Duties on the homestead: Daily, weekly, monthly chores
When I started homesteading I always wondered what my duties on the homestead should be. I knew there were daily, weekly, and monthly chores to do, But I still wondered what they were exactly.
What did other homesteaders do every day?
I had a feeling that I was forgetting something and the result would be that everyone died. I know, morbid. As a beginning homesteader, it can be overwhelming navigating these waters alone.
These are my daily, weekly, monthly and yearly chores on the homestead.
Daily, weekly, monthly and yearly chores to add to your duties on your homestead.
I knew there were things that I needed to do on my homestead that I wasn’t. After searching for the homesteading chores and coming up short, I wanted to fix it. I realized it might be good information to share.
Homesteading in Florida is different most times of the year. Duties on your homestead will vary depending on your geological location. But 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, like daily cleaning.
All my days start with feeding the chickens, ducks, and rabbits. Then I water the gardens in the morning.
If I get up early enough, I’ll do some light weeding in the gardens. Sort of daily cleaning for 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 I need to.
I also have nightly duties. I give the chickens scratch, gather eggs, close the nesting boxes and hen house. Then I head to the shed to stir my fermented feed a second time.
While picking up eggs from the laying boxes I check the nesting material. I remove soiled nesting material and replace it with clean pine shavings.
When we’re raising chicks on the homestead I check their food and water bowls to make sure they’re clean and full. I also check that their heating plate is still on and high enough for their growth.
I take my rabbits’ food bowl out of their hutch except for moms with baby rabbits and lactating does. I supply all my mothering does with pellets and fresh timothy hay or alfalfa hay 24 hours a day.
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.
Weekly homesteading chores
There’s weekly cleaning of the manure from under my rabbit hutches. I shovel the manure out for my compost and gardens. 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. 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 the weeds grow here! So, usually on a weekend day, I’ll week whack around the garden beds.
Mowing usually happens every two weeks. Sometimes less than that when we have particularly wet summers.
In the winter, I 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, 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.
Additionally, I add nitrogen and carbon-rich materials weekly.
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.
You can grow your compost pile quicker by receiving kitchen scraps from friends/family. It’s okay to add compost materials often!
Update: I recently purchased a compost thermometer and can’t believe I waited so long! You can check out the thermometer I purchased below. If you’d like to read more about compost thermometers, check out this guide by Epic Gardening on their top 6 compost thermometer picks.
Monthly Duties on the Homestead:
Your homestead chores list by month will vary depending on your location. Northern homesteads will need to prepare for Fall and Winter in different ways. Many southern homesteads don’t have to worry about some cool temperatures, for example. Activities such as monthly cleaning chores will apply to all homesteads.
Chores we all should be doing monthly, no matter the location.
If you practice the deep litter method in your hen house, throw a bag of fine pine shavings on the floor. Let your chickens scratch through it about once a month to break down.
I use flake pine shavings in my henhouse and they don’t always break down as quickly as I’d like. Occasionally I’ll 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. It’s important to keep nesting boxes and hutches clean, as needed.
If you need to, you can create a cleaning list just as you would for a home clean. Do whatever you need to stay on top of your farm’s hygiene.
Get access to my free printable cleaning schedule!
We have a medium-sized shed with our tools that I like to tidy up around once a month. Keep 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 forget it.
Additionally, we should all be sharpening our tools once a month. I like to deep clean my tools once a month. Clean pruners, shovels, etc. 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. 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.
These are my favorite hand pruning sheers that make my life much easier! For larger branches, I like to use a long, sturdy pair of bypass loppers like this.
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, once for s spring cleaning and again before the winter. This means I shovel all the bedding out to use as compost. I also scrub the laying boxes, etc.
I bought a long push broom from Tractor supply to deep clean the banisters and walls of the hen house. Fill up a large container with water and add Dr.Bronners lavender soap for a simple, safe solution. This year I’ll actually be pressure washing the hen house with a compact pressure washer.
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, declutter your homestead to maintain a functional workspace.
Don’t forget to fertilize your trees! Most of my trees are fertilized 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.
Your 4-year-old peach tree will not need the same amount of fertilizer as your 1-year-old tree will.
It’s crucial to fertilize your trees at the proper time of the year. This supports their producing-season and not shock them out of season.
Other yearly duties to are mending fences, latches and doors. You can build new raised beds if you need them. Upgrade or add items for a more efficient homestead such as rain barrels or solar panels yearly, also.
I’m sure I’m forgetting some of the routine things that I do. If you’re a beginning homesteader, don’t let all this scare you! It seems like a lot and I was overwhelmed in the beginning, too.
But it all becomes routine and you start to do it as you’ve always done it. I love my daily duties. My 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.
Thanks so much for sharing your routine! I’ve been looking for other’s lists to compare with and improve(!!) mine. The house got most of this year’s attention, and the barnyard schedule is getting a major overhaul next!
You’re welcome! I still occasionally search to see if other people have posted theirs. Sometimes it’s just helpful to know what other people are doing in order to make things run smooth. Good luck with rescheduling! I hope it goes off without a hitch!