Kill Deer


Today as I was checking fence lines in the north field I saw two killdeer flitting around the new terraces. Perhaps they have a nest in the dirt bank there. The photo above is one I got of a killdeer wading around the upper pond, probably one of this same pair.

Five litters of piglets have been born recently and more sows look like they’ll pop any day. I ran across ShortNose, a young sow, and her piglets in the north field while checking fence lines after seeing the killdeer. Torn, BigRed and Blackie‘s weaned ones are all out in fields now as well so the the hills are alive with the sounds of piglets.

Planting Plateau

The kids and I have just about finished planting. In addition to the inner gardens we plant several acres of pumpkins, beets, turnips, squash, sunflowers and broccoli for the pigs in paddocks where the livestock were over wintered. Later in the season as the pastures diminish we’ll open these areas up to the animals. This year we have added to our mix sugar beets, also known as mangles. I’ve read of them being a good source of feed for pigs and sheep. We’re trying several varieties from Seeds of Change and Baker Creek.

Outdoors: 74°F/55°F Partially Sunny
Tiny Cottage: 73°F/65°F

About Walter Jeffries

Tinker, Tailor...
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9 Responses to Kill Deer

  1. tree ocean says:

    great idea planting forage crops!

  2. I'm also giving mangles a try this year!

  3. Aimee says:

    We have many killdeer who nest on the gravelly hilltop behind the house. I really like them.

  4. karl says:

    i'll be very interested to hear how your mangle experiment goes. we have been seriously been considering it. possibly next year..

  5. Jason says:

    "My" killdeer run up and down our long gravel driveway trying to "lead the car away" from their babies I guess since we see them running around eventually. They are fun to watch aren't they?

    I planted some beets for my goats this year, but they aren't doing so hot right now. I don't think I thinned them enough…

  6. Anonymous says:

    I'm growing a short row of mangles, too.

    But they are fodder beets, not sugar beets (

  7. You're right, EJ. I mixed up the terms when I wrote that. We are testing several different varieties some of which are sugar beets, some mangles. I had meant to make links to each of the types at the various seed vendor's sites but ran out of posting time. Later in the season when we see more of how they do I'll do that. I'm very curious as to how the various types grow here in our climate and soil as well as how the animals like them. My long term goal is to have the ability to produce enough for the animals for winter. Each year we've done better.

  8. Anonymous says:

    This year I am growing 2 acres of heirloom feed corn to finish 21 pastured pigs on. The plan is to strip graze the pigs through it. They'll eat stalk and all. We seeded mangle beets between the rows with a planet jr. Next year, this field will go back into our vegetable rotation. Should be interesting. Gene Logsdon talks about this in his book "All Flesh is Grass"…a must read.

  9. I've done the strip grazing with the corn and it works very well. The pigs love it. Unfortunately our corn crops have failed for the past four years. Too wet. Too cold. Too dry. I don't have the best of soils for growing corn and our land is so sloped it is a challenge. We have done it all by hand since I don't have any spaces big enough to warrant machine planting.

    One trick is to knock down or leave blank a row where your fence will go for the strip grazing of the corn. The reason is that if the pigs are munching along and accidentally hit the fence they may walk right through it. A visual or physical barrier on the other side of the fence can be very helpful. Highly visible fencing helps. High tensile fencing helps.



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