A regular day on our homestead

Writing a post on “A regular day on our homestead” proved to be more of a challenge than I had anticipated. That is because we have chores we do every day (the donkey work) and chores that we do every other day or only have to do once a week or once a month etc. Therefore not one day is the same. But this is more or less what we do on a daily basis.

A Saanen dairy ewe with her newborn triplets. They are surrounded by trees in the bushveld.
A Saanen dairy goat with her newborn triplets. The mother is eating the placenta. This gives her protein for strength and it is also to get rid of the placenta before any predators smell the blood.

Time to get up

Our day starts at 5:30 in the morning with coffee and biscuits. After that, we work according to a routine and not a time schedule.

The chickens

We start with feeding the chickens. Our chickens are free-rangers and we only close their pen at night to protect them from predators. We regularly check for eggs during the day.

A mother hen is leading her chic away from danger, trying to coax the chic into hiding.

Time to milk the goats

At 7 o’clock we milk the goats. We measure out and mix each ewe’s feed separately. While we milk the ewes, we also measure each ewe’s temperature. We do this every morning with all our goats. The reason for this is that we stay in a hartwater area. In the beginning, we lost quite a few goats due to hartwater.

A man is sitting on his haunches next to a sick Saanen dairy goat that is lying at his feet. The man is busy feeding green leaves to the goat.
Johan, busy feeding a sick goat.

We capture all the temperatures and milk production of each ewe on a spreadsheet. To measure is to know.

We treat the goats with high temperatures, and also check for ticks. If there are ticks we dip the goats.

Then it is time to clean the milking stall. Everything is washed and put away.

The goats are very picky about their water. If they find any foreign object in it, they will refuse to drink it. In turn, this will have a negative impact on their milk production. Therefore we clean their water bins daily.

A small black and white chicken is nestled between three white Saanen dairy goats. She is sleeping between them to protect herself from the winter cold. One of the male goats is resting his head on her back. They are looking cute and cuddly.
Some chickens prefer sleeping with the goats. Especially during winter. Looking cute and cuddly!

Cleaning the loafing shed

When we are sure all the goats are healthy and happy, it is time to clean the loafing shed. We do this only once a week as the goats are free to come and go as they please and they spend more time in the grazing field than in the loafing shed. All the goat manure goes to the compost heap.

Time for breakfast and house chores

Then it is time for breakfast. (We do not like to eat early in the morning as nobody in our household is hungry that early.)
After eating breakfast, it is time for the house chores. This includes everything from sweeping the floors, making the beds, doing the laundry, washing the dishes and preparing lunch.

A regular day on our homestead making goat milk soap!

Handmade goat milk soap in two long loafs. The soap is a light pink color with soft wavy patterns on the top and silver glitter. It is a lavender swirl goat milk soap from Makarmi natural goat milk soaps.
Our handcrafted goat milk soap. We use only our own fresh goat’s milk in the soap (not goat milk powder).

Finally, after most of the donkey work is finished, it is time to make soap! This is probably my favorite time of the day! Feel free to take a look at our goat milk soap website.

Rotational grazing

Goats grazing on green field with trees in the background. On the left the grass is taller and greener. This is where all the goats are now grazing. On the right the grass is short and almost grey as the goats have finished grazing there. In the middle runs an electric fence with black painted droppers.
Old paddock on the right, new paddock on the left, electric fence in the middle.

Part of a regular day on our homestead is moving the goats to a new paddock. We make use of rotational grazing methods. My husband has worked out a temporary electric fence system that is easy to move around. We are aiming at ultra-high density strip grazing but it is a learning experience for us. In the beginning, we let the goats graze for too long on their paddocks. It is only recently that we have managed to move them to new paddocks daily. Of course, this requires careful planning and lots of bobbins and droppers!

A saanen dairy goat is standing on her back legs with her front legs against a tree. She is surrounded by trees and long grass. She is eating the leaves at the top of the tree as far as she can reach.
Tall legs in a dairy goat is always a good quality. It helps the goat to better reach the leaves at the top of the trees.

Then it is time to milk the goats again. This is usually around 5 o’clock in the afternoon.

Working in the garden

We prefer working in the vegetable garden after 5 o’clock in the afternoon when it is cooler. Luckily we only have a small vegetable garden that is sufficient for our needs.

Small green spinach and lettuce plants are growing side by side in goat manure compost. The compost is almost black in color which is in contrast with the green of the plants.
Spinach and lettuce seedlings growing side by side in our own goat manure compost.

Family time

A small girl is standing with her back towards the camera. She has her left arm around the neck of her dark grey miniature horse. They are both looking in the same direction, staring over a flowing river in front of them. The river is surrounded by trees, rocks and grass.
Time to relax and enjoy our pets and the beauty that surrounds us.

At the end of a regular day on our homestead, we will all have coffee together in the garden as a family and just relax.

To conclude:

Is everything always in place and perfect on our homestead? Definitely not.
Do we sometimes feel overworked and overwhelmed by everything we need to do? Many times!
Would we exchange what we are doing for something else? Never!

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