Piglets & The Tail of Katrina

Last night it was windy – more than our usual mountain breezes. By this afternoon we had accumulated about four inches of rain that we desperately needed. This is the tail end of Hurricane Katrina after she got done exhausting herself by beating up on the south. In a Perfect World she would have spread her waters upon the parched lands of the mid-west and northeast. Next time around I want to get to plan the weather…

In other good news, Australia Pig gave birth to six piglets this morning. It was her first litter and a small one at that. They, and mama, are all healthy. Her nest of hay under the brush along the stone wall was actually amazingly dry. I would have thought she would have been wet with all this rain but she picked her farrowing space well. I find the sows do best when I just let them make their own nests out in the brush. Mother Nature, instinct and the sows know what is best. Evolution works. Unfortunately it was too dark to get good photos when I checked on her this afternoon. I’ll post some soon.

The pond is high and looking much cleaner than it did during the driest time. I don’t think the pigs care about the color – they just like to wade in the water to cool off. The gander and ducks are reveling in the rain, standing face into the wind with their beaks open much of the time as if they’re trying to catch the rain drops. The chickens and guineas don’t seem to appreciate the rain though. They are huddling in the hoop house and out beneath the sunflowers.

Speaking of sunflowers, this years are the largest we have ever had. They are 10 to 12 feet tall with big although not overly massive heads. The stalks are amazingly thick and they actually survived last nights heavy winds. I was surprised at how tall they were as they are just the Mammoth type which I have planted every year from the same source. In fact, now that I think about it many of the super tall ones are actually from seeds I saved from last year. Sounds like I got lucky. The red ones are not overwhelmingly tall, although quite pretty.

After a quick morning chores we stayed in most of the day and did indoor projects. It was a good day to be inside. Homeschooling, figuring out this blog stuff, fixing problems caused by CPanel upgrades on our web site server took up most of the day.

In my desk reef tank I saw a new critter today. I think that it is a Stomatellid – basically half way between a sea slug and a snail with this tiny amount of shell on it. A couple of weeks ago we found a baby brittle star fish in the quarantine tank which I later moved to the main reef tank. I’ve seen it in there a couple of times since. All the corals are growing well. I can see expansion onto the surrounding rock on several of them as well as new growing tips extending on others like the birds nest and acropora.

As I write this it has started to rain hard again – it sounds like we may well get a few more inches of rain before morning. Good news as we’re way behind on rain for the year.

About Walter Jeffries

Tinker, Tailor...
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4 Responses to Piglets & The Tail of Katrina

  1. Nicle says:

    I want to know info about pigs not what is happening on a farm!!

  2. That is a rather odd comment but what ever. Go buy the book “Small Scale Pig Raising” by Dirk van Loon and you will learn a lot about pigs. If you really want help, leave your email address so I can directly reply to you. Some how I doubt you’ll actually see this comment but you left no means of contacting you.

  3. Anonymous says:

    So, If the cost of the pig is about 65$, if you feed the pig some food scraps and bag food, how much do you think that would cost?

  4. Here is a rough break down not including setup like fencing, housing, etc:
    Piglet $65
    Food $136 (800 lbs commercial bagged feed)
    Slaughter $45
    Butcher $100
    Total $346

    That gives you about 150 lbs of pork cuts ready for the freezer which comes out to be about $2.30 per pound.

    Note that all of those prices can vary widely depending where you are located.

    You can save considerably on feed if you are willing to have the pig grow a little slower and have pasture where it can forage. This takes more fencing. It is worth it if you are going to do it for many years and have many pigs. Probably not worth it for a single pig. If you feed them excess from your garden that saves money too. I would not feed the pig table scraps. Pre-table veggie cuttings from cooking are fine. Don’t feed the pig meat as it can possibly transmit disease and I think it makes the pig more likely to go after chickens.

    It is about the same amount of effort to raise one pig as to raise four in terms of the labor so that would let you amortize some of the setup costs.

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