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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
There is nothing I wouldn’t do for these animals, having them in our lives is a dream come true.