Update on the farm goings-on

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted anything on the blog and I thought I’d give an update on everything around here.  We’ve certainly been busy, and are about the get much busier in the next couple weeks!

Virtual tour begins now:

 

It’s a porcine party, who could ask for more?

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“I smell her but I can’t see her!”

Our current round of market hogs are gaining quite nicely and getting very close to harvest weight.  For the last several weeks, we’ve had them moved into a new paddock in the woods that we have fenced only with electric fencing.  After taking a ride on the five star roller coaster known as “The Learning Curve” Mark successfully fenced these gals in with 7,000+ volts of electricity. Alessandro Volta is officially on their hate list. The cool thing about this fencing is that is inexpensive, relatively easy to set up and move and adaptable to wooden terrain such as ours.  We can move pigs all over our acreage to provide food for them and light clearing of the land for us.  They eat poison oak, for goodness sake.  And make bacon out of it, no less!  

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These pigs are thrilled they are being raised right next door to Apple Hill:

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Next on the farm tour, we have Clover, our very pregnant gilt (she’ll be a “sow” once she farrows her first litter….farrow=birth, for pigs).  She is Maddie’s 4H project this year (and hopefully for the next few years!): 

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Here’s a better belly shot:

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No, she’s not currently giving birth to a lamb.  That’s Shirley, our Christmas lamb who is keep Clover company until she gives birth.  Clover was feeling a bit lonely and we were feeling a bit hungry so it was a win-win.  Once Clover has several hungry piglets gnawing at her 24/7, she’ll wish for some loneliness.  And a glass of wine and a bubble bath.  Piglets are due on or around December 7th, we have all our fingers and toes crossed for an easy labor, healthy piglets and good mothering.

On to the fine feathered friends:

Cornish Cross soy-free batch is almost seven weeks old now.  We are looking at probably two-three more weeks I think.  These guys are looking great, well feathered and very active and sturdy.  I raised them on whole grain and fermented feed and it’s really made for some healthy growth rates, they aren’t too big too soon and are therefore very active and not just laying down with their head in the feeder all day.  Now I’ve transitioned back to an organic soy free higher protein feed and they are putting on weight nicely.

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Sadly, no photos of the little two week old chicks who are being raised by their mama, because a hawk(s) has killed off all of them over the last few days.  All six of them, well, actually just five but the mom abandoned the last remaining one overnight last night and sadly he died too!  Nature is brutal.  I have four left who are a little bigger, but I’m keeping them in the chicken yard for a few days to see if I can get the hawk to move on.  It’s such a bummer because the mamas do such a great job raising them and teaching them to free range and forage for food.  I was really hoping we could keep a “closed” flock this way and keep producing new layers for eggs and fryers out of the roosters, but we need to get more hawk protection.

Now to the bovine buddy…

Lastly, we have Joey, who is Calista’s 4H project steer for this year:

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He comes home with us this week.  What a sweetie he is!  We’ve never had a cow before so I’m sure we’ll be taking another ride on “The Learning Curve” throughout the next six months or so when he is here.  Should be fun!

 

I think that is it for now!  Cheers!

 

 

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