The Love of Chores


My muck boots. So much better than Jimmy Choos.

I only have one regret about getting chickens and a goat and a pig and building a coop and a run and a goat shed and taking half the backyard to make a barnyard.

I really wish I had done it twenty years earlier.

I love everything about it.  Some of the love is obvious – it’s easy to love a baby chick and the soft gaze of a goat.  It’s fun to sit in the backyard with a drink and watch “chicken TV”.

The weird thing is, the chores, the extra work I made for myself by getting these animals – has become the best part of my day.  I despise housecleaning. Washing dishes by hand is gross.  I clean out my car only when the dog won’t even get in.  Animal chores – love every minute.

Early in the morning, Brandy is always looking for me when I round the corner of the house. She gives me a “good morning bleat”, Doink scrambles to his tiny feet and I can hear the chickens rustling their feathers waiting to exit the coop.  Food is poured into bowls, water is topped up, scratch is scattered, poop is scooped and put on the compost pile.

Good morning!  We're hungry!

Good morning! We’re hungry!

Keela does her morning chores, too, by running the perimeter of the yard a few times to make sure there’s nothing in the yard that shouldn’t be there.


I love hauling around the bales of straw and hay and the pop the string makes when I bust open a new bale.


I love turning over the compost.  There’s something magical about combining poop, leaves and water to create “black gold” that helps the garden grow.

I love carrying the heavy bags of feed, ripping open that weird sewn seam at the bottom and the sound of the feed pouring into the storage bins.

I love walking around the fence line to make sure Doink’s curious snout hasn’t created a gap that a chicken could get through.

That snout can do some damage!

That snout can do some damage!

I love cutting up the “afternoon snacks”, often lots of fruit rinds provided by good friends John and Terry.  I put the rinds in three pie tins and set those down in different areas of the barnyard.  Doink races wildly between the tins, trying to get the best bits before the chickens snatch them and run away.

I love raking the old straw out of the goat shed and putting in new – and the giddy delight Doink and Brandy show when they discover the new straw and go about spreading it out and re-making their sleeping nests.

I love the evening feeding.  They’re all waiting for me at the gate, waiting for food and fresh water so they can eat and hurry to bed.


Most of all, I love the last check of the night, usually right before I go to bed.  I count chickens, plug in heaters if it’s cold, close doors.  Brandy is often leaning up against one of the gates, keeping watch.  I scratch her sweet head, tell her it’s ok and try to get her to seek the comfort and warmth of the shed.

Chores?  Maybe.

Satisfying?  Definitely.

(Shared at Clever Chicks Blog HopHomestead Barn HopBackyard Farming Connection HopDown Home Blog HopThe Homeacre HopLink Love ThursdayFarm Girl Friday Blog FestFarmgirl Friday Blog Hop and TALU Tuesday!)


  1. I totally agree! I used to think “is there something wrong with me?” when I first started keeping chickens because I liked to clean out their coop! Who in their right mind likes to shovel chicken poo? haha. Well, I love every minute of it just like you 🙂 I think the nighttime duties are my favorite as well. We are kindred spirits!
    Tammy/Our Neck of the Woods recently posted…Rosemary Olive Oil Cake

  2. I know the real reason you love animal chores is the variety of rubber boots you get to wear!

  3. I think I like those chores better because they get me outside every single day no matter what the weather.
    Jamie at Prepared to Eat recently posted…Sour Cream Pork Chops

    • Jamie, I agree! Strange thing is, I was never that big on being outside in the cold and the snow – now I love it. A change for the better, I think!

  4. I agree, I thought I must be nuts, enjoying going out in the cold every day doing chores, but I’m glad I’m not the only one. I gives me a purpose, now that we’re “retired”, to get out, even when it’s below zero, to take care of my “girls”. I always hope no one hears me talking to them as if they were human. lol!!

  5. Beautiful! Just beautiful! The boots. The outdoors. The poop. Those ubiquitous feed bags. And the “talking with” each morning and evening. You summed it up nicely, girlfriend. Shoulda done it twenty years ago!

  6. Hi, I found you via BYC and am so happy I did! I love this post of yours it’s as if it spoke directly to me. I love chores too, the time outside everyday and the animals I do it for bring me much joy.


    • Hey Jen! Looks like there’s a few of us out here that prefer our “outdoor chores” to our inside ones. Thanks for stopping by – I’m headed over to return the favor.

  7. I’m with you, Joan; I’d rather be scraping down the droppings board in the chicken coop than folding laundry. Your post put a knowing smile on my face.

    Thank you for sharing with the Clever Chicks Blog Hop. I do hope you will join us again!

    Kathy Shea Mormino
    The Chicken Chick
    Kathy Shea Mormino, The Chicken Chick recently posted…Clever Chicks Blog Hop #20 and Lollipop Flowers

  8. Aww, yes. I am familiar with some of what you describe, and my heart longs for the rest. I might be crazy, but I’m with you! 🙂

    Thanks for sharing at the Farm Girl Blog Fest, Joan! Great to have you!

    ~Kristi@Let This Mind Be in You
    Kristi @Let This Mind Be in You recently posted…Farm Girl Blog Fest #19

  9. I hear you sister! I wish I could have started 20 years ago…well, I guess I should say I wish had never stopped, because I grew up on a farm 🙂
    Thanks for sharing your cute photos on The HomeAcre Hop!
    Lisa Lynn recently posted…How to Butcher a Chicken

  10. my husband said to me the other night “the difference between simply owning a horse, and loving him, is you traipsing outside in the middle of the night because you woke up to rain and he has his dryweather pajamas on, to dry him off and put his wet weather coat on him, getting totally soaked and muddy yourself in the process” I love my chores, horse, cow, chook, duck , turkey, garden….

  11. Thank you thank you for this post. I feel the same way, but needed a little reinvigorating! mid and late Feb is always a hard time of year for me. Great thoughts!
    Gretchen recently posted…Understanding the Climate in Your Backyard

    • Thanks Gretchen. I just went out for my next-to-last check of the evening. Brandy was there, at the gate, in the 15 degree cold. There is such a sweetness, a softness, to her standing there, kinda waiting. And I too, am waiting for the first signs of spring!

  12. It seems like it’s because those chores are more purposeful in a way. It’s like the satisfaction you get with doing those things necessary for children. Whereas housework … OK, so you’ve got a clean house, but it doesn’t really “amount to anything” like helping to raise a child or sustain the animals, etc. And animals/kids are much cuter than a sink full of dishwater!! 😉 [#TALU]
    Chris at Hye Thyme Cafe recently posted…Pop-Up Apple Pancake

  13. I know the feeling! The only thing I would add is that I always dread going out to do them, but once I’m there, I don’t want to go back to the house!

    Thanks for linking this up with the TALU!