Thursday, January 26, 2012

A Day at the Farm: Barn chores

I had to write up some instructions last year for a my sister who was coming to look after the animals for a few days and I thought you might like to see what is required for a DAY-AT-SHALOM ENGEDI-FARM in the winter.


You don't have to do anything - the neighbour will come and look after them - you are allowed to pet them if they will let you (good luck with that!)

Sheep and Donkey:  Maybe, Lamb-chops, Flanders and Mr. Sheepie

They need is fresh clean water. 1/2 bale of hay in the outdoor feeder and a 1/2 bale in the inside feeder. 
Rinse and fill water bucket in the morning - check it at night to be sure it's still full - if nearly empty the sheep can't reach the water.
They get 1 half can of "ewe food" at night - they have to share.
They can go outside in the cement paddock during the day.
They enter and exit through the gate on the west side of the barn.  If you have their "ewe food" (ie. Bait) ready they are usually not too difficult to get back into their pen.  Shut the door between their side and the chicken/duck side before you let them in or them will head straight for the chicken feeders and cause chaos! 

The chickens: 48 old lady names - call them whatever you want :) and 2 roosters

The biggest chicken pen - those chickens are allowed out every day.
Fill the feeders and waterers
Rake & stir the shavings on the floor - the deep litter method is working really well for us!
Collect eggs in the morning and refill the nesting boxes with fresh shavings.
We usually don't let them out until 10:30 (so we can sleep in!)  NO!  So they will lay their eggs in the nesting boxes - or else they are all over the barn.
Shut the door to the coop throughout the day.
Put them back to bed by dusk - if it's still light out you will have a much harder time rounding them up.  They WANT to go back to their coop when it's getting dark and if they have not had access to feed all day they are more than willing.

The Big Rooster: Solomon

Solomon and the other rooster Fred will fight to the death so don't let them out on the same day.
His pen is the second one on the left from the main door.
He just needs to have feed and water available.

The Chicken Couple: Fred & Ethel

Fred is the other rooster - Fred and Ethel get let out on opposite days of Solomon.  You will hear him crow and think - what was thatstrange noise :)
Their pen is closest to the main door on the left.
Food and water available - check for an egg!

The Muscovy's:  all white ducks Sir Winston, Sir Francis (a girl!) Lady Bella and Lady Gaga.

They are in the farthest pen from the door on the left side.
They are also on rotation with the other ducks because the boys don't get along
Feed and water available - check for eggs.

The Rouen's: Colorful ducks - Harrison & his wife, Pom-Pom-Head

They live in the pen to the right of the main door.  Same as the other ducks.
Check for eggs.

The Cats: Lilly and Chloe and a few other random wild cats with no names.

Cat food is in the green recycle bin in the farthest back room of the house. 
1 scoop morning and night split between the two bowls.
Water dish is outside under the bench close to the back door.

The Dog: Levi

Requires the most amount of work.
Mandatory snuggles and kisses.
His latest trick is taking off to the neighbours :)
Dog food is in the bag at the top of the basement stairs.


We don't work at cleaning too hard in the winter.  Big cleaning jobs are reserved for days when the weather in the winter is unseasonably warm or it waits till spring. 

To paraphrase a sign I saw once: 

Our chore list changes with the seasons and as new animals arrive on the farm.  We're looking forward to the changes that baby lambs and new ducklings and chicks will bring.

Ahhh spring...can't wait!


  1. I love the names you have given your animals, especially the ducks!


    1. My kids are unusually creative when it comes to names! My son even knows which chicken is which in some cases and most of them are the same breed. We are running out of old lady names so if you would like to add to our collection we're open to suggestions :)

  2. That was a fun- but sort of stressful weekend. Try counting chickens that didn't stand still for 2 seconds? One two three...ten eleven. Crap. One two three.... ;). I got smarter after that! Get in...or stay out with Maybe and the sheep! Chasing chickens in a dress - also not one of my finer moments. Always a joy sister....

    1. Too bad we don't have a picture of you and Luke running around the house! Luke in rubber boots and farmer atire and dear sister in a dress and heels - laughing and giggling and being totally outdone by running chickens. Very cute and memorable scene!!


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