jr.’s eggs when you get back to the barn.
3:30 PM New water for the goats. Try and chase two escapee chickens out of a tree and back into the run.
3:45 PM Collect eggs from coop, various bush nests.
4:00 PM Juggle working/baby time.
6:00 PM More hay for goats, udder/ligament checks. Refresh water. Check on chickens, lock up coop.
6:15 PM Realize you forgot Spike Jr.’s eggs. Vow to remember to grab them when you check in on them before bedtime.
7:00 PM Dreaded bed time witching hour.
8:00 PM Knitting/writing/working/movie time. Dinner.
9:30 PM Final check on goats.
10:00 PM Writing time.
12:00 AM Lights out.
12:15 AM Vow you’ll remember Spike Jr.’s eggs tomorrow.
Sounds like you need some more sleep! Good reminders for those of us wanting more furry friends that it’s prpbanly not a good idea if you’ve got a day job. I’m already afraid we’ll never take another vacation just by having chickens.
Chickens aren’t too tough if you have a day job (and a decent sized run to confine them too while you’re not there to supervise) but goats…yeah, they are a bit more challenging with all their antics. We haven’t had a problem finding a housesitter to care for the chickens while we’re away, but are much more selective when we have a goat who will need milking. The last thing I want to deal with while on vacation is a phone call about mastitis..! Sleep… Isla’s trained us to appreciate it when we get even just 5 hours of consecutive snoozin… 🙂
The first part of your day brought a smile to my face as I do exactly the same thing after my 16 month old wakes – change nappy then snuggle, nurse, snooze or read books for at least an hour before dragging myself out of bed 🙂 I’m always fascinated that knowing someone somewhere else in the world is doing the exact same thing as you brings a bit of joy.
Yes! I have so few folks close by to experience this whole baby/nursing phenomona which is much more fascinating than I ever anticipated…so I love hearing this too!! It’s such a fantastic part of the day, eh? Though she goes through days where she wants to sit up and play “which boob do I want?” instead of quietly snuggling in. While adorable…less snoozy. 😉