Daily chores and homestead routines
When I first started homesteading I always wondered what everyone else’s daily chores were. Who did they feed first? How much feed did they give to their animals? Were there any night chores I needed to take on?
I figured since it was something I always wondered, you might be too. Here is what my day-to-day routine looks like from morning to night.
My morning and evening routines and daily chores on my homestead.
This won’t be your morning or evening routine, but it should help you map your day out. I suggest finding a great routine, write it down and make it a habit.
A quick run-down of my daily chores
My full morning routine takes me about an hour, which could be cut down if I finished the rest of the irrigation! I don’t mind watering by hand and even prefer it with some crops.
I try to get my morning chores started no later than 8 am so I’m able to start any chores I may have for that day (building, planting, mowing the lawn, etc.) by 9 am and done by noon for a break. Here’s what my typical morning looks like.
My full evening routine takes me maybe 15 to 20 minutes and I start around 6 or 7 pm, depending on my evening plans away from the homestead:
Hank, Loretta and Pete
AM: The first of many daily chores when I wake up, besides make coffee for my working husband, is to feed my dogs and cat. I aim for this to happen between 6 am and 8 am every morning. Emerson often has to be at work around 6:30 am so I usually hit this goal. Then it’s outside I go!
The pups and Pete get their evening portion of feed around 7 pm most night, they really love a good schedule. Then Emerson and I eat dinner and, depending on what time it is, I do some self-love such as sewing, yoga, or cleaning. Or maybe a nice warm bath!
AM: When I walk out of my front door again around 7/8am, I’m greeted by very ‘hangry’ ducks. My 10 ducks receive 3 quarts (12 cups) of pellet feed every morning. During the day they free range and eat all the yummy bugs in the yard, so 12 cups are more than enough.
They often return to their feed throughout the day. The rule of thumb I’ve taken with poultry is 3/4 cup to one cup per animal. I try to scan the yard for duck eggs before I take Emerson to work around 6 am or when I get back around 6:45/7am. If I don’t find the eggs before the sun starts to come up, the crows get them!
PM: In the evenings I’ll sometimes give the ducks an additional 1.5 quarts (6 cups) of feed. This depends on a couple things.
- How ‘hangry’ do they seem? Maybe it was hotter than other days so they didn’t roam as much and that’s fine with me. I’ll throw them a bit extra for their trouble.
- If I have multiple nesting moms I’ll put out a little extra feed if they’re off their nest and seeming like they want it.
Fermented feed and fodder
AM: The next place I go to is my fodder/fermented feed shed. The chickens really hate seeing me pass their house because they used to be fed after the ducks before I started the fermented feed and fodder. Anyhow, I water my fodder and stir my fermented feed.
PM: I mist the fodder in the evenings since I don’t use the soak and drain system. This is an especially important daily chore because you don’t want you fodder seed drying out. I also stir my fermented feed and add water as needed. While I’m in the feed/fodder shed I pick up 1.5 cups of scratch grains for the chickens. I keep my scratch grains and BOSS (black oil sunflower seeds) in the shed because they also get mixed into the fermented feed and fodder.
AM: I leave the feed shed and head towards the rabbits. Each of my rabbits has two bottles of water in their hutch and run. They each get 1 cup of feed in the morning and I fill their water bottles.
PM: In the evenings, I take away the rabbits’ food bowls. This way I’m able to monitor how much each rabbit is eating and adjust accordingly, with the exception of nursing mamas who get to eat as much as they want. Most nights my rabbits get a healthy helping of dark, leafy greens. Often times its arugula (their favorite). If not arugula, I share my collards with them and they love these treats! My nursing mamas will sometimes get BOSS to support healthy milk production. If you’re new to raising rabbits, learn about all of your natural herbs and remedies and get to know your rabbits. You won’t regret it.
AM: Off to my chooks! I’ve made a feeding trough for the chickens and I can’t tell you how happy I am that I did! It has cut back tremendously on feed loss, even with the fermented feed. Before I release the little dinosaurs from their living quarters, I fill the trough. Then I open the doors and out they flow! When someone else takes care of them, they’re given 24 cups of pellet feed. That works out to one full cup per chicken and they also have a large grazing area available to them during daylight hours.
PM: I scatter the scratch feed outside of the hen house and pick the eggs up while the ladies are gents are occupied. I try to remember to close the boxes in the evenings so nobody has the opportunity to poo in them. If I forget to do it, I just scoop the poop in the morning and replace the nesting material. Roosting is healthy for hens, which is another reason I try and remember to close the boxes up! As the sun goes down, I close and lock the doors to the hen house. Nighty night, chickens.
AM: After the chickens are fed I turn on the irrigation to my middle gardens and walk back to water the front 4 gardens and 3 fruit trees. By the time I’m done with the front gardens, the middle gardens are done. Turn off the irrigation, water the potatoes by hand and check the compost. After all those chores are done I head to the front 5 beds and water them by hand, turn the irrigation on for the blueberries and hand-water the rest of the fruit trees.
PM: Once the chickens are roosting and all is still, I take the time to quiet my mind and harvest or weed the gardens. Since my meat flock was recently killed by an unknown predator, I check each door and lot in the yard before going in for the night.
ODDS AND ENDS
Around noon every day after I’ve finished my morning chores and outdoor chores, I go inside for a bite to eat and to do my daily blogging chores. Some days I have much more on my plate than others, so I usually plan this out the day before.
After my daily morning chores, I do whatever needs to be done around the yard. Sometimes this involves a lot of physical outdoor activities and sometimes it’s paying bills, making phone calls, or planning next season’s gardens.
Summary for daily chores
My advice to you is, if you have the option, set up all your “stations” in a very strategic way so that you aren’t going to two totally separate parts of the yard for your chores every morning. All my gardens and livestock are relatively close to the house so there isn’t too terribly much travel between each chore.
The beauty of homesteading is that you never have the same day twice! Read a few success stories and get out there. I hope this helps some of you and, as usual, if you have any questions or comments I’d love to hear them below!
Thanks for the information on feeding ducks and chickens. I had wondered if I was feeding mine too much or not enough! I can hardly wait until I am a full time homesteader! I teach high school math, and this is my last year. I have to do my chores in the evenings now. I will be so glad to be able to change up my routine in less than four months!!
I have started blogging. I have a website and am working on content. Hopefully, I will be publishing it in the next week. My goal was to have it ready to start by March 1. It looks like I will start before then.
Thanks, great tips. So far the only animals I have (besides the house cats) are chickens. I had meat birds but they’re in the freezer. When they were still outside, they free ranged any part of the day I was at home, so I’d let them out first, go feed the laying hens and their roo. Then go back and feed the cats, then me. We had so much rain this summer I only ended up irrigating thrice! Later in the day, of course, I’d shut all the birds back up (feeding the meat birds then). Since I am not yet fully set up the way I want to be (my first year), I appreciate the tip for setting up the “stations” strategically.
That all sounds like a great plan! It’s so interesting to hear everyone’s routines and how they differ. Thank you for sharing and good luck on any expansion in your homesteading!