Animal care at SCA Farms
Stefan Holt, SCA Farmer
15 February 2018
Just like planting and harvesting vegetables, sometimes it’s the animals that get all the love. No worries. I try to keep it simple when it comes to upkeep because more time with them is less time growing produce. Here’s my daily ritual in a nutshell. Hope you enjoy!
Chicken High Wire Contest
Photo taken Jan 2018

The Rabbits

By far the easiest animals on the farm to take care of in terms of time and work. The rabbits are irresistible. Both beautiful and sweet to watch and also easy on the upkeep.
I first check the water bucket – sometimes you may need to lift lid to see levels.

Then I check the water lines – any visible leak / break will be apparent on the ground below.

I always check the rabbit nipples. I had never heard of these lifesavers until searching for DIY option for rabbit feeding. Here’s a link to the ones I purchased. Rabbit nipples on Amazon.Β  I ordered in bulk just in case any were to bust, leak, or not function. Again, huge time saver πŸ˜‰ when taking care of these guys.

I usually place my finger on each one and push on the nipple, water should drip out, if not – then either the water line broke and/or there’s no water in the bucket.

I have never had a nipple break (insert your own joke here).

Check rabbit feeder – as long as there is feed in the metal container, you’re good !

If not, I usually fill about halfway up the inside. You will most likely not have to worry about feeding the next day. These guys do not eat much feed in a day.

I try to automate as much as possible but you always have to have a manual backup just in case you need it. Trust me, there will always be a time when you need it. πŸ˜‰ For these guys, I leave bowls nearby and will place in the cages as a manually backup. Just fill the bowl with the water from the jug on the rabbit hutch and I’m done.

The Chickens

These guys are a little more work but not unbearable. I learned about a neat DIY method using pvc pipe for their main feed. I made three silos and fill up as needed. This again is a great time saver!

What they really want is the bread, corn and oats I feed them. In the plastic feed bucket, combine 3-4 slices of bread.Β  This mixture was sort of a hybrid from Rebecca and her homestead. I will get the link and post with an update. I usually take the scissors and cut bread into squares. You could just rip the bread up by hand but I find using the scissors gives me more pieces and helps to get even sizes.

Grab the small tin pail and dump just over half of it with corn in the feed bucket. Do the same with the oats. Use the tin bucket that is πŸ˜‰

Take your mixture into the chicken coop and casually throw handfuls in the open area in the center of the netted area. I usually call β€œ here chickey…chickey! β€œ Yes, I do talk to them…alot…and they come running. Empty entire bucket this way and then check the water.

Much like the rabbits, you will want to check the poultry nipples. I have suspended a five gallon plastic bucket in the coop πŸ™‚ This was another DIY setup and I can’t thank these guys enough. Time saver!
Water drops = Good
No water drops = Bad

Also check the levels, I usually make sure that the bucket is half filled. Just like us, when it’s hot they drink more. When it’s cold, not so much. When it’s rainy, they may not drink any from the bucket.

Don’t forget to check the nesting boxes!
Always check for eggs and bring to the house πŸ˜‰

“I try to automate as much as possible but you always have to have a manual backup just in case you need it.”
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