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Thanks to some nice weather, we finally got all of the pigs up to the new land. Its been a long time coming. 5 months of wintertime kept us away. They loaded on the trailer in less that 5 minutes. They unloaded well. The only hiccup was that we had to make a chute out of 1 strand of electric wire (not electrified) which ran 400′ and around a corner to their new paddock. They moved fairly well however, one section was damp and they decided to have a brief wallow before walking the last 100′ to their home. I was stuck pushing Charles (the young old spot) up the hill as he was taking his time and rooting and wallowing the whole way. It was suprisingly un-stressful and it went quite smoothly. They are now all settled in and loving it.
While watching them appreciate their new abode, I was able to get a few pictures of everyone. I have a wonderful video of Newton (the red pig which is a tamworth boar) walking up to Ian and looking at him then laying down. Newtown loves a good scratch on his belly and every time he sees Ian he knows he either gets food or a scratch. If Ian doesn’t have a bucket Newton knows that means the scratching will commence so Newton gets ready by laying down. If I can figure out whats up with the problem attaching video I’ll put it up sometime.
Most likely due to the nice weather, this weekend was the first time the piglets came out of their huts. It is also the weekend when we got all of the piglets that we have castrated. The castration on this batch seemed harder. I’m thinking it was because the boys were stronger. It is, however, amazing how quickly they get up an go after being castrated. I think if I were a male and I had my testicles taken out, I would be so uncomfortable I wouldn’t be moving for a couple of days. They mustn’t have felt that way because they were out wandering around within an hour. The first hour was spent in the hut probably afraid to come out again for fear of what they would lose this time.
In addition to moving the pigs, we also got the some of the goats up to the new land as well. They seemed settled in and are liking all of the browse.
Moving the housing for all of the animals proved to be difficult as the trailers that we have do not fit some of the housing that we had built prior to getting the new land. We ended up having to use the handy, but very redneck looking truck cap housing for the boars. The goats got the A-frame since the large goat house would not fit onto anything. This means we have a wonderfully large dog house that we need to revamp.
In other good news, we found why we have a nasty wet section in one of the fields. There is an old dug spring at the bottom of the hill. I plan to check the rate of flow this week to get an idea if it will be worthwhile working on it to use for livetock water. I’m thinking it will be worthwhile by the looks of things.
We also got the chance to start some plowing. We got an older john deer 3 bottom plow from the spring consignment auction last year. It works very well but now we need more implements.
The only nasty thing to happen this weekend was when one of my goats sucked my finger into her mouth and then bit it. It happened so quickly I didn’t even get a chance to react. it hurt like heck but its better now. It just feels like I whomped it with a hammer.
I have been tremendously ill since the weekend. I think I may have picked up a bug from one of my kiddo’s at work and I’ve been coughing and unable to breath since the weekend. This is why the posts have been non-existant. I’ve spent 99% of time in bed or on the sofa leaving Ian to do all the work. That being said, I’ve gone mentally stir crazy with all of the stuff I could/should be doing.
Tomorrow is the big move. We are moving the sows to pasture from the woods. Even though the ground is really too damp for pasture grazing, we are moving them. This is for a reason. Our hope is that this area the pigs will root and till and muck in and get prepped for some of our garden. This is going to be one test plot to see how the tilling/rooting/fetilizing affects the ground for seeding. I’m planning on using this space for late season crops that way any manure has a chance to get worked in and broken down so it wont burn the roots of the plants.
The other reason for this move is that the sows should be farrowing as early as mid next weed as they were exposed the boar on the 11th.
The huts are setup, the fencing is done and we just have to set up the watering unit that we are still looking for a 55 gal drum for. We had one that we cut in half as a feeder and we are now kicking ourselves because the supplier we used in the past no longer is available.
Well since I have to go check on the goats and let the chickens out before i leave I’ll have to finish this discussion and fill you in on the egg progress as well as production has increased tremendously. Till later- holly