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This week has been a typical summer week. We're mostly dealing with maintenance right now. We are still deep in our War on Weeds, but besides that we are just maintaining. Since this is a maintenance week, I thought I would share with you our routine. A walk through of our daily chores. This week I will be focusing on the homestead, next week I will focus on the garden, and the week after that will be in the kitchen. So, let's get to it.

On the homestead, I will start with our chores and then I'll share with you all the things we got done. The first thing that I do after I leave the house is milk the goats. I first milk Amber and then I milk Ebony. While I am milking, the boys are usually doing other chores like feeding and watering the chickens, ducks, turkeys, dogs, and cats. I filter the milk after each goat so that it is two separate trips to the house with a bucket full of milk. Amber’s milk is slightly better tasting so that milk is used for the house and Ebony’s milk is used to feed animals. We are bottle feeding Loretta’s little girl Doris twice a day, she drinks about 5 cups, another 5 cups is saved to feed to Ebony’s bottle girls in the evening, and the rest goes to the pig.

Once all of the morning babies are fed and while the milk is the freezer pasteurizing. We all meet together and move the goats out onto pasture. Right now the goats are in a 60 ft by 60 ft area. I've added the poultry net that I was using for the meat chickens to make their area larger so we don’t have to move them as often. This seems to last them about 4 days. The way I tell if they need to move is by assessing the amount of disturbance they have caused. If the grass has been reduced in volume, not necessarily height, but in volume by ⅔. It is best to actually go out and stand in the middle of their area to judge the disturbance of the whole are.The most important thing with rotational grazing is to not let that agitation go beyond two-thirds. If you go beyond this you lessen the plants ability to bounce back and this results in overgrazing. After the goats are moved out on grass, we all work together to do a project. But, if we have to move the goats that day that usually becomes our project as we try to get in the house before 11 to beat the heat. So, this week we only move the goats twice.

The other things we got done were: cleaning the new duck yard up, cleaning the chicken yard and trimming the goat’s hooves. Right now the ducks are living with the chickens. It is totally possible to keep them together, but I have been noticing some aggression between the roosters and the male duck. I have also noticed that the ducks are not sharing the water with the chickens. We had one day this week that was 102°F, and if they can’t share they're going to have to move into a separate pen. It'll all work out though! The main reason we have ducks is for pest control in my garden. Once all the plants are up and I don't have any young seedlings in the garden, I like to let the ducks out for a couple hours a day so they can go through and get any pest and slugs. They are great slug eaters! Plus having this new pen will make that easier for me to do.

The chicken yard was in desperate need of a clean up. When you homestead or garden with kids they tend to just leave things scattered around. We take scrapes out to our chickens, so we had to clean up the things they didn't eat like corn husks. I found a few scrape buckets the kids left in the yard and cleaned up an old chicken waterers that quit working over the winter.

Goat hooves usually need to be trimmed every 6 weeks, this is the minimum, it all depends on the property or the situation they are in. If you dry stall your goats then they're going to need trimmed more often than when they are out on pasture. Our pastors are Bentonite and Shale so we can usually go three months between trimming. It all depends. I do know though that trimming hooves uses muscles I don't normally use, and I was sore for a few days!

After our daily “big project” I eat breakfast and then get to work on homeschooling, cleaning house, an indoor project, or working on my blog. We go out again around 7:30 p.m. and I milk Ebony; Amber is on once-a-day milking. This milk is used to feed Doris again and also the pig. The rest of it is used for the house to make yogurt. Currently, between the two goats, we are getting about a gallon and a half of milk a day. So, that is pretty much our daily routine on the homestead!

In the garden, (I'll give you my full routine next week) some of the things we got done was: more weeding, cleaning up, and watering. We're having to water more, as I said we had a day at 102°F. The peas are starting to bloom but mostly everything is just maintaining. June seems to be the month of weeds, in fact I have a series all about weeds coming to the blog every Friday in the month of June. Here is the one from last week.

In the kitchen I am so behind. In the summer all the projects and energy are focused outside. I am just trying to maintain and stay ahead of the dishes! There are just so many dishes!

Lord, God, I pray that you watch over my family in this time of unrest in our country right now. I ask you to guide our leader as they try to make decisions they never thought they would have to make. Lord, please continue to lay your hands all that are sick, grieving, and in turmoil. In your name I pray, Jesus Christ, Amen

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