January Chores on the Homestead & Unexpected Loss

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Updated February 02, 2021

Our kids have been asking for us to document their morning chore routine. Likely because they want us to know how much they contribute to the homestead and have valid argument for an increase in pay. Touché.

Really though, they are literally running the animal operation on their own and we couldn’t be more proud. I thought they would get over it in two weeks, but here we are 4 months in with animals and they’re still getting up with the sun and rocking their daily chores.

Adali milking our first mama goat Fay

Milking Goats

Their chores are constantly changing. Now that Fay is being milked, it adds a bit more complexity to the mix. They separate the babies at night and after they get some milk for us, she runs back to her babies to nurse them. Fay is an excellent mother and extremely protective over her little Frankie and Figgy. Some would say, at times…too protective. 

We’ve definitely watched her roll a pig or two and nearly injure Brooklyn. Would love to know from other goat owners if this is typical for her to be so overly protective. 

But we are loving playing with the babies each day and watching them grow. Still up in the air as to if we’ll keep them. I think we’ll decided after we see what sex babies Mable gives us this April.

Ada feeding chickens

Feeding Chickens & Collecting Eggs

Our chickens are finally producing more and we’re getting 3-4 eggs a day! I’d love to add more chickens in the near future and can’t wait until we are able to raise them from babies. One day… All in good time.

Jett feeding Kune Kune Pigs

Fattening Up the Pigs

The pigs are just as annoying as ever, but they’re staying fat and happy on our scraps and some fresh alfalfa hay and pellets. We keep saying…they will one day pay us back in delicious bacon :)

Jax Feeding Rabbits

Our Rabbits are...Boys?

In another turn of events, we found out recently that the trio of rabbits we bought turned out to be a trio of BUCKS! Seriously! We’ve had some bad luck with breeders telling us we were getting quality animals and turned out…not so much. 

It’s all on us though. We’re new at this and we’re slowing learning that you can’t just trust everyone. A costly lesson to learn for sure.

Brooklyn & Nine Nine Playing

Puppy Playtime

Once the morning chores are done in the paddock, the kids let the dogs play with each other and get good and tired before Nine Nine comes back in for the morning. Brooklyn is quickly growing and will soon pass up Nine Nine. It will be interesting to see how their dynamic changes.

Captain's Grave

Our First Loss

When we first discussed adding animals to the homestead, we were very clear with the kids that there will be loss. We all knew it could happen at any time. We’re acutely aware of how many predators we have out here, and the potential risks that come with having so many animals here. Even with knowing it will happen, we were still unprepared for the unexpected loss we experienced this week.

Ada and I were on our way to her horse riding lessons and as we pulled out of the driveway, we saw our cat laying in the road, lifeless. Ada jumped out of the truck to verify that it was indeed Captain, and we both just broke down. It was a long, sad day. I didn’t even realize just how attached I was to this little cat. He’s been our top mouser and a very important part of our homestead. 

We gave him a proper burial and took some time to grieve. We know we gave him the best life possible with plenty of hugs, rubs, treats and warm places to stay. 

We’re super sad to have lost such a great cat. And to those of you who will say, “it’s just a cat” I was once you. I’ve said that before. But now I get it. He was not just a cat. He was part of our family, and he’ll forever be missed.


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Ashley Longnecker

About the Author

Ashley Longnecker is the fiercely independent tattooed and dreaded half of Tiny Shiny Home. She's a woodworker, photographer and maker of delicious baked goods. She loathes schedules and makes every day an adventure.

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Posted February 02, 2021

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