Every night, 365 days a year, we have the same routine.
As the sun starts to set in the west, we head out to the barn to tuck in our beloved critters.
Along the way we stop at the Roos coop where Statler and Waldorf
have already retired for the night.
We close their door to keep them safe from nighttime predators.
By the time we have checked and refilled their food and water,
the young hens in the brooder coop have found their roost inside the coop...
and we close the door to their yard for safety, also.
Down at the pond, the ducks are making their way back home for the night.
A light and a radio playing in the duck hut
will provide nighttime protection from owls and foxes.
A last feeding is given to the horses
The horses spend their night in the dry lot with access to the barn if they want.
The donkeys usually sleep in their run-in shed...along with our white silky Roo, Elton.
(Elton perches himself on top of their salt block for the night.)
After receiving their last meal for the day,
the pigs nestle down in a bed of hay for the night inside their stall.
Number 6 roosts on the fence by the barn.
The guineas make their way back to the barn and eat their last meal
before flying high into the branches of our old pine tree, Sampson, to roost for the night.
The turkeys are closed in their yard
and will roost in their house.
The goats enjoy the cool of the night and are quite active.
Each of them has his own doghouse for shelter if needed.
Every evening one or more of them will perch themselves on top of the houses
to watch the sun set.
This curious behavior is something they only do in the evening.
The rest of the chicken houses are closed for the night,
the hens having made their way inside...
will quietly sleep on their roosts until the first light of day.
Every night the routine is the same.
There is a comfort in the routine.
For us it is peaceful...the end of a busy day.
For the animals it is security.
It is only after this last time out to the barn
that I feel like I can relax and have some "me" time.
Once the sun has set, however, more times than not I am ready for bed.
After all, tomorrow is another busy day full of chores,
and I will be up with the sunrise!