Saturday, February 20, 2016

Muck Day, Mud Day

What weather we are having! I thought I would dislike the melting snow, but it is actually kind of nice - the chickens can explore more and the drifted mountains in the pig pens are shrinking away from the top of the fence. Despite the 40 mph winds yesterday, it felt nice to work outside - the smell in the air was refreshing.

Chickens in the compost bin. Very efficient ladies adding nitrogen for us!
CSA customer Pat asked a couple days ago if we were ready for the mud. Likely the most dreaded season of the year, mud season is always an interesting part of spring. Two key tools for managing mud - rubber boots and straw.

Standing in a puddle. By the end of the day most puddles had soaked in.
My barnyard chore Friday was to muck out the barn (see the panorama below). With wet mud season ahead, a cleaning of the barn removed dirty straw and gives the pigs clean, dry straw to enjoy. The straw we remove is spread in the winter paddocks over muddy areas to help with the spring mess.

Removing straw in the barn with my pig "helpers." 
One month old piglets exploring the straw stacks.
 It was so gloriously nice outside that the piglets were very active!

Cutie patootie.
A view of part of the barnyard, below. Mucked out straw spread out. Adding organic matter to the beaten winter paddocks. Mud management for our porcine friends.

Barnyard panorama.
All in all the mud didn't end up being as bad yesterday as we thought it would be. The wind helped with the drying and puddles were soaking in. Perhaps this springs mud season will be more spread out!

A couple more piglet photos, for good measure. The piglets are fully weaned from the milk replacer and on feed. Here they are all lined up at the trough; however, some of them are sleeping and some of them are eating.

Piglets, eating and sleeping at their trough.
Little Salt kept coming over to see what I was up to. Our sweet orphan piglets are so friendly, since they have gotten so much extra time with us. Gotta love those ears. And that nose...and the eyelashes...

 Stay tuned! The season is gearing up, CSA sign up continues, supplies are rolling in and seed starting begins next week!

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