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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.

I love the grass...

I love the grass...

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.

They're thinking..."Oh my god, not her again."

They're thinking..."Oh my god, not her again."

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.

We're loving the new scenery...

We're loving the new scenery...

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.

The dug spring

The dug spring. Notice the old pipes in the bottom left hand corner.

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.

Where the spring runs out into field

Where the spring runs out into field

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.

My future veg garden.

My future veg garden.

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.

Nasty Goat Bite

Nasty Goat Bite

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Just a quick post.

We ran to Erie PA this morning to get our truck serviced.  On our way back we saw the first robin this year.  The weather is warm mid 50’s with scattered showers.  I’ll take it over the snow and cold.  Though we are heading out now after a 10 minute break to go move the pigs.

Motivation = low
Reason, I’m blaming the weather. This cold nasty long drawn out winter has me at my wits end. We are conserving heat as our woodpiles are quickly dwindling so we aren’t blasting our woodstove. Our bedroom clocked in at a whopping 43 degrees before bed last night. Honestly I think the chicken coop with the deep litter method we use is warmer than our bedroom. When I walked in yesterday the heat hit me and it was noticeably warm. Maybe I’ll sleep in the coop tonight instead.

It doesn’t help matters any that the school where I work is COLD as well. They keep it in the low 60’s but I don’t believe it. I have to wear multiple layers and I’m still cold. I run out of laundry because I can’t find enough clothes for the layers each day. My house has not been above 65 in any room since December and I tell you, it doesn’t feel as cold as the school. So, I’m pretty much ok now because I have a blanket. But I’m cold all day, then I’m warm while I’m working on the animals because I’m moving and in my winter carharts. Then I’m still warm when I cook dinner. But then its cold in bed, cold in the morning, warm in the truck on the way to work and cold all day again. Can you tell the cold is playing on my mind. My facebook even says that I’m cold.

The winter lasting like it is has really put a kinker in our plans. We expected to have the sawmill up by now. We hoped to have the pigs moved to the new land. We hoped to start doing some fencing as well. None of this has happened because we can’t get up the drive to the land because of the snow. We need to plow it out with the tractor but that is something that we can’t do in an evening after work. It takes a weekend job but when we use our time to do that we wasted the time we could have used on another project. Plus when we finish within the next day or two we have more snow. So it has been best to do the projects we can here instead of going out to the new parcel and working. Last evening, for example, after getting everyone fed and ready for bed I began researching grazing plans. Had I plowed, it would have been pointless because I work late the next three evenings and I wouldn’t have been able to get up there before the next snow.

Here’s hoping that the two day heat streak of being in the low 40’s will cheer me up a bit. Right now I feel totally blah.

Come on spring….

Dew glistening on grass - Spring 2008

Dew glistening on grass - Spring 2008