When I first started homesteading I always wondered what my duties on the homestead should be. What did other homesteaders do every day? Were most of their chores done every week or just monthly or maybe once or twice a year?
I had a continuos feeling that I was forgetting something and the result would bet that every died. I know, morbid. As a beginning homesteader, it can be overwhelming navigating these waters alone.
These are my homepstead duties daily, weekly, monthly and yearly.
Daily, weekly, monthly and yearly duties you should be doing on your homestead.
I knew there were probably things that I needed to do on my homestead that I wasn’t. While searching for the homesteading chores I needed to be doing and coming up short, I realized it might be good information to share.
Although homesteading in Florida might be slightly different than other areas of the world at different times of the year, some homesteading chores will remain the same for all homesteaders.
Daily homesteading chores
My homesteading daily schedule consists of the obvious ones. These homesteading chores are ones most, if not all, homesteaders do.
All my days start with feeding the chickens, ducks, and rabbits and watering the gardens in the morning.
If I get up early enough, I’ll do some light weeding in the gardens. This way, by gardening a little bit every day, I never have to spend too long ‘decluttering’.
I work a day job so once I’m done with those duties, I head inside for breakfast.
On the weekends, I have the same duties to uphold but with a little added responsibility. After the morning chores, I’ll work on whatever projects need to be completed.
I also have nightly duties I do such as giving the chickens scratch while picking up their eggs, closing the nesting boxes and hen house and stirring my fermented feed a second time.
While picking up eggs from the laying boxes I check the nesting material. If the nesting material is soiled, I removed it and replace it with clean pine shavings.
Later in the evening, I do one more walk around the homestead once it’s completely dark.
After losing a whole flock of chickens, I like to walk my small property at night to make sure everything is secure. If the rabbits still have feed in their bowls that haven’t yet been removed, I remove them.
Weekly or bi-weekly homesteading chores
Once a week or every two weeks I shovel out the manure from under my rabbit hutches to compost. Since they have a run exposed to the elements, their droppings don’t pile up so often.
When mama has babies in the hutch, I clean her area once a week or more often. Keep an eye on nesting mamas and make sure the nest is never spoiled. Promptly remove any soiled bedding immediately.
Since I’m in homesteading in 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.
Mowing usually arrives every two weeks, sometimes less than that when we have particularly wet summers.
In the winter, I really only have to mow one time a month since the yard growth slows due to cooler weather.
If I have chicks in the brooder, 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.
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.
In addition to checking my compost every week, I add nitrogen and carbon-rich materials, also.
I keep a 5-Gallon bucket with an airtight lid in my kitchen and that’s where all my compostable kitchen scraps go. About every 2-3 weeks it fills up and I add it to the pile, along with carbon (brown) material, of course.
If you have a large family (or generous friends!) and have an abundance of compostable material, it is perfectly acceptable to grow your compost pile by adding more often than once a week,
Monthly Duties on the Homestead:
Your homestead chores list by month will vary depending on your location. monthly. Northern homesteads will need to prepare for Fall and Winter in different ways than southern homesteads will.
Chores we all should be doing monthly, no matter the location.
If you practice the deep litter method in your hen house as I do, occasionally throw a bag of fine pine shavings on the floor and let them scratch through it about once a month.
If it seems like things aren’t breaking down quickly enough because I’m using flake pine shavings in my henhouse, I’ll also manually turn the bedding with a pitchfork.
Flake shavings are thicker/larger than the fine pine shavings. I use flakes in the summer because it helps with the smell and flies a little better than the fine shavings.
Since it gets warm in Florida our waterers develop algae. Once a month I have to do a nice deep clean of the waterers. I also like to take this time to deep clean nesting boxes that might’ve gotten nasty and spot clean the hutches that need it.
We have a medium-sized shed with all of our tools that I like to tidy up around once a month. I suggest keeping your workspaces organized so that your time outside is a little less stressful.
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.
Additionally, we should all be sharpening our tools once a month. I like to deep clean my tools once a month, although any pruners, shovels, etc. should be cleaned after every use to prevent the spread of any bacteria or pest.
Yearly Duties on the Homestead
Pruning comes once a year all at different times really. If you have sharpened your tools in a while, now would be the time to do so.
When pruning fruit trees, it’s important to have a sharp pair of quality pruners to get a clean cut. A jagged pruning job on a fruit tree can allow an entrance for rot and disease to settle in.
Depending on your location, a few times a year you’ll start seedlings, hatch eggs for meat chickens, breed rabbits or other livestock, etc.
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. I even bought a long scrub brush to deep clean the banisters and walls of the hen house.
This year I’ll actually be pressure washing the hen house for the first time with the inexpensive, compact pressure washer I bought.
Twice a year I also scrub the rabbit’s hutch down. They need a clean place to sleep, too.
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 it. From ripped gloves to broken tools, it’s healthy to declutter your homestead to maintain a functional workspace.
Don’t forget to fertilize your trees! Most of my trees require fertilizing a couple of times a year, some of them 3 times and some yearly. Read about your fruit trees and fertilize as needed. Older trees and younger trees do not have the same requirements.
So, for example, your 4-year-old peach tree will not require the same amount of fertilizer as your 1-year-old peach tree will.
It’s crucial to fertilize your trees at the proper time of the year in order to support their producing-season and not shock them out of season.
Other yearly duties to add to your list are mending fences/latches/doors, building new raised beds if you need them, upgrading or adding items for a more efficient homestead such as rain barrels or solar panels, etc.
I’m sure I’m forgetting some of the routine things that I do. 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.
Related to duties on the homestead:
- Daily chores and homestead routines
- Four tools for the new homestead you need today
- Why all homesteads need a walk-behind weed eater