Can your homestead run in your absence? I had a medical emergency recently which called for a trip to the hospital for 2 days, in turn meant my farm guy was there with me.
That’s when I quickly realized that we were not set up for such situations. Luckily we were close to the property, and my husband could easily return home to take care of the small livestock & pets, and we were extremely thankful this incident didn’t occur during the summer months when watering the gardens would be needed! Are you set up property so that your little homestead can run in your absence, be it as an emergency or vacation situation?
THE CONTACT LIST
Trust me when I say that you should have not only one, but minimum of 2 individuals lined up to be able to help you with chores around the property in your abscence. When last minutes needs arise, you need to count on the fact that one of your contacts may need to juggle a few things around to be able to help you. Having 2 people on your contact lists ensures that the property will be visited in your absence.
THE CHORE LIST
We are like robots around our own place, everyone knows what needs to be done and when. But if someone were to come and help, simple verbal instructions do not cut it! If you live were we live, many of our friends have never taken care of livestock, they will need instructions of how to do what. There should be clear instructions typed up, and even laminated to keep dust and dirt from it, explaining what needs to be done. The list should then be left near the feed where it can be easily found. Remember, a dry run walk through always helps prior to an emergency situation arising.
Here is how detailed we will be constructing our chore list:
What time should the animals be let out in the morning?
How much should each animal be fed, and are all feed containers clearly labeled?
Will they be allowed to free range or should they be kept in their run or pens?
What time should animals be brought back into their nighttime pens & coops?
Where does the other animals sleep, are the ducks, guineas, and chicken housed together? Aretoats housed in the barn or the XL coop?
Does the bedding needs to be turned or additional straw need to be added prior to bringing everyone in?
A head count will need to be performed nightly – we have this many animals, and if your are missing an animal here is where they would likely be.
Eggs should be collect nightly, and all feed needs to be picked and stored (where)?
The garden needs to be watered at what time and for how long.
How should all structures be secured? This is a big question, only you know the preditors in your area; are there special locks used?
All of your indoor pets should also have a similar list readily available.
THE THANK YOU
I know a lesson is not needed here, but we graciously thank people by allowing them to keeping the eggs they gathered or the produce the helped care for. Once I have returned home I send an additional thank you packet of goods put up from our little homestead.