On Christmas Eve John and I spent some time together giving the pigs a present (?) - new bedding and expanded pasture! Kind of odd staking up the electric fence in late December, but there was no snow and a patch of green forage, so...
...we fenced off a new area, opened the gate and gave them access. Then we removed all the old straw and spread it out over the dirt in their winter paddock. They never soil their bedding, but it's important to keep the straw dry, so new bedding every so often is a must.
|You can see the pigs watching us from their pasture.|
Tossing straw around got the pigs all excited - they were running around, bucking and spinning in circles. After airing out the shed for an hour or so we then replaced the bedding with a couple dry bales of fresh straw. Go to YouTube for a new straw video.
|Vera, supervising the straw delivery.|
We are looking forward to more pig adventures in the New Year, we'll be sure to keep you up-to-date on the pig barn progress (it's near completion!) and breeding plans. We added some little porkers to the tree, to mark our first year farrowing and our love of these great creatures!
Ivan gets into the Christmas spirit too!
The pullets have really started laying these beautiful eggs regularly now! The new breeds lay a mix of browns, blues and greens.
We reached an inevitable point with our flock where culling had to happen. While we have had to cull birds before for individual reasons, this larger culling was a different experience for us - not enjoyable, but necessary. For each and every bird we keep we are grateful for their contributions and respectful of their lives.
After their molt the old hens completely stopped laying, and while we could feed them and keep them as pets forever that is just not what we keep chickens for - we banded Emily's favorite first chickens and said goodbye to the rest. The number of hens dictates the carrying capacity for roosters and four was too many. We put three roosters in the freezer, grateful for the sustenance, and made Edgar (Allen Poe) keeper of the ladies. Maintaining balance in the flock makes for a better dynamic and healthier birds.
|Speckled Sussex hens and the new feeder.|
Hazel, after hunting she is a snoozy girl.
Other fascinating farm items
The website has been updated for the 2015 season - check out the updated info on 2015 CSA & Farm Shares Sign Up!