A friend (who lives in the city) asked me recently what I did all day in my new life as a farmer. I found myself at a bit of a loss for words. I didn’t know how to convey what goes on everyday without sounding flippant or boring. The solution, it seemed only natural to me, was to make a schedule, so that’s what you find here. Enjoy!
8 am Get up and blearily drive to let the chickens out of the main coop. Feed them and check waterers. (I know, 8 am is pretty late for a farmer to be getting up, but I’m seriously, seriously not a morning person.)
8:20 am Arrive back home and let the chickens out of the isolation coop. Feed and water them. Try to play with the new girls, even though they don’t like me yet.
8:35 am Feed cats: Ollie, Tommy and Penny
8:40 am Feed Hemingway. Clean litter box, rearrange the blankets she’s destroyed in the night and cuddle the kittens.
8:55 am Feed Gus.
9 am Let Ricky and Lucy Goose out of their pen to enjoy the yard for the day. Check their numerous water buckets.
9:20 am Check on Gretel and the chicks in the brooder. Inevitably clean shavings out of everything.
9:30 am Feed and water Lilli and Lyra (the broody Orps) and check their eggs.
9:40 am Take Daisy out.
9:50 am Get Daisy back in the house for her breakfast.
9:55 am Finally get to sit down and eat some breakfast myself.
10 am Work on the house remodel.
12 pm Head back to the main chicken coop to collect eggs and give any treats I’ve collected for that day. Spend a few minutes hanging out with the chickens.
12: 30 pm Take Daisy out again.
12:40 pm Check on Gretel and the chicks.
12:50 pm Usually grab some lunch unless something distracts me and I forget (this happens a lot more than I’d like to admit… and it’s usually the most unimportant stuff).
1:30 pm Back to work on the remodel.
4 pm Gardening. Well, right now it’s really weeding and waiting for something real to grow. Cucumbers are coming up, as are peas and some corn and beans. Still getting some things planted. It’s a bit slow going, being my first big garden project.
7 pm Go for a swim. I say it’s for exercise, but it’s really because I love the water and I’m gross after gardening.
8 pm Feed cats and dogs.
8:15 pm Take Daisy out yet again.
8:30 pm Head back to the main coop to check for any more eggs and close the chickens up for the night.
8:45 pm Close up the girls in the isolation coop.
8:50 pm Put the geese back in their pen.
9 pm Check on Gretel and the chicks again. Turn their light off.
9:10 pm Check on Lilli and Lyra again and turn their light off.
9:20 pm Eat dinner (yes, that late), read/internet/watch tv… whatever strikes my fancy.
12 am Take Daisy out for the final time and head to bed.
8 am Wake up and do it all over again.
Then there’s the less regular chores:
- Move the main chicken coop once a week, 1.5 hrs
- Do a feed run every 2 weeks, 2 hrs
- In the summer, I add mowing hay to the list, which takes about 3 days to mow, 2 days to rake, and 3 days to bale and put away (and gets done about once a month)
- In the winter, I add 2 hrs every afternoon/evening for putting hay out for the horses and cows
- Oh, and try to have a social life… accomplished much less frequently than the feed run
Saturday, for something different, I bathed the 4 kittens and trimmed their toenails (74 toenails rather than the usual 72, because one of the kittens is polydactyl), and I tried to get the geese into the pond, which didn’t work out all that well.
So… I stay pretty busy. It might not seem like all that much to some people, but I at least had nights, weekends, and holidays off when I worked a “normal” job. And none of my coworkers ever pooped on me either.