Wednesday, December 26, 2012

It's 8:13 PM - Farm Chores

Some nights are just like this. Tonights farm chores didn't get completed until after 8 PM.  Around 5:30 PM the goats are milked, the milk is processed (filtered a few times and then put in the freezer to chill the raw milk as fast as possible), the stainless steel pans are washed and sterilized.

Then, dinner. Tonight our daughter made comfort food - chicken pot pie for our family.  After dinner, Michael and I bundled up with coat, scarf and gloves and headed back outside for a few more farm chores.

For weeks we've been wanting to take the hens out of the blue coop and put them back into the big coop. We'd originally separated them because it seemed a bit crowed with all the hens in the one coop area, but since loosing so many this summer, we decided it was time for them to all be together again.  The girls in the blue coop have been a bit deprived. They have not had the liberty to be free ranging like their friends - because every time we let them out, sure enough...they find the raised beds and decided to pluck up and devour lettuce, spinach or whatever else is to be produce for the market.

So, we took a big enough wheel barrow and grabbed the top of a plastic table to use as a "lid" and headed toward the blue coop. One by one and sometimes taking two, we took all twelve hens, put them in the wheelbarrow with the plastic table top for a lid and headed toward the big hen house.

If you are ever going to move hens from one place to another, it's best to do it after the girls have started to roost...that would mean it's already dark outside.  It's not difficult to pick up a hen that's in a dozed off phase. Try moving hens in the middle of the day and you'll see why it's efficient to do this farm chore at night.

It was a good feeling knowing that they were all together again, and then in a day or two ALL hens will get to free range it in area of our farm we call the family gardens.

After gathering 17 eggs (eggs will be at the market in the morning), we set out to put the goats in for the night.  At night they get their minerals and a tinch of grain.  What I love about putting them up for the night is each and every time they are waiting at the goat yard fence in a line of 6. Goat have a consistent body clock and if you're off schedule, they'll let you know.

We have three night time pens - 1 for the boys and  for 4 girls to go in one and 2 in the other.  Our girls and boys are secured at night to protect them from anything that would like to use them for dinner...such as coyote.

By the time we accomplished all this - it was 8:13 PM. I just thought I'd let you know what evening farm chores look like sometimes.

Sage, petunias and Batavian lettuces

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