Showing posts with label Pigs. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Pigs. Show all posts

Monday, September 21, 2015


Sunday afternoon began with a broken lawn tractor belt, which resulted in quick trip into town, which isn't so quick when you live in the country.  It actually takes around 45 minutes round-trip.  Anyway, the broken belt led to a stop at Tractor Supply for a new belt, which led to me drooling over all the fruit trees they had for sale out front, and the next thing you know I was buying a pear tree.  And also a pair of gloves, and of course the replacement belt.

So I bought a sort of sad looking, tad bit stressed Kieffer Pear tree, and I'm hoping it makes it through the winter.  I might even go back and get an apple tree.  Thankfully, the tree is self pollinating. Which I didn't bother to even think about until I got it home.  I can be so mindless sometimes. But sometimes its good to stare off into the clouds...

Later in the day, I decided to put all three pigs together.  I was worried at first that Penny might harm the two little dudes, but she was thrilled to have new friends!  Let's hope she doesn't grow tired of them. 

Speaking of mindless, I agreed to adopt two pot-bellied sister pigs from a farmer friend.  What the hell was I thinking?  So now I'll have two more "lawn ornaments" to keep the goat company sometime soon.  I need names!  Any one have suggestions for two potbelly girls?  ~A

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

New Arrivals, Part 2

In the last post I mentioned that I had gotten two new pigs.  Maybe you were wondering why I didn't show any pig photos? Wonder no more.  I still do not know which is the boy and which is the girl, because I haven't even given it a thought.  Too busy of a weekend!  I was preoccupied cleaning and trying to get a make-shift pen set up for the pigs, who will be staying inside the mudroom until the weekend, when the weather warms up.  I was also busy separating the Marans chicks from the Barred Rock chicks.  Which also confirmed my theory, that the one chick I did loose was indeed a Marans.  One of the expensive ones.  But of course!

Anyway, here are the pigs.  And Larry. He is trying to string bales of hay together to keep them in.  Which didn't work.  Which is another story...


Monday, March 2, 2015

New Arrivals, Part 1

Sunday was a busy day.  The schedule for the day was to travel an hour and a half to a friend's farm to pick up the two five-week old piglets I bought from he and his wife.  The snow was heavy that morning and made the trip a little longer than usual, but I made it there and back safe. 

I chose my two pigs (one female and one castrated male) from the litter and thought I would be on my way, then ended up taking home some other new residents for the farm.  I think I brought home nineteen of them, but I honestly can't remember, so I'll have to do a head count later today. 

Anyone know what these are?

These are Pharaoh Coturnix Quail Chicks. 

First imported from Japan in the 1850's, they are raised for their pretty song, meat and eggs.  The females can lay up to 300 eggs per year, and begin laying at six to seven weeks of age.  They weigh between 3 1/2 - 5 1/2 ounces when fully mature.

I don't really need the quail, but why not try something new?  I think I'll keep a male or two for mating, keep all the females, and try to hatch out some chicks to sell in the summer or fall.  I am, of course, assuming I can keep them all alive long enough to get to that point.

Anyone ever raise quail?  Ever tasted it?  I've yet to try it, but I hear it is good. 

Thursday, February 12, 2015

The chicks have landed

Hello farm-loving friends! Some very cold weather is headed this way for the coming weekend.  Actually, Sunday is the really bad day.  They are forecasting a high of 3 degrees, and a low of  minus 6 degrees.  The good news is the bad weather falls over the weekend, so no rushed morning commute into the city for my job.  I like to take it slow, and guzzle a few gallons of hot black coffee before I head out for barn chores in that kind of weather, and the work week just doesn't allow time for that kind of indulging. 

I am really missing burning wood in the stove to heat this winter. Totally my fault because I didn't schedule a chimney inspection and cleaning.  I suppose I could burn wood, but my mind would panic thinking I might catch the chimney on fire.  As soon as spring comes around I will have it inspected and begin stockpiling wood for next winter.  Financially its killing me too, because the furnace is electric. Again, my fault.  Lesson learned.

Tuesday the baby chicks arrived.  It was a cold morning too - at a whopping seven degrees.  Thanks to technology all the chicks were warm because under the hay in the box was a heat pack, good for up to 3 days of heat.  All eighteen of them are in good health and in my bedroom.  I don't trust the new cat not to go on a midnight hunt while I'm sleeping.  The soft red glow from their heat lamp is a little annoying to fall asleep to, but other than that they are remarkably quiet at night for the most part. In a week or two I will think about moving them out to the mud room, so long as the cat behaves...

BiBi the dog keeps watch over the chicks

A sweater has been set aside for a baby goat...should one arrive.  Still debating whether there is actually a pregnancy going on with Chiba.  Only time will definitely tell the answer to that mystery.

The horses are all well, and one has been sold and will be picked up sometime in the next 2-3 weeks if the weather cooperates. That will free up stall space for the two baby pigs that will be arriving around that time.  Can you sense the chaos starting to build here?

