Chore List

I am going away for a couple of days – the first days off since early August.  Annabelle calved on the 18th, I’ve milked her since then, minus four times when my husband practiced milking her.    He is involved in the farming, but generally sticks to manure moving, grain organization, and construction projects.  He also helps with butchering chickens and turkeys.  He also took the lead in castrating the Leif, the pig – egads!  That is a story for a different day!

My older children know all about the feeding of the animals so he has backup help if needed but school, homework, instruments, swim, and basketball conspire to keep them out of the barn for most of Monday thru Friday.

He asked for a thorough list of what needs to be done.  He has also been down at the barn throughout chore time this week so he has a full sense of what will happen.  I simplified a few things, for example I normally give Annabelle shredded beet pulp and chopped alfalfa – she doesn’t have to have them and they are a bit of a hassle  -otherwise here is what my daily chores look like.

Carrie and Sweetie Hen, eating under the horsetrailer.

Barn Chores

Morning Chores

In House:  Fill clean milk bucket ½ way with warm water.  Fill gray wash bucket – ½ soapy water, ½ clean water.

At Barn:

1)Rabbits:  Use warm water to fill their dishes.  Get one scoop of pellets to fill their dishes.

2)Chickens:  Use remaining warm water to fill black dish near barn door.  Stomp out ice as needed.  Spread two scoops laying pellets under horse trailer.

3)Cows:          Get both cows clipped in.  (If Huckleberry isn’t cooperative lock him outside. Use his grain as bribery.   Watch your chin – he is good at tossing his head at just the right moment to catch chins.)Clean up their area, making sure their beds are clean.  Use old hay to make nice beds for them, please. Put out fresh hay in their feeders – some in metal feeder, some in the stanchion feeder, some outside if not rainy.  One bale total.This is a good time to do turkeys.  Fill small white bucket ½ fill, scatter on ground outside if not rainy, in if rainy.  Use that bucket to take water from cows and fill the turkeys water – black dish outside.  Stomping out ice as needed.Give Annabelle one red bucket full of Coarse 16.  Give Huckleberry one white bucket full of Coarse 16.  (Dizzy can have a small handful of Coarse 16 at this point too.)Brush Annabelle – good bonding time – milking her is an emotional thing, bonding thing – can’t really rush through it.  Wash Annabelle’s bag thoroughly – even if not dirty, as it stimulates milk flow.  Milk Annabelle.  Because she isn’t used to you, her let-down may stop after a bit,  try washing her down again then resume milking.( I have found counting squirts to be helpful when beginning to milk – kind of like the breathing techniques for birthing.)

4)Dizzy:  When you are done milking, but cows are still hitched let Dizzy into their pen.  If it is rainy leave her in her pen with water and two flakes of hay.  Clean up as needed.

5)  Unclip cows.

6)  Take milk to house, strain, and put in fridge.

7)  Water cows.

8)  Every time I leave barn I double-check four things>

Cows unclipped, Hay for Cows, Water for Cows, Gates Shut.

Tom Turkey roosting and preening at the same time. He never stops showing off!

Evening Chores

In House:  Fill clean milk bucket 1/4 way with warm water.  Fill gray wash bucket – ½ soapy water, ½ clean water.

At Barn:

1)Rabbits:  Use warm water to fill their dishes.

2) Cows:         Get both cows clipped in.  Dizzy will come in – put her in her pen. Clean up their area, making sure their beds are clean.  Use old hay to make nice beds for them, please.  Put out fresh hay in their feeders – some in metal feeder, some in the stanchion feeder, some outside if not rainy.  Half of a bale total.  A flake for Dizzy.Water cows and Dizzy.Give Annabelle one red bucket full of Coarse 16.  Give Huckleberry one white bucket full of Coarse 16.  (Dizzy can have a small handful of Coarse 16 at this point too.)Brush Annabelle – good bonding time – milking her is an emotional thing, bonding thing – can’t really rush through it.  Wash Annabelle’s bag thoroughly – even if not dirty, as it stimulates milk flow.  Milk Annabelle.

3) Unclip cows.

4) Do final check>

Cows Unclipped, Hay for Cows, Water for Cows, Gates Shut.

5)  Collect eggs.

6) Take milk to house, strain, and put in fridge.

Notes:

If it is really cold, below 20 deg. watering will have to be done mid-day for all animals.  And/or heating lamps put on.

If you don’t get much milk add in a milking around 3 or 4, give her 1/2 bucket of grain and make sure she has hay.

If Dizzy is difficult you can leave her in her pen, just give her more hay.

If the milk gets a little dirty give it to Huckleberry, if it gets really dirty give it to chickens or turkeys.

If you notice any problems call me asap. Problems like:  cows or Dizzy not eating, not getting up, not pooping,  or udder feeling warm or looking red.

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