My Daily Chores:
Chelsea at The Green Acre Homestead
When I first started homesteading I always wondered what everyone else’s daily chores were. Who did they feed first? How much feed did they give to their animals? Were there any night chores I needed to take on? I figured since it was something I always wondered, I would tell all of you what my day-to-day routine looks like from morning to night.
Below is my full morning routine. This all takes me about an hour, which could be cut down if I finished the rest of the irrigation! I don’t mind watering by hand and even prefer it with some crops. I try to get my morning chores started no later than 8 am so I’m able to start any chores I may have for that day (building, planting, mowing the lawn, etc.) by 9 am and done by noon for a break. Here’s what my typical morning looks like:
HANK, LORETTA, AND PETE
The first thing I do when I wake up, besides make coffee for my sweet working husband, is feed my dogs and cat. I aim for this to happen between 6 am and 8 am every morning. Emerson often has to be at work around 6:30 am so I usually hit this goal. Then it’s outside I go!
When I walk out of my front door again around 7/8am, I’m greeted by very ‘hangry’ (hungry and angry!) ducks. My 10 ducks receive 3 quarts (12 cups) of pellet feed every morning. During the day they free range and eat all the yummy bugs in the yard, so 12 cups are more than enough. They often return to their feed throughout the day. The rule of thumb I’ve taken with poultry is 3/4 cup to one cup per animal. I try to scan the yard for duck eggs before I take Emerson to work around 6 am or when I get back around 6:45/7am. If I don’t find the eggs before the sun starts to come up, the crows get them!
FERMENTED FEED AND FODDER
The next place I go to is my fodder/fermented feed shed. The chickens really hate seeing me pass their house because they used to be fed after the ducks before I started the fermented feed and fodder. Anyhow, I water my fodder and stir my feed. I’ll create a different post on my fermented feed process sometime!
I leave the feed shed and head towards my 5 beautiful New Zealand White/Californian mix rabbits. Each of my rabbits has two bottles of water in their hutch and run. I live in West Central Florida so it gets rather hot; some days they finish both bottles! Each rabbit gets 1 cup of feed in the morning and I fill their water bottles. Everyone will tell you that you have to give your rabbits hay of some sort, which is actually true unless you have my rabbits or want nothing to do with the hay for some reason. I’ve tried all different types and they are never interested.
Off to my chooks! I’ve made a feeding trough for the chickens and I can’t tell you how happy I am that I did! It’s cut back tremendously on feed loss, even with the fermented feed. Before I release the little dinosaurs from their living quarters, I fill the trough. Then I open the doors and out they flow! When I go on vacation they don’t get fermented feed. Instead, they’re given 24 cups of pellet feed. That works out to one full cup per chicken and they also have a large grazing area available to them during daylight hours.
After the chickens are fed I turn on the irrigation to my middle gardens and walk back to water the front 4 gardens and 3 fruit trees. By the time I’m done with the front gardens, the middle gardens are done. Turn off the irrigation, water the potatoes by hand and check the compost. After all those chores are done I head to the front 5 beds and water them by hand, turn the irrigation one for the blueberries and hand water the rest of the fruit trees.
Below is my full evening routine. This takes me maybe 15 to 20 minutes and I start around 6 or 7 pm, depending on my evening plans away from the homestead:
In the evenings I’ll sometimes give the ducks an additional 1.5 quarts (6 cups) of feed. This depends on a couple things.
- How ‘hangry’ do they seem? Maybe it was hotter than other days so they didn’t roam as much and that’s fine with me. I’ll throw them a bit extra for their trouble.
- If I have multiple nesting moms I’ll put out a little extra feed if they’re off their nest and seeming like they want it.
FERMENTED FEED AND FODDER
I mist the fodder in the evenings since I don’t use the soak and drain system. I also stir my fermented feed and add water as needed. While I’m in the feed/fodder shed I pick up 1.5 cups of scratch grains for the chickens. I keep my scratch grains and BOSS (black oil sunflower seeds) in the shed because they also get mixed into the fermented feed and fodder.
In the evenings, I take away the rabbits’ food bowls. This way I’m able to monitor how much each rabbit is eating and adjust accordingly. This is especially important with my does that are either pregnant or raising kits. Now, if you’re thinking I’m a horrible rabbit mama for not forcing the hay upon them, worry not! Every night my rabbits get a healthy helping of dark, leafy greens since they don’t like the hay. Often times its arugula (their favorite). If not arugula, I share my collards with them. They love these treats! My nursing mamas will sometimes get BOSS to support healthy milk production. If you’re new to raising rabbits, learn about all of your natural herbs and remedies and get to know your rabbits. You won’t regret it!
I scatter the scratch feed outside of the hen house and pick the eggs up while the ladies are gents are occupied. I try to remember to close the boxes in the evenings so nobody has the opportunity to poo in them. If I forget to do it, I just scoop the poop in the morning and replace the nesting material. Roosting is healthy for hens, which is another reason I try and remember to close the boxes up!
As the sun goes down and Scrappy the Roo has herded my feathered friends in to roost, I close and lock the doors to the hen house. Nighty night, chickens.
Once the chickens are roosting and all is still, I take the time to quiet my mind and harvest or weed the gardens. Since my meat flock was recently killed by an unknown predator, I check each door and lot in the yard before going in for the night.
HANK, LORETTA, AND PETE
The pups and Pete get their evening portion of feed around 7 pm most night, they really love a good schedule. Then Emerson and I eat dinner and, depending on what time it is, I do some self-love such as sewing, yoga, or cleaning. Or maybe a nice warm bath!
ODDS AND ENDS
Around noon every day after I’ve finished my morning chores and outdoor chores, I go inside for a bite to eat and to do my daily blogging chores. Some days I have much more on my plate than others. After my daily morning chores, I do whatever needs to be done around the yard. Sometimes this involves a lot of physical outdoor activities and sometimes it’s paying bills, making phone calls, or planning next seasons garden.
My advice to you is, if you have the option, set up all your “stations” in a very strategic way so that you aren’t going to two totally separate parts of the yard for your chores every morning. All my gardens and livestock are relatively close to the house so there isn’t too terribly much travel between each chore.
The beauty of homesteading is that you never have the same day twice! I hope this helps some of you and, as usual, if you have any questions or comments I’d love to hear them below!