Our little farm is now chugging out a gallon of milk and a dozen eggs every other day!!! Woo-hoo for some self-sufficient living!! :D
My morning chores go pretty quickly...
I start out feeding and watering our two little bucks. They are coming of age and starting to have the strong aroma that I am positive is only attractive to them. They are also the loudest protestors of a hungry belly. I had been only giving them one bucket of water every morning, but I noticed they were bickering over that one. One would stick his head into the bucket and quench his thirst while the other stood, dry mouthed and anxious. The second in line decided to start butting the bucket in attempts to get his brother to get a move on. This only resulted in a tipped bucket and more work for me. So, problem solved by two buckets..no more fighting over the water.
Next come the chickens...The first pen holds my favorite poultry. California Whites reside together..they earn their keep...popping out fresh eggs daily. They seem to have some measure of intelligence...well, for chickens. They are happy to see their yellow grain and brown pellets showered into the feeding trough.
The next pen holds my least favorite on the farm. Chickens like these are only good for one thing...eating. They are ultra plump, slow, and seemingly dimwitted. When I come near with the tasty morsels, they only have one thing on their minds....feasting. It doesn't matter if they step on each other, get their toe stuck under the door, trip over one another...it doesn't faze them...they have blinders on to all else but my bucket of glorious grain. They've never laid the first egg....but the two we had a couple of weeks ago sure were tasty..so I continue to feed them and put up with their passive natures. We put two California White roosters in the pen with these ladies...hehe...I get a good laugh every morning...with all those plump, hungry hens, the roosters take a backseat at the breakfast table. Those girlies don't let anyone get between them and the vittles.... :)
The third pen holds my arch nemeisis banty rooster (I still must share that story) and three banty hens. These chickens are housed in a mobile pen so there's no going in to feed them...just open the top and deliver the goods.
After getting water for the pens, the chickens are happy for the moment.
I make my way back to the goats and I am on the home stretch. I fill their bucket with water while enjoying my view of the early morning sun shining through the tall pines. Annie, the milker, is so trained now that she waits at the gate and willingly walks up onto the milking stand. Sugar, the non-milker at the moment, is content to stay inside and be allowed to eat her breakfast in peace.
The farm kittens have a huge affinity for fresh goat milk...they follow me to the milking stand every morning...I literally have to fight them off in order to have a clean milking facility. However, Malachi's persistent, sleek kitten - Ruth, insists on deftly leaping up onto the stand the moment I start the first warm streams of creamy milk into their bowl. I don't want to get kitten cooties on my hand while milking..it isn't sanitary :) so, I let her stick her little feline head into her bowl and slurp away while I try to miss hitting her with milk. By the time I have squeezed a fair amount of milk for the kittens, her black fur is matted down in little grooves and dripping white liquid.
Once I have sat the bowl down for the kittens to have their fill, I am able to continue with the milking....Annie stands patiently, munching on her grain, and warily eyeing the kittens...they make her most anxious...those little bouncing balls of fur and motor noises...
Milking is finished!! Time to put Annie back in the fenced in area, clean up my milking location, and go check for any early eggs.
If at this time, it is obvious that the pens/coops need some fresh hay, yours truly sees that the animals have a sanitary, clean abode. For one, I don't like slipping and sliding in a two inch layer of ....shall we say "waste" ...especially after a good rain mucks it all up. Two, I can't abide the thoughts of eating a chicken that looks dirty. Based on this, I take up my rake bound by duty and desire... :) Plus, it's really good, cheap physical exercise... LOL! No lie...I can come in and have my cappuccino and creamer (don't laugh) and not feel guilty about all those calories. Yeah!!