Yes, we have 16 animals and no, we do not live on a farm. This is confusing to most people. We live in a town that has lots of farms and large pieces of property, but we have a small lot that happens to be in the part of town that is zoned for farms. The goats, ducks, rabbits, cats and dogs all live on our property; we rent a barn in town for the minis.
This amazing barn is 200 years old!
What does this mean for me? Lots of work. People call me crazy. I call it a labor of love. Most farmers have a field and tractor to spread manure or they have dumpster that gets picked up and carted away. I have neither of these things.
Some cuddles after cleaning their house. You can see our neighbors houses in the background. We are very lucky that they are animal lovers too!
The goat manure, rabbit poo and duck poo all gets put into large muck buckets and empty bedding bags, then loaded into my pick-up truck, driven up the street to a friends field, where I empty the manure and spread it out. I do this once or twice a week, depending on how messy the babies are.
My truck in the field where we spread the goat manure.
As for the minis I go to the barn every morning to let them out into their pasture, I then go back in the evening to “put them to bed”. Everyday I clean their stalls and give them fresh hay and water. I also put hay in their run-in in the pasture and water for them during the day. In the winter when it’s below freezing I have to bring hot water in gallon jugs to add to the cold well water so they have warm water to drink.
Dominic, Coco and Cookie enjoying fresh hay in their pasture.
And the mini manure you ask? I load it into muck buckets and a wheel barrow, the buckets get loaded into a wagon, which I then pull down into the field behind the pasture. They are emptied and so is the wheel barrow which I then lug up the hill. It’s not a big hill but it’s enough to make it tough.
Due to all this heaving lifting and lugging I hurt my back, so my husband has been helping me a lot more, he is the BEST! I clean the stalls and he does the lifting and lugging.
It may be a lot of work but I love it. I love being outside and watching the babies have fun. Cola is always right by my side when I am cleaning the goat house or rabbit hutches, which can be a bit challenging, especially when he’s trying to head butt me! When I clean the barn, the minis and Dominic will watch me and walk in and out of the barn just checking things out.
My Cola, always a helper. Here he is “helping” me clean out the rabbit hutches.
There is nothing I wouldn’t do for these animals, having them in our lives is a dream come true.