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We have taken some time off from the computer and have been spending much more time outside working, all apologies for being lax with the blog. Things we’ve done or are working on are selling the vast majority of our stock. We have kept back a few GOS and some of the Tamworths and we have sold most of the goats. Its been tough because its hard to decide to size down and emotions sometime come into play. We decided earlier this summer to downsize to free up more time to improve infrastructure. We have dug lines and assisted the electrician in putting in electric to the land. Even the pigs and dog’s joined in.
Currently, as I type, I’m waiting on the electrical inspector to co
me out and approve the work.Then we will have electric to run some permanent lines and for general comfort issues.
We are still getting quotes on wells so we don’t have to haul water daily allowing us to set up automatic waterers. The sawmilling has been slow becuase we have not had the tractor freed up from the backhoe attachment and its harder to manuver small paths with the extra stuff on a tractor, plus you can’t really skid logs well with it on. So as soon as the electrical inspection clears we will be cutting more wood.
I’ve spent the past few evenings reading Michal Pollan’s Omnivore’s Dilemma which is an interesting read. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in food and agriculture.
We haven’t had the opportunity to see Food Inc. due to the limited distribution however it seems to be along the same vein as the Omnivore’s diemma and something which we hope will be at a theater near us rather soon.
The pigs that we have kept are growing nicely. We’ve been moving the adult pigs weekly as that had been sufficient given the lower numbers and dry ground. Now that the rain is back I anticipate our weekend we be spent setting up new paddocks and moving everyone again as the wet ground makes for easy rooting and isn’t able to stand up to pigs as well as the dry. Whenever I ead back out I’ll try to get a picture of this same view today to show how much it has been trampled since the rains started.
Saturday the pigs arrived at the pasture land from our woods down the road. Since then it has rained and rained and rained. Today we had a break in the rain because it turned to snow. It is supposed to rain Tuesday and Wednesday as well. The animals and I are sooo not looking forward to it. I guess its easy to forget how much mud hinders daily life on a farm. I know I was sick of the snow and cold but overall having it cold and dry and frozen is easier on all of us than having wet and cold and mud.
Because of the mud I added more straw to the huts tonight as I wanted to make sure that the girls were able to keep cozy and dry. Prior to getting the port-a-huts we always had huts with floors. These proved to be terribly difficult to move and sanitize hence the port-a-huts. However, when it comes to mud nothing beats a floor. I figure we’ll need to add a bale every other day if the rain keeps up. That way the ground builds up a straw pack keeping everything upabove the mud level. I’ve recently bought straw at 4.95 a bale because we needed it (hay just isn’t as good for bedding when its muddy plus the pigs eat a lot of it, leaving them with less bedding) With the straw they are much less likely to eat it and it holds up better in the wet than does hay. Luckily I found a man selling hay for $2 a bale. I told him I’d take all he has. This weekend we are getting the 50 bales he has figuring the money will be well spent.
We still don’t have a clue when the pigs will definately farrow. Tomorrow is the full moon. The girls are due anytime after the 12th. I know I saw a boar mount each of the tamworths the day that they were put together. I also saw one of the old spots breeding as late as January 18th. This means that the piglets could start coming as early as the 12th by the math and then as late as April 13th. Its always a waiting game this time of year.
Speaking of waiting, the goats are bagging up real well. I still have two weeks until the scheduled kidding date for Riley one of the LaMancha does. She will be a first freshener and is due the 21st. She has an udder that really impreses me. This is my first time with dairy goats but I think she is looking huge. Her ligaments are still really strong so I don’t expect her to kid soon. I just don’t know how much larger an udder can get on a goat. If it keeps going, in two weeks time it will be weigh as much as her!!!