We have a rule in our house, people don't eat til all animals have been fed. Now, ordinarily, the older girls stay in the house and the baby goes to grandma's (next door) while I care for the animals. But we're trying something new. The girls get up at 7 and so, sometime before 8, everyone is dressed, teeth are brushed and beds are made and that means we're ready to head outside. Yes, we. The main gathering spot for the livestock is directly behind our house, so we don't have far to go. Every one's boots go on and here we go.
They all come running, ready for their morning treat. Which I am out of, and they are none too happy, let me tell you.
The girls love this and are very eager to pitch in. Filling up water tubs.
Sidetracked by flowers on the other side of the fence.
Checking here and there for eggs. We don't usually find any unless they're ducks eggs. Our chicken hens don't usually start laying til around 9-10am. The ducks, however, lay as soon as the sun comes up (though, they usually hide them and we don't get any).
Feeding and watering the rabbits...
And don't forget the chickens. This guy is proving to be quite greedy. He hops right up there with his big head right in the grain tub as soon it's open. Men!
I took care of the animals on my own because it was the most efficient way of doing things. I can get it done much more quickly doing it on my own. But, it's not always about efficiency. It's about doing this with my girls. Teaching them that we are responsible for these animals that give us food and wool. Teaching them the joy that comes from taking care for them and that there is joy in work. They're learning how to behave around the animals... don't chase the chickens, sheep don't like when you walk straight up their face. Even little River is learning this.
It does take some extra time and today I had to wash River's hair because she came in with chicken poop in it (not too sure how that happened). But it's worth it to see them eager and involved and to be able to share this time in the morning that is so fulfilling to me.
Afterward, it's time to head back inside and fill up the hard working people tummies!