Blog Down 12/31/2015

Chicken, Sow, Piglets

My blog is hosted with NameCheap and unfortunately their servers crashed very badly due to a hardware failure and they had to go to backup from 12/28/2015. This means that blog posts and comments since that date were lost and email was not able to get through during the roughly two days of down time. Feel free to leave comments again as I resurrect those posts that died and email me again if you had emailed me in the period 12/28/2015 to 1/1/2016 but not gotten a response.

If you could leave a comment as a test of the system that would be helpful.



Outdoors: 35°F/31°F 4″ Snow
Tiny Cottage: 59°F/52°F

Daily Spark: Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit . . . Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad. -Anon

About Walter Jeffries

Tinker, Tailor...
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13 Responses to Blog Down 12/31/2015

  1. aminthepm says:

    There was mention about deboning some cuts, do the dogs receive the bones afterwards

    • For custom pigs the customers often take the bones. For the pigs that go for stores and restaurants each week some of the bones I chop up to expose the marrow and sell as soup bones. Extras often go to the dogs or to the compost pile where they feed our soil.

  2. Dan Moore says:

    Oh my goodness Walter. I’m so sorry about the server crash. I’ve been there and know how much work it is to recover. Do you run your own backups independent of the hosting provider? If not, I have a great tip for a free backup program that we use with our WordPress site. I’ve recovered from disaster via their automatic backups. They work just fine.

      • Dan Moore says:

        Sorry Walter, the notifications of follow up comments aren’t working yet so I didn’t know you had replied.

        I use “UpdraftPlus – Backup/Restore” by There is a paid version but I’ve never felt the need to buy it. You can automate the backups, get notifications when they complete, and send the backup to offline cloud storage (the only way it works) all with the free version. They support Dropbox, Amazon, GoogleDrive, Rackspace, etc. for the remote locations and the integration was easy, at least for me. I already used Dropbox so it was pretty simple. You just link your offline storage to the plugin, set your backup options, and turn it loose. The auto backups are kinda hidden in another tab but it’s there and easy enough to find. You do need an FTP client to do the restore if it is a full rebuild. I use Filezilla, which works fine.

        Drop me a line if I can give you any help and good luck. I feel for you having to rebuild.

        • Ah, I have been looking at UpDraftPlus and had downloaded it last week, just before the system crash, but haven’t set it up yet. I have been using BackWPup but that does not always work which is why I’ve been thinking of finding another. Good to know that UpdraftPlus does a good job. Thanks!

  3. Deborah Hartt says:

    Hello all you beautiful people and animals up at SMF. Here’s to a new year full of opportunity and hope, experiences and adventure. Our fabulous Zion is growing fast, easy going, and loves his lady friends. We are very happy with him and thank you so much for your help and advice. Wishing you continued health, strength, happiness and sending much love. Peace, Deborah & Tim, and family at Wild Acres.

  4. deb says:

    Walter – what is your set up for winter farrowing? Are sows isolated with their litter or left with the herd, or…? I currently have a small mixed age herd (sows, growers mature boar and juvenile boar) and wonder if I should put the soon-to-farrow sow in her own paddock/shelter until piglets are more mobile. Also curious about the bedding pack – do you manage the hay pack or worry about piglets getting buried and lost/stepped on/other?

    Always appreciate your perspective and experience!


    • We use open shelters with deep bedding packs. It is critical to have good winter farrowing sows. This takes top mothering skills including good nest building, attentiveness, gentle laying and lifting back up if a piglet is distressed. Privacy from the main herd is important. Small groups of sows properly synchronized can farrow together in many cases.

  5. Nance says:

    ah, I do enjoy the photo of Mama Hen watching over sleeping piglets. Sorry about your server and hardware and Name Cheap. Hope it is all coming back up on line . . . and that Name Cheap is helping you with it all. Good luck in this New Year!

  6. deb says:

    Feed question – if you weren’t supplementing pasture/hay with whey would you be feeding a grain mix to your pigs? I’ve been reading posts on the Pastured Pigs Facebook page and it seems everyone is feeding a daily ration of grain. I currently feed alfalfa, oat and grass hay plus spent brewer’s barley in the winter. Mixed pasture and spent barley in the summer. It’s taking my pigs 12-16 months to reach 250#, but not costing me much and the meat is delish…lean and tasty.

    As always – thanks for sharing your experience.

    • If we didn’t have the whey we would boost our egg production from our pastured hens. Alfalfa is very good. That is a long time to reach finish size. It could well be a matter of pig genetics. If it works to trade off the time for feed costs then that is good to do. We find the same, that the high pasture based diet produces a delicious high quality meat. If you are getting started in understanding diet I would highly recommend using a commercial hog feed which is typically corn/soy based as your foundation ration. Realize that I have spent over a decade fine tuning our pig genetics, managed rotational grazing techniques, our field forage quality and understanding diets. Ease into things.

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