Heading South


Will and Ben with Sows in New Pasture (Click Image for Large View)

We recently moved sixteen late gestation sows to the lower pond level where they’re already beginning to farrow their litters. This level doesn’t actually have access to the pond, something the sows would enjoy. Later after the piglets are a little larger they be able to go in there.
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The yellow flowers in the picture are Sunchokes also known as Jerusalem Artichokes which are a sunflower like plant that produces tubers that the pigs love. In the process of eating the tubers the pigs help prepare the soil for next year and spread small bits of tuber that then will grow in the spring.

Also in this paddock are pumpkins, squash, tomatoes, lambs quarter, clover, a variety of grasses and other forages. This is one of those gardens I do not weed. Where some people might see weeds, the pigs and I see food that they can harvest themselves.

In the background is our old farmhouse which is now a farm shed and the butcher shop.

In August 158 piglets were born in the north fields. That is an unusually high clustering. These will grow on the late summer and fall pastures and then mature to market size in the winter months. This puts them at a good weight going into the cold months so they’ll be able to do well in the dark days.

In a week to ten days the sows will have this paddock eaten down and then they’ll move out to the lower south field paddocks. We started with this close in paddock because it is tightly fenced as a winter paddock and summer garden. This lets us rehome the sows to the new location so they’ll have their piglets close in rather than out on the mountain.

Outdoors: 72°F/43°F 1.5″ Rain, Sunny
Tiny Cottage: 70°F/67°F

Daily Spark:
Zen of Programming:
Every program has one or more bugs.
Every program has one more more extra instructions.
The perfect program has no bugs and no extra instructions.
The perfect programmer writes no code.

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About Walter Jeffries

Tinker, Tailor...
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4 Responses to Heading South

  1. A sharp eyed reader emailed me:

    Enlarged photo and notice some of the pigs ( sows ? ) have reddish marks on them.

    Ah, I wondered if anyone would notice that I had been giving them a hair coloring job… That is to mark who was pregnant that needed to be moved when we were sorting pigs. Each week we play tic-tac-toe, marking pigs with X’s, O’s and then one, two or three stripes for those I’m thinking of taking to market. Three stripes and you’ve won a grand prize trip!

    The color is Halloween hair paint. It fades off in a few days.

  2. Irma East says:

    I discovered your blog sometime in the spring, played around and found the first blog then read it thru and today I am up to date. So much info, thanks

  3. Nance says:

    I really enjoy the thought of the pigs preparing the soil, replanting the tubers, harvesting their own meals. That is just the way it ought to be. It makes so much sense.

  4. A long way away but a lot in common.

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