Tag Archives: Livestock

The Winter Chick

I had a hen go broody but some eggs were duds, she kicked a few of of the nest. Didn’t seem to be working. I was baking Christmas cookies after work and needed some eggs so I went out to grab some and checked on the broody on the way out.

There was a dead, cold wet chick on the floor and another almost dead under the hen. The flooding had reached her nest and the straw was damp. Time to act.

I grabbed chickie and brought it in and placed it by the fire

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Soon it began to dry out, fluff up and start talking.

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Within an hour it was up. I grabbed a brooder box and set it up with a light. I attempted to save the other chick but I was too late.

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A week later Nugget is doing great. A little lonely, but I give it some time every day. Hopefully it will bond with me.

And the broody? She gave up on having kids and has gone back to laying.

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Dead Ram Walking

Its no secret that Khoresh is getting more and more aggressive. I’ve tried humane and not-so-humane methods of turning his behavior around. As it is he respects me and doesn’t mess with me. He knows I’m boss. But others…

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He is still causing trouble. He was jumping over the fence to reach the lamb ewes. Thought more separation, another 10 inches in height on the fence and the mask would help.

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Nope. Turned out he was jumping though the fence…wooly coat was insulating him so if he just ran fast enough he could get through with only a mild jolt. I made the lines a bit spaced for quick installation now I need to go in and double up (that was the plan for year 2) So I figured the lamb ewes were bred so I put everyone in one big group again assuming that would solve the problem. Sort of?

Khoresh also beat the heck out of the pigs…they all started limping one day and I didn’t know why. He was doing this while I was away at work, so I didn’t know what was up. Just one day Rosie wouldn’t get up for breakfast.  I fed her breakfast in bed by bringing her feed bowl to her. Eventually she got up and I saw her limping.  She was finally healing up and on Tuesday I was about to leave for work when I saw him the pasture with the pigs. They were in the way back not bothering him, but he got through the fence and walked back to them. When I went out he was just chillin’ with them, though Rosie was trying to carefully get away. He noticed and started stalking her. I got him back out of the pasture and went to work. Came home and everyone was limping.

He is done for.

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This is where we are at: he is on a leash tied to a post. That post was solid in the ground until he started head butting it and *was* my laundry line…but in butting the post he snapped the line. He’s knocked over almost every fence post that doesn’t have a fence attached to it. Some are 8 inches in diameter, three feet in the ground in CONCRETE. Hes knocked them over.

Incredible destructive power. I can understand why invading armies used a “battering ram.”

So at this point with him being destructive as he is and harrassing the pigs who arn’t even paying him any mind its time to slaughter. I was going to do this a few weeks ago but a few close people cried out, “no! hes so pretty! lovely! can’t you sell him? You don’t have time to do it yourself. You’ve never done it before, call the butcher.” Turns out the butchers busy with hunting season.  and yes, I am busy, but then I found out about the pigs. Now I don’t even feel comfortable selling him. Aggression is often genetic and he comes from a Jacob line that becomes aggressive from what I hear (Puddleduck). Though his damn was gentle, this trait is just too strong in him. I don’t want to spread aggressive genes to someone else.

The *only* option is slaughter.

The Farm Family

If the animals on a far were all one family I can tell you who is what:

Pigs, first of all, are clearly the teenagers on the farm. Always hungry, likely to sleep in. If they don’t get their way they will raise a ruckus and talk back.

Sheep are like the too sweet, perfect calm sister who does what she’s told(ish) so you kinda wanna pull her pony tail and make her cry.

Goats are the annoying hyperactive cousin that really don’t want around but have to deal with because, fine, he’s your cousin.

Chickens wake up at the butt-crack of dawn and let you know they are awake.  Clearly the toddlers of the farm. f

Cows? Okay, I don’t have enough experience with cows, maybe your sister who got married so he really doesn’t much to do with the other animals but she’s still hanging around doing her thing. Maybe?

 

Anyway, this all started with the fact the pigs are still asleep and its breakfast time. What a happy thing for them to wake up to.

Who Knew?

Well, I’m sure many folks who have *actually* raised hogs knew this, but according to the literature I read hogs don’t hit puberty til 6 months….so if i planned to butcher the boars a 5 months we should be fine, right? Well I don’t know about you but those balls look pretty well developed to me:Image

When Rosie was delivered back to the farm from her time with her lover Gord mentioned it was time to separate….those boars looked awfully ready to mate. Well, indeed they were. After the reunion and a quick wallow in the mud, they tried getting some milk (no go) and since that didn’t work hopping on mom for…um, yeah. She wasn’t having it. So dispite the fact they had just reached 5 months of age in two weeks time everyone showed signs of sexual maturity.  But I suppose it is not just about age, but weight. the kids are all over 200 lbs. My nieces fair pig. Sweetheart, needs to be under 300 lbs for the August fair, but she is already 240. She is a beautiful beast, though. She would be a nicer breeder that the one I’m going to keep, Peppercorn, since she is so long, nice hams, awesome growth rate and shows signs of early sexual maturity. Peppercorn will be a nice, gentle mother and her rate of gain is nothing to scoff at either and she has a good build, too…but shes just not as promising as Sweetheart, Oh well!

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Unfortunately, the butcher hasn’t been able to fit me into his schedule, so this has resulted in shuffling girls in heat around to avoid the boars, but i still have some holes in my fences. I did finish fencing the stream-side…okay, not totally finish since i need a few more lines for the sheeps sake, but pig wise we are good to go on that side. Next, I need to run a few more line up in the woods to keep them inside my boundries there. This will be more difficult since it involves lots of rugged terrain and trees and such. Oh, and driving posts into rocks will not be fun.

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I got all sorts of differing opinions on the distance i should have my wires. I decided 6 inches, though recommended for hogs, usually just gets dirt/grass rolled over it and shorts out so I opted to go 8 inches. Maybe I should have gone a little closer with the next wires, but iIhad such a range of opinions on what the distance “should” be I opted to go 8-16-24-36-48 inches. Looking into more literature I shouldn’t have bothered with t-posts and just stuck with more wooden posts. oh well. I have a wooden brace about every 100 yards. We should be okay. One problem we will have to deal with was being dumb and trying to reuse an old corner post the old one is not in great shape….or perfectly aligned with the new fence (what happened there?!)

The streamside is now protected and I will be able to plant an orchard and other native and soil stabilizing bushes there. I can also lock the sheep up there when I need it mowed down. Possibly I can allow for the pigs to graze there in the winter when the stream is running high and the water is cold. This time of year they can just walk across and meet the neighbors….or the highway. We have taken care of that problem. Soon we will work on additional pastures then be able to rotationally graze the animals. It is all very exciting.

Overall I’m happy with how this is all working out.