Bread Pack

Ben with New Invention

Each week we herd, sort and load pigs. Some get moved from one field to another such as gestating sows. Others are headed to market. We often use a bit of bread to make trails and reward pigs for coming in from the far pastures to our voice calls. Bread is a tasty highly appetitive treat since the pigs don’t get any commercial feed. This makes the bread an excellent training tool. The problem is carrying a bucket of bread while simultaniously using our sorting boards.

Ben came up with an innovative solution of a four gallon pail made into a backpack with a access hole in the bottom that lets him reach back and grab a bit of bread to toss to the pigs as we move them about. The upslope where your hand reaches in keeps the bread from falling out of the side hole.

Hope Demoing Bread Pack

These pictures were taken on the south mid-level plateau in the sorting junction. You might note the complexity of gates and hard fencing there. This is an area with many paths that lead to different places up the mountain. By swinging the gates in various patterns we can setup alley ways that will let us easily route pigs to and from any pasture. There are also temporary holding paddocks to aid in sorting and examining pigs as they pass through.

Outdoors: 66°F/43°F Sunny
Tiny Cottage: 63°F/59°F

Daily Spark: There are many paths up the mountain, but the view of the moon from the top is the same. —Japanese Proverb

About Walter Jeffries

Tinker, Tailor...
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7 Responses to Bread Pack

  1. karl says:

    My, how your farm has grown since I’m curious what your numbers are today?

    • Hmm… Not too different. A little increase in the number of boars and sows. Biggest change is the number of grower pigs which is something can can flux by fifty to a hundred in a single week when litter’s cluster. We’re currently sheepless and now we have ducks which we didn’t have at the moment of the 2007 roll call. I don’t have an exact count for today as we don’t count pigs all the time and the numbers are changing out in the fields.

      First number is the 2007-06-30 count and the last number is the approximate count now:

      • 5 boar pigs — 6 in 2013-10-05
      • 44 sow pigs — ~50
      • 13 grower pigs — ~180
      • ~50 piglets — ~100
      • 2 sheep — 0
      • 1 rooster — 4
      • ~30 laying hens — 300
      • 0 ducks — 15
      • 1 goose — 6
      • 0 ferrets — 2 ferrets
      • 1 pack livestock guardian dogs*
      • 3 kids
      • 2 adults
      • Servius says:

        You have 300 laying hens. Do you sell eggs or do you just use them for yourselves and the pigs?

        • The eggs are for the pigs. The primary job of the chickens is to eat insects. We live just up hill from a marsh. The chicken’s do a great job – they’re our organic pest control troopers. As a bonus they product a bounty of eggs. Some go to the dogs but most go to the smaller piglets as a source of pasture raised protein.

  2. Kristin says:

    I don’t think people realize how hard it can be to move pigs. Most times you have to go when they go. If you try to force them to go somewhere, then it turns into “running of the pigs”. Our farm has learned over the years to take our time don’t rush. The boards work out great. It does teach you patience.

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