Sound of Music

I like my hearing. I like the subtle sounds of sweet bird songs and good music. Tractors and chainsaws are loud. Thus I wear ear protectors to dull the roar. When not in use I store the tractor head phones under the seat which protects them from the sun and makes water slide off the seat.

Today I plowed the south field. That may seem like an odd thing to do in the middle of the winter. I was not plowing to plant. Rather I was plowing off the snow along a path so I could deliver hay to the pigs’ dens and house end shed. The snow in the field has gotten deep enough that the tractor doesn’t actually grab ground at times as I climb the hill. Instead it was acting more like a paddle wheel boat swimming up the mountain. An odd sensation to say the least to feel the 9,000 lbs of tractor and hay float!

Thus the plowing of the south field. Cutting a trail made it so the tractor and I can more safely delivery hay. The pigs also like the path and it keeps them from wandering into the kids snowboarding slope. In the process of plowing the south field I also left a pile of snow which I think some kids are going to have a lot of fun with…

Tuesday-Saturday Outdoors: 28°F/-8°F Overcast, Sunny, Windy, 8″ Snow
Farm House: 52°F/46°F eH2m
Tiny Cottage: 45°F/35°F Sump concrete finished, attic forms down, clearing out

About Walter Jeffries

Tinker, Tailor...
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5 Responses to Sound of Music

  1. Anonymous says:

    Walter, you have all of the good toys (and you know how to use them)!


  2. casey says:

    I am so jealous of your snow! We have had a mostly-rain, measly inch or two this morning. I guess I should move further north!

    On another note, I was wondering if you could offer an opinion on the role of your local veterinarian in the care of the poultry or other livestock that you raise. There is more information in my most recent post, and I would really appreciate it if you would stop on by and give it a read-through.

  3. Casey,

    We almost never have vet help with our livestock. The problems are several fold:

    1) The value of the individual animal is not high enough to warrant the services of a vet for the feeder pigs, sheep, chickens, ducks, etc. A vet would charge $175 just to come to our farm and it is about an hour to get to a vet. Then there would be the costs of the medications and time for the vet, etc. This would quickly exceed the value of the animal. Even for a breeder sow or boar it is questionable economics.

    2) There are virtually no large animal / livestock vets left in our area. The one that we do work with when we have questions is mostly retired. All the other vets I have talked with told me they have switched to pet care because that is where the money is. It is understandable. There was an article in the NY Times about this a while back – that vets were getting out of farm animal care and focusing on pets.

    3) We can not sell an animal for food if it had been treated with antibiotics. Probably the same for any other medications. We have one case of that – an older sow named Mouse. Once a piglet bit her tit too hard and it got infected and another time she got a cut on her foot that got infected. Both times the vet prescribed antibiotics. That cured the infections but she can never go into the food chain for selling because of that even if she weren’t older.

    If an animal went too far I would have to euthenazie it like I did Little Pig when she had a prolapsed rectum.

    Fortunately we have almost never had any problems. No disease (knock on wood, brick and stone) with any of our animals in the fifteen years we have had livestock and only a few prolapses and the two infections in the sow named Mouse.



    PS. That’s a beautiful bridge you’re standing on in your About photo!

  4. Alex says:

    Hi Walter, I love this blog and dream about doing some of the same things someday. One question I have is how do you water the pigs when they are so far from the house? The same question goes for chickens. If you are preparing new garden plots by having the pigs feed out of a patch of forest, say, how do you make sure they don’t get thirsty?



  5. Alex, we have many springs. I catch some of their overflow to ponds for storage and to a series of water troughs in the paddocks. The springs are warm (45째F) so they flow right through the winter.

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