Running a hobby farm can be a job that your whole family can share. Teaching your children to help with the chores on your farm not only helps you with your workload, but also teaches the children responsibility.
It’s important to get your children used to being around animals when they are young, even as young as toddlers. Supervised visits to the barn or coop are great to teach them how to behave around the animals, and allow them to watch you do the chores you will be teaching to them. Toddlers can also help gather eggs, and collect rocks or sticks from the garden area.
When children are a little older, they can take on more responsibilities. Teach them to feed and water poultry, and let them plant their own plot in the garden. Things may be rough at first, but patiently show them the right procedures, and soon they will be caring for a flock or garden on their own.
Once they reach middle school or junior high school age, children should be able to help with larger animals, such as goats or sheep, by feeding, watering and milking them. They may wish to take over their own flock of chickens, or be fully responsible for a larger animal. In the garden they will be able to help weed and harvest. See if they are interested in helping with livestock as well, and begin showing them how large animal care works.
By the time they reach high school, many kids could be caring for and showing their own livestock. It is also a great time to see if they have talent in managing the farm and finances. Other teens may not be as enthusiastic about animals, but like to tinker or repair things around the farm.
Remember to be patient, and look for things your children are proficient in, and you could have plenty of help on your hobby farm for years.