What’s Going On!

landrace and crew

Man Alive. It has been forever since I last posted. Lots of things have happened and I was too busy and stressed out to write about them. Looks like I also didn’t write anything down in my hand written farm journal either. Maybe subconsciously I was thinking if I don’t write the bad stuff down it doesn’t happen.

The last month wasn’t all bad. The goats have adapted to my little farm quite nicely. I did decide to go with Billy for my little buck. I call the girls Mama goat and Nanny goat. I never claimed to be clever 🙂 One of our ducks hatched out 4 chicks. They were a surprise and so very cute. While attempting to catch the baby chicks who kept popping in and out underneath the back shed. I noticed 4 more duck nests hidden between the floor joists. Since then I have had 25 ducklings hatch. Well actually 28 but the turkeys got to a few of them.

Did you guys know I had turkeys? I might have mentioned it. I traded 3 piglets for 6 Bourbon Red turkeys and 5 broad breasted white turkeys and some meat chickens. I have since sold all but 4 of the Bourbon Reds. Those turkeys sold like wildfire. I wasn’t really wanting to sell more than 3 or 4 of them, but some guy came over and made me an offer I couldn’t refuse.

turkey (red)

I also bought some more egg laying chicks. Mainly because they are adorable and I couldn’t resist when I saw them at the feed store. I suppose I didn’t really NEED them. Well “need” is such a moving target of an opinion. Zoey loves them so it’s all good!

The bad that’s been happening this last month is the rash of piglet deaths. I had 5 sows who had yet to farrow this summer. We moved them to their pens got them all comfortable they had piglets everything was going as expected. Then for about a week and a half the temperature stayed above 110 degrees. What would happen is the piglets would settle down for a little snooze in the shade then the sun would move and they never woke up. So very sad. The moms were hot too they had slops. but then the piglets would go in the slops and get stuck or crushed we lost 25 piglets from 3 litters in a week . We did manage to save 5 of them by taking them home with us and pan feeding them. 3 have since died of unknown causes shock? heat? cold? it gets coldish at night and they are outside now in full shade. The two I have left are both females and destined to be replacement breeders. They are healthy and vigorous now at about 2.5 weeks old.

To prevent the last 2 sows from experiencing the same heat issues we moved them into the mother recovery pen with three other sows which is fully shaded. The big Landrace had her piglets on Sunday 6 of them enormous and colorful. They were roughly the size of two week old piglets. We built a shelter for them that had a doorjam one foot high to keep the piglets from wandering away. All 6 of them easily cleared it by day 2. Sadly when I went to check on them today and feed everybody. I noticed one little girl napping in the sun. This week is again hot hitting 102 daily. I threw some dirt at her to get her to move ( her mom is very aggressive ya’ll won’t let anybody in the pen) but she was gone already. Then one of my unbred sows noticed the dead piglet and proceeded to start eating her. That got me in the pen quick enough. I chased her around with a big stick trying to get her to drop the dead baby. She eventually did but then went after one of the live ones. Which is precisely what I was trying to avoid. Fortunately the babies mama noticed what was going on. She punked the young duroc troublemaker and growled me out of the pen, rounded up her crew and got them to safety. Hopefully there are no issues with the remaining 5 and the next litter.

I will do my best to write more frequently in future. I only so I have some record of what’s going on at my ranch!

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