Duties on the Homestead: Daily, Weekly, Monthly, Yearly
When I first started homesteading I always wondered what other homesteaders’ duties were. What did they do every day? Every week or just monthly or maybe once or twice a year? I knew there were probably things that I needed to do but just didn’t know it was important. There were other things that I knew were important but didn’t quite know how often they were supposed to be done. Well, here are my duties I aim to achieve on my homestead!
My daily duties on the homestead are the obvious ones. Feeding the chickens, ducks, and rabbits and watering the gardens in the morning. I also have nightly duties I do such as giving the chickens scratch while picking up their eggs and stirring my fermented feed a second time. I take my rabbits food bowl out of their hutch and replace it with either fresh greens or hay.
If I have baby rabbits and they seem hungry, I’ll give them a small amount of pellet in the evening. Later in the evening, I do one more walk around the homestead, once it’s completely dark. The reason I do this is to close the hen house doors and check on the rabbits. If the rabbits still have feed in their bowls that haven’t yet been removed, I remove them. I recently had a 14 chicken flock killed so the yard gets a nice run down each and every night to make sure everyone is okay asleep and secure once I go to sleep.
Since I pick up eggs every day, that means I check the hen’s laying boxes every day. If the bedding in the boxes is nasty, I change out the material immediately.
To read a little more about my day to day doings on the homestead, check out my post “My Daily Chores“.
Weekly or bi-weekly:
- Depending on the time of year, I’ll weed the gardens once a week. Sometimes in the summer months that turns into a couple times a week or once a day.
- Cleaning the hutch: As a “once every two weeks duties”, I clean the homestead rabbits’ hutch and runs. Since they have a run exposed to the elements, their droppings don’t pile up so often. Although this also means I don’t get as much brown gold for my garden, the rabbits are happier in their runs. When mama has babies in the hutch, I clean her area once a week.
- Where I am in West Central Florida, weed whacking is a once a week task in the summers. I can’t believe how quickly the weeds grow here! So, usually on a weekend day, I’ll week whack around the garden beds. This doesn’t take too long and one day won’t be required when I start utilizing the beauty of mulch in the garden area.
- If I have chicks in the brooder out in the hen house, their brooder gets cleaned about once a week. This happens once they’re a bit older, maybe 5 weeks, and are pooping way more. You want to be sure your chicks aren’t living in their own poo for so many reasons.
- Compost! Once or twice a week I check that my compost it hot, hot, hot! I keep a stick shoved into the middle of the pile so I can pull it out, feel the end, and stick it back in.
- Mowing the lawn comes about every week in the summer and then trickles to every 2-4 weeks in the winter!
Monthly Duties on the Homestead:
- Add nitrogen material to my compost pile. I keep a 5-Gallon bucket with an airtight lid in my kitchen and that’s where all my compostable kitchen scraps go. About once a month it fills up and I add it to the pile, along with carbon (brown) material, of course.
- Add bedding to the hen house. I use the deep litter method so I occasionally throw a bag of bedding on the floor and let them scratch through it.
- Mow the side yard for the dogs.
- Drain the pond. I hate it, but we don’t have a go way to sift through the duck muck in the pond. Once a month, I drain the pond and fill it back up. The ducks love playing in the water, so it works for now.
- I walk the whole yard once a month and pick up any trash that escaped my hands. I’ll admit, sometimes I set down an empty feed bag and just plain forget it.
Yearly Duties on the Homestead
- Pruning. Oh, man, we have a lot to prune in the yard! 3 50 feet grape vines, 3 full grown mulberry trees, 2 peach trees, 1 orange tree, 1 lemon tree, 2 loquat trees, and 8 blueberry bushes. Pruning comes once a year all at different times really.
- This isn’t yearly but twice a year I deep-clean out the hen house. This means I shovel all the bedding out to use as compost and scrub the laying boxes, etc.
- Once a year I go through the shed (and the house!) and get rid of things. You wouldn’t believe how things pile up without you realizing.
- Twice a year I also scrub the rabbit’s hutch down. They need a clean place to sleep, too.
- Remember fertilizing your trees! Most of my trees require fertilizing a couple of times a year, some of them yearly.
- Once or twice a year I clean my gardening tools or any other tool I own. In the summer I oil up my tools because it gets so humid that everything rusts. Oh, Florida.
I’m 100% sure I’m forgetting some of the routine things that I do. And I’ve said it in other posts, but if you’re a beginning homesteader, don’t let all of this scare you! It seems like a lot, and honestly, I was overwhelmed in the beginning. But it all becomes routine and you just start to do it like you’ve always done it. I love my daily duties. Honestly, the late evening walk has become my favorite. All the chickens and ducks are sleeping, the rabbits are hopping, and the world is still.
What are the duties you do on your homestead daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly? I’d love to hear it! Maybe I’m missing something, and that’s okay. We’re all learning here.