Living on a farm certainly has its challenges, and making sure all of the animals are all healthy and well cared for is sometimes a feat on its own. On my farm, I have a menagerie of animals: horses, goats, rabbits, chickens, dogs and one cat, spreading my time between them all can sometimes be a challenge.
Taking care of the animals is a lot of work but a joy all at the same time. The daily task to provide for them is important, but I also want to make them happy.
So, I make a “date” with each of them. First in line are the horses, which require a little more attention and exercise than some of their other barn mates. I try and work the horses on a schedule. I have three horses at home, one Fox Trotter and two Miniature Horses. I do my best to rotate their workouts so I am working with only one per night. Their exercise also includes grooming and some one-on-one time.
The goats also love a night of fun and attention. While I clean their pen, they get the luxury of running around the big ring, which they love. Bucking and running – what fun! Sometimes I even run around with them, too. A nice brushing for them and some treats, and they’re feeling the love.
I also do my best to handle and play with my rabbits at least a few times a week. They really enjoy the interaction, and they love hopping and playing.
My whole family takes part in exercising the dogs, and getting them out for a nice run. Our Doberman girl is getting older, so she is more content relaxing these days. Our German Shepherd, though, is always up to chase a ball for hours.
During the summer, my kitty, Chloe, is in full hunting mode. She visits the house for a quick bite to eat, but dashes off again to watch over the barn. She’ll be ready for some attention during the winter. She is quite the barn cat, but loves snuggling with me during the cold winters.
Even my chickens need some quality time. They love to get out to eat bugs, which I’m certainly not opposed to. They also like to wander around the yard and explore the barn.
With some thought and planning, you can not only take care of your animals, but enjoy each of them too!
Happy Farm Life!