Winter Hay’s Here 2012

Winter Hay has Arrived

Two hundred bales of hay on the landing, two hundred bales of hay. Take one down, pass it around, 199 bales of hay on the landing…

Outdoors: 56°F/40°F Sunny
Tiny Cottage: 68°F/66°F

Daily Spark: Approach life as if it was your only chance.

About Walter Jeffries

Tinker, Tailor...
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5 Responses to Winter Hay’s Here 2012

  1. Thierry Aumais says:

    So I have a couple of questions… I’m from Québec, Canada, but live real close to Vermont though! I’m in school studying in agriculture and I’m very interested in everything that is about pastured-based livestock growing. One day, I want to have a farm with loads of animals, including pigs! I do have a bit of experience with pigs, since I spent last summer at Harbordside Farms, in Manitoba (there’s a website if you want to google them), so I kind of know what I’m talking about (vaguely). But anyway, this is what I’ve been wondering:
    -Do you put nose rings on your pigs, or do you let them dig up the pastures?
    -Are your hay bales actually silage bales? They are wrapped in plastic…
    -I read in the FAQ the information you wrote about boar taint. Now, I really want ot discredit what you said, but could I have your sources? You see, I’ve talked about it with a couple of people (teachers, classmates, my parents…) and they all say I’m wrong and consequently, that you’re wrong. So I would just like to view the info just to convince them, and then not castrate my pigs when I get some!
    So if I have anymore questions, I’ll send them if it’s not too much too ask.
    Thanks for your answers!

    • No, we do not ring our pigs. They don’t tend to root very much. When they do it is because the pastures needs rooting. Generally they graze the top forages. See Rootless In Vermont.

      Silage generally refers to corn too. When similar wet hay is done it is generally called haylage. Our bales are drier than silage bales. There is some fermentation going on as one can smell the sweet alcohol scent of it. We have gotten some bales in the past that were haylage and they were too wet.

      The FAQ contains just a bare summary of the taint issue. Read these articles for more details, research and references. The couple of people you’ve talked with are simply spouting ‘conventional wisdom’ which is wrong. There are some genetics that have taint but they are a distinct minority. There are a lot of factors and the vast majority of boars do not have taint. Even sows or barrows can have taint as ‘taint’ is blamed for many errors including poor management, feed, handling, slaughter, bleeding, cutting and storage. I predict that castration without the use of anesthetics and a vet will be outlawed within fifteen years. Best to prepare now by selecting good genetics, diet and management as well as educating customers that castration is not necessary. Go read those articles and follow the links to get started.

  2. Beth says:

    You have said it somewhere, but I can’t find it easily. How much hay do you get for how many animals? Or I have 2 sows, 1 boar, and 18 piglets. How much hay would I need for a winter or a day or some period of time that makes sense to you? (I can do the math for 6 months.) We usually plan for 6 months of hay, though we try to extend the pasture or hope that it will start early. :)

    And it is probably also somewhere, but how much milk would my herd drink in a day? And yes I realize that there are many variables! :)

    Thanks for your help!

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