Every morning, first thing, someone needs to let the critters out of the pen. It's an unspoken agreement that the first person awake - or the first person that gets out of bed - does the duty. Most of the time we take turns but lately I've been eager to head out the door with the dogs leading my way.
When I get to the pen I turn off the electrified fencing wire that encircles the pen and open the gate. Next I open the secondary gates and doors that have kept the goats and chickens locked in their houses overnight. The goats leave the pen but the chickens follow me around as I start my chores.
The goat houses, chicken coop, and nesting boxes are cleaned. Water pails, goat minerals, and chicken food gets refilled. Two metal pans are filled with a scoop of COB - corn, oats, barley laced with molasses. (In the evening the goats split up into two groups, run into their own houses, and eagerly await their pan of COB. We found it's less chaotic if the COB is prepared ahead of time. Trust me on this.)
Before I leave the pen the chickens receive a bit of the sweet treat.
The goats wait patiently for me to finish up.
When I'm done in the pen we head off for a walk down the driveway,
stopping for a quick snack,
then down the steep driveway they go - running, jumping, twirling. (It's best to get out of their way. Trust me on this.)
We turn up Bird Lane and the goats go to work as I head back to the house to feed the dogs and make myself a cup of coffee.
Another day starts anew, good morning.