I have a routine that I follow every morning to let all the animals out of their enclosures and make sure everyone has food and water. This includes chickens in the layer coop, juveniles in the grow-out coop, baby chicks in the brooder, Icelandics in the barn coop, goats in the goat enclosure, emus in the emu enclosure, and donkeys in the paddock. It takes me awhile to fill all the waterers and feeders and clean the automatic waterers. I should be raising camels. There would be a lot less water involved!
Anyway, all the farm animals are familiar with my routine and patiently wait their turn to get out. The goats “bah” to let me know they are still there when they hear me enter the barn. One by one they get let out to enjoy the day.
I have my routine and the animals have theirs. Everyone heads for water first, even those with waterers in their enclosures. Everyone prefers a mud puddle to a waterer. After quenching their thirst everyone goes into the chicken corral to enjoy the scratch grains I throw out for the free ranging Icelandics. This is where it gets interesting. The emus are very happy to be set free and they run at top speed all over the pasture, then come back to the barn and do a little spazzy dance before they help themselves to the chicken treats. I used to worry because I read somewhere that emus can’t digest corn and I was concerned about the corn in the scratch. Since they ate all the screws, nuts, bolts and dog tags I worry a lot less about a few pieces of corn! I have a new worry to replace that one though. The spazzy dance is a mating ritual according to emu experts. I learned last week that mine are most likely both boys. I hope they are just practicing until we get them a girlfriend! Here is just a little peek into the morning routine. Every day the circus is in town.