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Monday, May 16, 2011

Mornings

I thought I would take my camera out this morning and give you an idea of what mornings look like around here...

My day today started at 5AM when Sam got up to head to work. I have time when I am completely uninterrupted and can pray and read my bible.

Next I get a cup of coffee and head downstairs to deal with emails and other computer stuff.









 Then I rotate the wild turkey eggs that are in the incubator. We tried candling them to see if any are even viable, but we were unsuccessful. We should know in about 14 more days.



At 6AM I wake the girls up. They gather their barn things and head out while I refill my coffee cup and enter their completed schoolwork into the homeschool program (I LOVE Homeschool Tracker!) and print out their assignments for the day.

Nathalie's chore is watering all the animals after she takes her dog out.

Hauling water to the side pen since we are moving goats into it after they are milked.

Nathalie's best friend: a yard hydrant. This has taken about 150 feet off of her water haul for the back pastures. She takes good care of this piece of equipment!

The barn cats get fed. ZZCat (We didn't name her) is at the bottom and Herbie (Sam named him)is at the top. ZZ hates all the other animals here. We don't know why he stays. There are five barn cats in all: Herbie, Shadow, Fozzie, ZZCat, and Nukat. The four kittens do not have names yet.

The kittens just started eating solid food. They get fed in the barn to keep them away from ZZCat. Nukat (the momma) gets fed with them.

Rachel's job is to feed the bucks. Their grain is in the "Old Chicken Coop" which we recently renovated to make more useful.

Samantha collects the eggs from the laying hens. We recently reduced the number of hens from 65 to 14. A lot less work and a lot less grain being consumed!

Rachel collects the eggs from the few Bantams we have left. Just five left to get rid of!

Abigail arriving at the barn to milk. She hates having her picture taken. She thought we wouldn't know who was in the picture until I reminded her that she is the only one with pink muck boots!










Abby getting the grain for the goats in our new "Grain Shed". We built the shed off the front of the barn. It has it's own door and is completely separated from the rest of the barn. This way if the goats get loose they can't get into the grain. Sam recently wired it for a light which has made the early morning chores so much easier!
Because of an odd number of milking does, one doe gets milked by hand.












Honey is waiting to be fed. The farrier is coming this morning to trim her feet.

Honey gets tied to a tree to eat her grain. This way she isn't bothered by the goats and they don't get bitten by her! She's a little protective over her food since where she came from she had to battle with cows to get fed.


It was Hannah's turn to carry out the milking equipment this morning. Abby, Hannah, and Samantha take turns carrying and cleaning the equipment each day.

Samantha is getting the grain for the does to eat as they are being milked.  I LOVE our new "grain shed"!
Heaven's Hollow Lucille (aka Lucy) is waiting, not so patiently or quietly, to be brought up to the barn to be milked. She was recently clipped because we have Linear Appraisal this week as well as a goat show in New York at the end of the month.
Hannah assembles the milking machine. We can milk two goats at a time with this machine. It has greatly increased the speed with which we can get our chores done!

Samantha recently learned how to use the milking machine and is enjoying being one of the "big girls" in the barn. She just paid for her very first goat and is excited to get her                               own herd name next spring when                  Cedars of Lebanon DollyMadison kids.


Last week we limed some of the pastures and so today is "moving day". All the milkers will get moved to the "side pasture" and the babies will get moved to the "upper pen".

Next week, when the sun comes out again, the milkers will get moved to the "back pasture", while the bucks get to go into the "side pasture".

While waiting for the does to finish their grain, the kittens get played with, and "phase one" of the barn gets cleaned up. In the afternoon, "phase three" gets cleaned while we wait.

After chores are finished the girls come in for breakfast and start on their inside chores before sitting down to work on their school.
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