Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Penned In



Back from a trip down south.  While I was away one of our Sows decided it was time to bring forth some new piggies into the midst.  So Jo-Ann, with the help of some friendly neighbours got to handle the event.



Fortunately, we've kept track of all the breeding dates of the five sows we currently have and can figure out when they should farrow.  Job last before I left was to get Peg the Pig into a farrowing stall we had built.  In a hurry we just screwed a pallet across the back of a stall to make a safe area for the little piglets.  Complete with heat lamp it makes a pretty comfy place with no danger of the Mom laying on the piglets.


We lost five of the litter of eight.  A pretty tough blow.  The cause seems to be that the piglets got away from the mom and got too cold.  The culprit is suspected to be too much hay.

Picking up from that tragedy we have been building new stalls with farrowing rails.  We're waiting for the next four sows to give birth and as their due dates come up we put them in farrowing stalls.  It's still plenty cold outside and there wouldn't be any suitable place for them yet.





The farrowing rails inside keep the piglets from getting squished.



The rails were made from recycled logs that we used for the pen in the 80 year old hand built log barn.  Reuse recyle.... that's our motto. And you can't beat the price.  Speaking of which.... can you believe it cost $15 in screws just to screw the thing together!?! 

This shows the piglet creep area at the back of the stall.  Mamma can see 'em, but she can't get at 'em.




This  is the 2 x 4 walkway over top of the creeps, so we can walk along the back without going into the pen.  They are removable.  We can lift them up and hang heat lamps down to warm their little butts.  Nothing says comfortable like a warm butt.


No butts about it!  Hope you're having a great week!

Sunday, April 07, 2013

Snow Storm



It's April 6th and I am sitting at our kitchen table at 8:30 in the morning.  It's a struggle  to see the trees at the Southern edge of our front property due to a blinding blizzard.  This has been going on for two days now.  A couple of days ago we were congratulating ourselves over getting through another winter and planning on putting away the long johns, and how it looked like the balmy days were here again.  Plus 10 temperatures.  Mother Nature may have taken slight at being taken for granted.

The three bird feeders off the front balcony are filled with Juncos, their feathers all fluffed up against the driving Eastern snow.  It's only -5c but it seems a lot colder.  It's certainly long john season again.  For a while anyway.

The snow will put a bit of a damper on the pig feeder project.  I was hoping to get that done before my trip to the coast.

It was mud season a couple of days ago so I built a couple of pallet walks to the green house and barn.


I can never get enough pallets and the pictures will give you an idea why.  Jo-Ann even bought me a book on nifty pallet projects: Wood Pallet Projects by Chris Gleason, filled with inspirational ideas.  Keeping with my theme of recycle and re-use there isn't much that can't be built with a little ingenuity.

My four main recycle items are glass windows, tires, pallets and five gallon buckets.

The glass is perfect for shed projects and hot boxes.  We grow food and flowers in the truck tires.  Pallets are used from everything to walkways to furniture, and five gallon buckets are used for animal feeders and grain.

The house sure smells nice.  Filled with the wonderful aroma of dog food.


 Oh, I know, but this dog food is made with 100% organic beef chunks, some added pig lard, oats and barley. No crap.


 The doggies love it, and it's sure a lot better for them than the packaged cardboard, fortified with entrails and chicken feathers kibble that comes in those cool looking bags.

We save all our pork fat.  Jo-Ann makes lard from it.  Beat's Crisco hands down!


Hope you're doing well, and the snow shoeing is just for recreation!