Fall Pasture Foliage 2012

Marsh Field Foliage – Click for Larger View

Our trees are starting to put on their fall colors. The mountain across the marsh field was splendidly regaled in the morning’s golden light. Visitors comment on what a beautiful place we live in. I like it.

Gestating Sow, Lactating Sow and a Piglet

These three pig are part of the herd which is now in upper section four of the south field. The grasses are starting to age into fall. Lots of seed heads which the pigs will eat and digest some of, spreading the seeds in their manure. Behind them one can see a stone wall backing a fence line. Someone had asked if we fence the piglets and chickens with the smooth wire. The answer is no. The smooth wire fences the larger pigs. Stone walls do work quite well to contain the smaller pigs, especially when fronted by a hot wire. For keeping piglets and chickens out of gardens we use woven wire, hog panel or chicken wire with a hot wire or two, or three – depending on the pressure, pig size ranges and what is on the other side.

Junction Fence Post for Paddocks

Here is a closeup showing a three wire setup at the junction of two paddocks with the south field lane from the road. Some of the time we raise the bottom wire to allow piglets to creep graze into paddocks where larger pig are being kept out. This gives the piglets first shot at the tender new growths. These are the worst bullnose connectors – avoid them. They tend to short out, arc and break and are a problem with even low tension polywire fences. Not at all good, of course, for high tensile fences.

Outdoors: 61°F/35°F Sunny, 1/2″ Light Rain Last Night
Tiny Cottage: 69°F/65°F

Recent Spam read: “Our Anti-Aging Cream will Cut 30 Years of Your Life!” Perhaps something was lost in translation.

About Walter Jeffries

Tinker, Tailor...
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9 Responses to Fall Pasture Foliage 2012

  1. Andrew asked by email: “The differences between the 2 sows are dramatic with the lactating one looking ‘worn out’ or is she just having her snout down after finding something delectable?”

    Yes, the white one is starting to get toward peakid. There are several differences:

    1) She has been nursing for a while so she is using up her store of back fat as normally occurs. Nursing uses a lot of calories as the sows transfer their energy to the piglets. As nursing humans have also discovered, breast feeding is a great way to lose weight;

    2) I did catch the white one’s photo just as she was lifting her head from rooting at a dead tree stump, no doubt looking for some delicious grub;

    3) The lighter lady has flop forward ears which always make them look more laconic vs the upright ears of the red sow;

    4) The red sow, actually a gilt, is gestating and nearing term so she is at her fullest with a nice layer of back fat in reserve for when she starts to nurse her piglet.

  2. Terry Hardy says:

    Hi Walter,

    I have a Berkshire Gilt, not sure if she is preggers. She is putting on weight and has been a little more lazy than usual, but her indicator is pointing down. How accurate is the indicator and have you had any gilts that don’t indicate?

    • I find that the clitoral hood is very accurate as a pregnancy indicator it does take some learning to use, changes some with age as the lady’s reproductive organs stretch and can vary some from pig to pig. I have also had one or two over the years, out of hundreds of pigs and about a thousand litters, where it was not accurate. So that’s a very good percentage. If you could get several good photos and post them I will take a look. How long ago do you think she may have mated?

  3. stacy says:

    Walter you do have a beautiful place. I hope to visit the state some day but it wont be this year to close to winter for me and I have seen the winter pics. Too much snow and cold for this okie.

  4. Mary says:

    What a beautiful picture. You live in such a beautiful place. I love fall and the changing of the trees.

  5. BeninMA says:

    Thank you for the detailed answer. I’ve read your previous instructions for adapting electric poultry netting for use with pigs. Would you still recommend it for someone rotating a small number of backyard pigs and chickens? I know you’ve mentioned the benefits of smooth wire fencing for providing electricity to interior fences, but it seems like it would be less beneficial to me if it won’t actually keep in the chickens.

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