A Long, Long Day

We got the children up at 6:30 to get ready for chores. It’s just too cold to get them going much earlier. We all went out to the animals.

Shawn stays in with Seth in the living room while one of the older ones feeds and waters the chickens. That’s a quick job, so they can be back in soon to watch the boys. Steph helps with the first half of moving the goats before she comes back in to work on breakfast.

One of the new chicks in the bodega was not moving when we came out. The temp outside was below freezing, and I don’t have a heat lamp for them because I couldn’t find one in town. I took it inside and heated up some water bottles to warm it. I had had another one acting this way a couple days ago.

I’d bought four new chicks in town the other day. They were all four extremely skinny. I was hoping the older chicks could keep them warm enough at night until they built up some body mass. Apparently not.

After breakfast and devotions, Steph got started on making cheese. I had some office work in the morning, then I worked on wrapping the chicks’ pen in plastic on three sides and rigging up a heating system with a small heat fan.

The heat fan screws in like a light bulb, but it only makes heat. I have a thermometer in the pen. The chick is up and eating now. (It’s just above freezing at the moment, but the pen is in the 50’s. Not ideal, but I think it’ll work.)

After lunch, an order of goat feed came. With Rafael’s help, I’d found someone last week who was willing to deliver a ton of feed (a couple hundred pounds over) for a much better price than what I’d been paying by the sack.

The load dropped off, we had to move it all from outside the barn into the bodega. It took the whole family working together to make that happen. I cannot swing 300-pound sacks very easily.

We were late getting to the evening chores until the load of feed was squared away. That’s when I remembered this is the week for trash pickup. Steph and I both felt we didn’t want to get up extra early tomorrow to haul the stuff up, so we pushed two wheelbarrow loads out to the road while the girls kept the children occupied.

We’ve been working at clearing more rubbish from around the farm and have consequently gathered quite a few feed sacks full of trash. Last time around, we hauled out nearly ten sacks. This time was six or eight.

We had a bright moon to give us light as we traipsed through the fields with our trash. Thankfully, we managed to cross all the foot bridges in the dark without catastrophe.

As we finished supper (which the children noted was cold, an oddity), the alarm for bedtime snack went off. We were all exhausted by the time the kitchen was clean.

I got a large batch of yogurt into the oven to culture overnight, checked the chicks again (they’re cozy), and now I’m ready to get clean before I crash.

Tomorrow we have another full day planned, so we need to get to sleep now.

Seth, before breakfast
Most of the feed we moved. The lightest sack was 200 pounds; the heaviest was around 325.
Sixteen liters of milk to culture

The Patreon page paid for the load of feed.