Sometimes you are the mother and sometimes you are the Clucker.
I am the Mother well, actually all the time….”Come on, GET UP!” It is my favorite homesteading hack to get up early. Next weeks’ blog will focus on the other nine homesteading hacks I swear by. By 5:00 AM, I am up. I like to have a leisurely cup of tea, make my list for the day, declutter and lightly clean the house, look at the menu for the nights’ supper and prep anything which needs doing beforehand, organize any activities that may need organizing, respond to emails, social media etc., post any reminders for meetings or activities I may be in charge of, and then comes my dessert: CHORES ( insert Hallelujah music here). I know all of the above sounds like chores, but it’s just life.
For the homesteader/farmer, depending on what you have for animals you may have to reverse this process. Cows need to be milked early. Right now, we don’t have a milk cow, so out I go around 6:30-7:30 AM and it goes like this :
Feed, water and clean the meat hen chicks. (I always do the babies first, if we have them,before doing any others in the interest of biosecurity which is making sure you do not pass anything from older birds to new birds on the farm, and vice versa).
Sheep are next because they demand it. BAAAAA! BAAAAA! Tyger and Willow are the greasy wheel so they get done next.
Chickens, then pigs, then rabbits. Charlize, my youngest girl, gets up and does the horses.
These chores are the best part of my day. Early morning quiet, birds chirping, the connection with the animals and the earth. This is when I look at all the animals and make sure everyone is well. This is when I rub, scratch, and yes, talk to my animals.
This is when I yell “RISE AND SHINE, MOTHER CLUCKERS!”
Teenagers haul blankets up and animals continue munching their hay. Sometimes you are the mother, sometimes you are the clucker.
Happy Mothers Day to all the mothers who rise and shine every day.
Even when there is mud.
So much mud. We attended the Baxter Cattle Company Gymkhana event for the first show of the season. It was a long haul of 3 1/2 hours each way, however we do this haul for hockey (this is an argument if questioned but any husband knows better than to question horse activities and costs. Jeesh). It was a great little show, and great results for the girls. Our farm daughter Ava has been helping us break our Miniature Horse to saddle and her barrel and pole runs were fantastic. It called for a dab.
Chicken Keeping Pro Tip: Always have a sick bay /quarantine area ready to go for your chickens. No family members likes to find chickens in the bathtub.
I delivered my Beginning Chicken Keeping Course to an enthusiastic group at the Yarmouth Spring Living Show last weekend. Presenting this course is one of my favorite things to do, and I am pleased to have been asked back for next year! My inbox is flooded this time of year with chick / chicken questions and I hope that my years of keeping chickens can help someone with something they may need to think about before they begin. Hello ….retirement plan for your chickens? cull plan? too many roosters ?
Get chickens they said. It’ll be fun they said. Just kidding:there are things that will happen and if you plan for them, it will be fun.
Speaking of fun….we have been shoveling manure. Composted chicken,rabbit, and sheep manure to be exact. We have three manure piles on the go so we used the year old one first which the chickens have been helping turn over. The littlest farmer learned about the composted manure process, how good it is for flowers and vegetables, how farmers have done this since the beginning of farming and then he did it. I helped him advertise, and took orders. He did an amazing job and raised enough to buy himself a new scooter. Woohoo! Life is good.
We are getting ready to welcome another grandson into the world in just 8 short weeks. He will be learning about farming and life cycles just like Owen, our other grandson. When Owen met this little meat hen chick, it pooped on him. He gagged and breathed hard. Then he held it again, but with a kleenex this time. The evolution of best farming practices happening right here at YBRF 🙂
Have a great week, mother cluckers.