That crate holds 800 pounds of apple pomace we picked up from Cold Hollow Cider Mill in Waterbury, Vermont. After they get done pressing the juice out of the apples the pulp is left over. The apple pulp is great food for our herds of pigs. So when we are making weekly deliveries of our pastured pork to local stores and restaurants in that area we stop by the cider mill and pickup apple pomace for the pigs. It smells great the whole trip home!
Delicate Fork Lift Operation
At the cider mill they load the tote into the back of our van with a fork lift. It just fits! When we get home I unload it with the forks on our tractor. They’re a rather specialized tool that we don’t use all the time but when you need them nothing else quite does the job. We originally got them because we were offered 17,000 lbs of cheese by a local cheese maker, for free, delivered – if we could somehow unload the tractor trailer truck. That one score made it worth buying the expensive forks for the tractor. Since then we’ve received about 30 tons of other great foods for the pigs that further justified the forks. They are also very handy for moving concrete forms and such when building structures for our farm.
Outdoors: 50°F/26°F Sunny
Farm House: 65°F/53°F
Tiny Cottage: 65°F/55°F
Great score on the apple stuff :) Your pigs must love all the variety they get.
That is the last thing we need to either make/acquire for the Skid steer we got this year — forks! It would make moving the one ton square bales a lot easier! We manage to get them moved by chaining them to the bucket, but it’s a lot harder.
We got the important part though — the snowblower attachment! Looks like it’s not going to be too long until we need it either.
If you haven’t seen it yet check out this post which gives a pictoral description of the technique and mechanism I developed for moving round bales of hay. This works for up to 1,600 lb bales with our small 48 hp tractor which has fluid weight in the rear wheels. I find this to be a very safe, easy and quick way to move hay.
Thanks, Walter — that is exactly how we manage them with the skid steer. I am still hoping we get a set of forks before next year. I wouldn’t think they would be all that complicated to weld up, so maybe we can get that done this winter. New price on them from the CAT dealer is right at $1000.
Forks make life easier, big time. I added a box that slips over the forks that has movable dividers for moving stuff around the yard that isn’t on pallets. Another wonderful resource – used pallets.
Farmwire, that price fits. We paid about $1,000 several years ago for our tractor forks. Ours are quite heavy duty. You could do it with less metal but be sure to make something safe. You don’t want it to fail with 2,000 lbs high up in the air! One way that I can see to make it simpler and use less metal would be to remove the adjustability. Our forks can be slid sideways to wider or narrower positions. I virtually always use them in the same position set for pallets. If you make a set that just does pallet size loads you can make the whole unit one fixed piece rather than three separate pieces and this would allow it to be simpler while actually being stronger.
Walter, can you provide a cost estimate (materials) for your winter farrowing/greenhouse?
When we get done I’ll post final costs.
What happens with the crates after they are emptied of apple stuff? Are they returned to the apple people?
In the past we took the crates back to the cider mill and they gave us a different crate each time but then they gave us a set of three old crates so we could modify them to fit our van perfectly and reinforce so now we use the same crates each time and they just dump into our crates.
The crates that the cider mill gets from the orchards are in some cases returned to the orchards and in other cases they buy the crates as part of the truck load and then resell the crates. I think this has to do with how far the crates came – that is to say those from orchards right around here go back to the orchards and those to far to truck back (a high cost if there is no back haul) end up staying with the cider mill for them to get rid of.
Hi there, i have sourced some apple pomace locally, and wondered if you might share how you manage and how much you feed? as of now, i keep in covered bins which i top with water(to keep air out of it), and let it ferment, and scoop it out to feed. It ferments very nicely and after two weeks it smells like a weak muscat wine. The pigs seem to enjoy it. If water wasnt necessary, that might be better because it absorbs a ton of it and expands, taking more space and ultimately filling the pigs with water i imagine, which isnt bad, unless its displacing more nutrient rich food. Thoughts? Im so glad for your helpful information, thanks in advance :)
You have an excellent solution. I would not worry about the water. Consider that when we feed whey, most of that is water. The pigs simply drink less water since they’re getting it in their other food. Pomace is a good food that they enjoy.
Thank you so much walter! your input is so helpful :)))