Hope with North Field Herd at Pomace Party
One thing that we sometimes have for the pigs is apple pomace, the crushed remains of apples after making cider. Some natural sugars, vitamins, minerals and fiber.
Apples and apple pomace are a bit of a seasonal thing. We started seeing our first apple drops in August and they’ve been coming down steadily from the trees through the fall. Some high apples are still on the trees that I can’t easily pick with even a stick – those will drop of their own accord.
The pigs love the apples, wish we had a lot more. I’ll plant more apple trees over the coming years in the lines between paddocks where we’ve been preparing areas for new orchards.
The place where the pigs are holding their pomace party is the north field whey trough. If you look past them to the right you can see the lane that leads out to their 10 acre field of pastures. This is Spitz’s herd – he’s our large Berkshire boar and the current oldest boar on the farm. Spitz is standing in the middle of the group – shoulders taller than everyone else. Boars grow a lot larger and faster than sows.
His son, Spitzon of the south herd, is rapidly approaching Spitz’s size although Spitz is more than twice as old. Pigs don’t grow continuously but Spitzon is a particularly fast growing boar, a trait I want to encourage. He has a sister, Spitzona, who while no where near Spitzon’s size is also larger than all her female cohort. Both are very friendly, another trait I select for which is critical in big animals.
Looking to the right in the photo you can see a second whey trough with one lone white sow. She’s part of the group of sows who are farrowing in the roughly one acre north home field, just visible with some sows showing in the background. They have 41 piglets out of four sows – a good count.
Outdoors: 44°F/38°F Overcast
Tiny Cottage: 65°F/57°F
Daily Spark: Learn from the mistakes of others. You can’t live long enough to make them all yourself. -Eleanore Roosevelt