Smart Labels

I have a tidy and organized barn. Not only do I like the way it looks, but it is essential for the care and health of my animals. This weekend, I finally did something that I’ve been thinking about for awhile. I store the animal feed in galvanized bins (necessary to keep the mice and bugs out.) I know which is which, but what if I’m not here? I have a pet sitter who has been trained by me, but what if she’s not available? What if there’s an emergency and I have to rely on a friend? Would she know the difference between scratch corn and goat feed? Diatomaceous earth and goat minerals? Goats can die from eating laying hen pellets. So, this is what I did, I put glaringly obvious yellow labels on every can:


Also, although I try to keep the goats out of this part of the barn, the boys like to squeeze past legs and jump around on the bins, tear at the hay bales and generally cause havoc. If you have goats, you can’t leave your tools laying about. I hang mine.


So far, the goats have not managed to knock these tools down – though, I’m sure they will look for opportunities to try and try again. BTW, that yellow-handled tool on the right is the fine-tined pitchfork that I’ve blogged about before. Quite useful for cleaning out coops bedded with wood shavings.

This is the time of year when many people clean out their barns and ready them for the winter. While you’re doing that, take a fresh look. What if someone who knows nothing about your chickens had to take care of them? What with my dogs, rabbit, chickens and goats, I know that someone couldn’t just walk in and figure out the daily routine. That’s why I’ve got three pages of directions typed up! And now I have labeled bins. So, if there’s an emergency, I’m ready. I think.


  1. Thanks for the picture of the fine-tined pitchfork, am going to ge me one.

  2. Very good idea. I have my bins labeled with the species and the amount. One time my neighbor was feeding and mistook the beet pulp for pig food. Realizing her mistake she scooped up all the feed (with her French manicure) as the pigs were frantically wolfing it down. I can’t imagine what would have happened if she hadn’t taken it away when the pigs went to take a big drink if water. I labeled everything after that. Now I need to type up some instructions. I love your organized barn.

  3. Thanks for the behind the scenes look at your set-up! I have what I call a “Chicken Checklist” for caretakers to go by that I made on an Excel spreadsheet – that way, they can actually check off the things they did when complete. It’s probably just my OCD that likes the thought of that! :)