We have 3 dogs – Lucy (black, older dog), Buddy (brindle, middle aged dog), and Lily (young golden retriever). The dogs should stay outside all day and night. We feed all 3 of them in the morning.
The dogs all eat 1-2 scoops of food in the morning time. We usually feed them about 8am.
We keep the spigot valve turned on all the time and control the flow off and on with the dual nozzles. One nozzle goes to the dogs water bucket, while the other nozzle connects to a hose that we use for the chickens. The nozzle is turned off when the lever is in the up position.
The dogs drink out of the 5 gallon bucket of water near the water spigot. The dogs can drink a surprising amount of water on a hot day. Sometimes they dirty it with grass or dirt in which case we dump it all out and give them a fresh 5 gallons.
For bed time, Buddy and Lucy can just be kept outside. They sleep in the same area that they roam around all day. For Lily, she will need to be put up in her kennel. We try to put her up later in the evening, usually around 9-10pm, so that she doesn’t have to be in the kennel for too many hours until the morning when she is let out.
Dog Area and Fences
We limit the dogs to the gravel area of the yard, where the shops and the trampoline are. We keep the gates closed around it so that they cannot get into other areas such as the grassy area of the yard by the chickens, the deck or the front yard. Be extra careful with the gate on the side of the house that connects the parking area to the back/side yard. If this gets left open the dogs have previously chased after people walking down the road (whoops!).
3 dogs can poop a lot. They can each poop up to 3 times a day, so that’s a total of 9 piles a day! We utilize a bin and rake method for cleanup and use simple plastic grocery bags in the bin. There is a pile of plastic bags on the back porch. Each bag usually lasts for 1-2 day’s worth of cleanup.
The cats stay in the shop are just fine despite how hot it can get in there. They are “barn cats” and prefer to have their own little space. You may not see them. Generally they are in the top area which can be accessed via the ladder, though there is no need to go up there to check on them. The cats need food and water every day, but generally their food may last 2 days and their water may last a week or more.
Food and Water
The cat food and water is located in the shop next to the big red tool chest. The food containers can be filled all the way up, and the water should generally last a week or more.
Chickens and Ducks
The chickens and ducks all live in the same bird run and co-mingle. They get along great. We generally let the chickens out around 8am and give them fresh food and water at that time. Its a good idea to prepare the food and water prior to letting the birds out as they can get in the way and make it more difficult.
Food and Water
We fill up the food bowl full each morning and be sure the waters are full as well. If the water has been too dirtied, as if often the case, we rinse the dirt out and work to make it fresh. The large 10 gallon metal water containers should last a few days and can just have the trough sprayed clean with the hose in case its dirty
Eggs can be collected throughout the day, or in the morning and evening. The birds generally lay in the morning, but have also been known to lay in the afternoon. On a really hot day, the eggs can potentially hard boil in the heat, but that is rare. You can keep all the eggs!
Generally the chickens will head back into their coop around 9pm, as long as you remember to keep the chicken door open on the coop. To put them up for the night, simply close the chicken door once you’re sure the birds are all in. Only the chickens sleep in the big coop.
The ducks will sleep in their duck coop, and just be sure to keep the duck coop doors open as well. Nothing needs to be done for the ducks as they prefer to go in and out of their coop as they please.