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Morning Chores

Written by: Christine
April 5, 2017

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Hi all. This is Christine. I’ve been here a year now, and I’m finally in a position to do more ranch work. I’ve been feeding the animals in the mornings and taking care of the chicks. It’s hard to take photos and feed the animals at the same time, but I’ll do my best.

Time to start the morning chores at Golden Acres Ranch Florida

Here’s what a typical morning feeding the animals is like at Golden Acres Ranch Florida. These videos were taken in January, yet, except for how young the lambs are, the rest is still pretty typical. We start in the feed room, filling the appropriate buckets and loading them into the gator. I know I’m careful to lift with my legs. I hope everyone else is, too.

Our daily goal is to have a “look at” each animal. The pellets and minerals we provide are to supplement the pasture which is the main diet. Florida soil doesn’t have all the nutrients that ruminants need to be healthy. The pastures are naturally fertilized by the goats, sheep, chickens and guineas. We pull and burn any invasive weeds that might harm the animals. All this keeps us from having to use any chemicals.

No, the “Golden Blend” is not our concoction. We get our feed from Custom Milling in Davisboro, GA. They are really nice folks, and they do all the loading into our feed room. You can buy goat, sheep and dog feed from us in the Country Store. Let us know what you want and how often and we’ll add it to the order.

Goat feed has Copper in it, which the goats need but which the sheep can’t accumulate. So we’re careful what buckets we put what in, and keep the buckets well-labelled.

We have more pastures of goats than this video shows, and the chickens, but you all get the idea. All together these morning chores take me an hour and a half. We have a daily task list that everyone checks off when they get something done.

You’ll notice in the video, just as we’re approaching the sheep, that we found a dead goat kid. I didn’t show the details because this is a family video. 🙂 But death is a normal part of ranching.

A large predator must have carried this goatling out of her pasture. Maybe the livestock dogs finally scared it off so it was dropped in the yard. A large owl, maybe. Fortunately, this doesn’t happen all the time. It seems to run in phases. We heard some extra barking the night before.

In the video, you’ll notice I took extra care to keep an eye on the male sheep, or ram. They can get aggressive as they age. If they think you’re not paying attention they’ll… well, ram you. It’s like being hit by a truck, and just as dangerous. So, we don’t turn our backs to them.

I’ve opened up the comments on the website for this post. I’m curious, what are your morning animal chores? Click on the title of this article to post in the comments.