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Happy New Year!!

Colonel's Blog, Earthdate 1 Jan 2023...

Happy New Year!!

We finished our barn organization project yesterday and I put a pic above for you to see the result. We finished just in time to do evening rounds. We don't have any major farm projects today. We are going to spend time taking down Christmas decorations and generally tidying inside the house. This morning was the first time we brought milk into the house for human consumption. We were very excited for this day! So excited, in fact, that we cleaned all of the hoses and such on the milker yesterday evening. Unfortunately, it would seem that we didn't get all of the cleaner out of the lines before our morning milking. So, we excitedly brought the milk inside and tasted it only to find it had an aftertaste of cleaner. Oh well...we rinsed the lines again and will have our first milk this evening.

We do what we call 'rounds' twice a day. Some folks call it 'chores,' but chores holds a negative connotation for Shelley and I so we don't do chores, we do rounds. Morning rounds are more involved than evening. Each morning, shortly after sunrise, but after our morning staff meeting and pot of coffee, we get started on rounds. Each morning, we start at what permaculturists would call zone 1. [Actually we start by feeding and watering the barn cats in zone 0.] We feed the chickens, ducks, and guinea fowl, ensure they all have water, and gather any early morning eggs. We then move on to the Guardian dogs in this zone and ensure they have food and water. The milk cows are next and are at the edge of zone 1and 2. They have a float-valve controlled waterer in their area, so water isn't an issue for them. We get the milking area ready and bring Happy and Betty in for their morning feed. While they are eating, we milk Happy and brush Betty. When they are finished, we let them out of the milking area, refresh their hay, and pick up the manure. We move the manure to the garden site and take up the milk, start it cooling, and clean the milking supplies. Moving out to zone 3, we feed and water the Guardian dogs that are with the sheep. Continuing in zone 3 we feed and water the pigs. Finally, we take a large round bale of hay and using a bale unroller, we unroll hay for the beef cows in zone 4 and sheep back in zone 3. Making our way back to zone 0, we make buckets of pig and bird feed, mixing the feed with warm water to start the fermenting process. Morning rounds complete, we move on to the project of the day, to finish at least an hour and a half before sunset and start evening rounds. We start in zone 1 again and gather eggs and refresh food if the birds need it. We then move to the sheep and give them a bit of alfalfa to supplement their hay and give them a bit more hay if required. The pigs get their afternoon meal next and finally, we finish with the milk cows. As we make it back to the house, we take up the milk, start it cooling, wash all of the milking supplies, and set them out for the next morning. Daily rounds complete.

Cheers! Rich & Shelley

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