Hay is starting to run low, there might be three weeks worth left.  This weekend I will make time to find a source and restock.

Twenty-four days until Daylight Saving Time begins, and things will start to look better.  And I won't have to come home to a dark farm...

Friday, January 16, 2015

Pork Tenderloin

Using my favorite tenderloin recipe that I have posted before on this blog, I pulled out a tenderloin from my freshly butchered pig and roasted some vegetables to go alongside.  I had eaten most of what was on my plate before I suddenly realized I needed to take a photo of the finished meal.  I couldn't help myself - it was that good!


Wednesday, January 14, 2015


Last Saturday the meat locker called to let me know my pig was ready to be picked up.  I had already prepared by emptying my little freezer in the weeks before.  I ended up needing my other freezer as well, which had to be cleaned out fast.

I must admit I was shocked (and tickled), when I saw how many boxes there were!  A man standing in line at the locker thought I was bringing home a cow.  And then he was really shocked to learn it was a pig - one pig.

280 lbs. of meat, all neatly shrink wrapped and labeled, ready to go home.  And a nice size bag of lard for rendering and also for feeding the wild birds. And of course I had to take everything out of the boxes and do inventory when I got it home.  It's the nerd in me...

So yes, I've been indulging in bacon and other pork goodies this week.  ~A

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

What would you like to see more of?

I often wonder why I like to blog.  Is it that it helps me clear my head, or because I believe that if there's one tiny possibility that I can make some person's life better in some way, whether it be entertainment, or learning something new from my simple farmstead happenings, then it must be a good thing.  And if it is a good thing, then I should most certainly carry on. Right?

Winter is here... Snow is here... Ice is here...

This weather makes taking care of the animals a lot less fun. But still fun!  The chickens are not at all pleased with the snow.  The pig is growing restless and bored.  Yesterday, he ate all the feathers off a chicken that flew into his stall.  Only the feathers he wanted.  Needless to say, the chicken was quite dead when I found it.  The temperatures outside were only in the 20's.  Poor cold bird.  Bad, bad Pig.

Winter is here.  We may as well carry on then and get through it.

Enjoy the snow.  ~A

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Soon the day will come

About one more month and the pig will be sent off to the butcher.  It seems cruel.  It's been fun, and an interesting learning experience raising my first pig.  They're very intelligent animals, which makes the process of ending his life even more difficult.  But he has a led a very good life.  More like that of a farm dog I would suppose.  Allowed to run and play each day, get his belly scratched and his back brushed on a daily basis, and lots of good food and treats.  Okay, so maybe he has led a life a tad better than the average "farm dog."  Regardless, it will be hard, and sad to send him off when the day comes.  ~A

Friday, August 15, 2014

What a pig...

I knew nothing (and still very little) about pigs.  But this year I decided to add one to the menagerie at Mon Abri, and I have to say its been a good choice so far. 

(The one on the right is just a dog that eats like a pig...)
My perception of pigs was that they are dirty and stink.  Neither is true, as I've discovered.  At least not with my pig... 

He has a stall to sleep in lined with fresh sawdust, and a kiddie-pool of clean water out in the yard to play in.  He gets out to run all over the pasture and play with the dog, and root around all over to find whatever it is that pigs find when they root around. Ocassionaly he plays in the mud.  But then he always runs back to his kiddie pool to wash off. 

He like to build himself a little "nest" to sleep in by stacking up his hay just right.  He's really quite particular about it too.  Who knew that pigs build nests?

 I used to envision them laying around in their own crap and mud all day, covered in flies, which I guess is actually what they would do, given no other choice. But no, not my piggy! He found a good home ; )

See how clean and shiny he is?

Friday, January 31, 2014

Adios January

Its 36 degrees today as I sit here slurping a hot bowl of tomato-basil soup, and this weather feels absolutely amazing after so many days of arctic BS.  This is the last day of January and I am very glad to see it go! I am so hoping for a kinder February and looking forward to spring again.

Not much of anything is happening on the farm right now.  Its just cold and uneventful.  Mama-to-be goat still has not shown any sign of having any babies any time soon.  I really am beginning to wonder if she is in fact pregnant?  What a trick that would be.  She went out for a stroll and played in the snow with her BFF doggie "Louie" yesterday, and seemed as content as ever bouncing around the snow covered pasture.

I am almost decided that a pig will be added to the farm this year.  I'm a little leery about getting one, because I know nothing about pigs and I still have to set up a pen for it.  But the farmer called me the other day and said the two sows had just given birth and the piglets will be ready in mid March.  So I need to hurry up and make a decision, pig or no pig. Have any of you out there raised a pig before, and if so, can you give me the dirt on what I'm getting myself into if I get one?  Is it worth it? Any advice would be much appreciated.

Well the weekend is finally here, and I'm looking forward to some better weather and the quiet time to experiment with some new recipes. I hope you all have a lovely weekend. 

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