A Day in the Life of a Zookeeper

A Day in the Life of a Zookeeper
Ever wonder what its like to share your world with a bunch of crazy critters? Tune in to find out!

Tuesday, December 08, 2015

Our Routine

I frequently get asked about our routine around here.  It changes a bit as the critters get older but for the most part it looks something like this:

For the pig -

He wakes at about 6 - I get up and put him in his "small room" which is confined to the laundry room by closing the doors and I give him a few treats to tide him over until breakfast.  We close him in his small room to keep him from nibbling on the drywall.  Between 7 and 7:30 I get up and feed him his breakfast and I make sure he has fresh water.  Around 7:45 he heads outside - if it's below 40 degrees I put his coat on - otherwise out he goes.  He goes potty and roots.  I usually leave him out til 10 or so unless I have to go somewhere.  I don't like to leave him outside if I am not home.  He come in mid morning and takes a nap.  Then around 1 its back outside for a few hours.  Then in around 3.  Around 4 we go for a walk either through the pasture or to the mailbox so he and Emma can run and explore outside the fence.  Around 5 he gets his dinner.  Around 7 he gets his coconut oil for his skin and his lettuce ball for a treat.  Around 9 we go outside for the last potty and then he heads to bed after cuddles and nighty cookies. Maintenance for him is relatively easy - there is a good bit of floor mopping and wall/baseboard wiping.  There is his actual pig maintenance which consists of eye cleaning, ear cleaning, a check of his mouth to make sure his teeth look good and healthy, hoof maintenance and skin care - most of these are once a week.  He is pretty easy to take care of but he gets bored easily and a bored piglet = a destructive piglet so I try to engage with him in some way at least every 2 hours or so.

For Emma -

She is a pretty mellow dog and easy to care for.  Luckily for us she is a free feeder so I just have to fill up her food bucket every so often.  She has water bowls throughout the house.  She goes out in the morning with Winston but unlike the pig she does not love to stay out.  She wants to go out, do her business, do a perimeter check of the yard and come back in.  We keep her coat fairly short so there isn't much need for brushing.  She is good about letting me clean her eyes and ears as well.  She will not, however let me do her toenails so the vet or the groomer does those when we take her in.

Kitties -

The kitties are pretty easy to care for as well.  They are free feeders so they have dry food available at all times.  They get canned food in the morning and the evening - just one can shared between the four of them.  Three of them also get medication twice a day for hyper thyroidism.  Its a gel that you swipe on their ear.  I usually give it to them while they are busy eating canned food.  The biggest maintenance item with the cats is scooping their box which I am notoriously bad about.  I try to do it every time I go to critter land but some days it doesn't happen that way.

Ferrets -

The ferrets are by far the messiest of the bunch.  There is poopy pick up, carpet shampooing, putting the food they have dug out of the bowl back... I adore those little brats.  Caring for them is very easy though.  They are quite independent and they have each other to keep them entertained.  I spend time with them every morning and every evening as well as several times throughout the day.  They don't require much besides an occasional toenail trim.  They are the ones who play with toys so there is always a pile to pick up and put away so they can drag them out again.

I would say that I spend about an hour a day caring for them and an additional 2 - 3 hours a day engaging with them to make sure they are happy and healthy.  It's a lot of work but so rewarding and worth every second I invest.  Love those babies....

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