I hear so many people who think we haven't already started our crazy farm journey talk about all the time it takes to take care of the animals we have. I've gotta say I really don't see it. I spend more time in the garden or on the land maintenance than I do with the livestock. It takes about 20 minutes start to finish (that's with cleanup) to milk the goat, then another thirty to feed and water everyone, gather eggs and and a quick check over to see what their behavior is like and such. You add once a week brushing the bunnies (which I have skipped the last couple weeks because they got a summer haircut), and cleaning out the barns regularly, and there isn't much.
Now, spending time processing what they give us-that takes a little more time. Shearing the sheep, cleaning, carding and processing the wool-that is rather engaged but in the end I get paid for it via wool sales. Turning our eggs and milk into ice cream and cheese takes a little effort, but mostly waiting. Short spurts in the kitchen I would be in anyway don't count as much and the rewards are great. I was just looking at my day yesterday and there was so much more time spent prepping beds and planting than there was on animal care. I think the most important part to keeping things efficient is keeping them routine and simple. Milk the goat in the am, do the other milking and all the chores in the pm. I know where and what feed is used, they know when I'm coming so I could leave every gate on the place open and they stay in the pen because I hold the bucket. My calendar is marked so I know which Sundays they get the different herbal wormer or the next round of vax. That same calendar has chiropractic appointments and when to brine the feta cheese as well. It is just keeping track of it all, and making the family aware of the routine as well. If I have a crazy day and seem to be getting off track, they'll remind me.
I love it all. I get to be business-y with maintaining what we do and be outdoors doing what I love all the time. One of these days we'll find a way to make a little extra money from it, but in the meantime I have loved only have to supplement a little of what we need from the farmer's market or grocery store each week, and the promise of even less of that soon is very freeing, no matter how much time it make take up.