Thursday, March 11, 2010

Farm Snapshots

The Spring is our favorite time of year around the farm.

Things begin to come alive. Grasses become greener. Wildflowers sprout forth. You can feel the warmth of the sun pressed up against your face.

Today felt like our first real glimpse of Spring. It was almost poetic around here. The animals seemed a little giddy.

But, then again, so did I.

I snapped the above photo of the chickens meandering through the pastures. You can see the cows in the background (way back there) up on top of the hill.

We follow our cows with our chickens. The chickens go behind the cows and help clean up the pastures and break up the manure.

They also help when the flies get back as it gets warmer because they eat the fly larvae out of the cow manure.

In other news, we recently purchased a small herd of Spanish Goats.

The purpose of these goats will be for natural pasture renovation and parasite control.

Goats won't compete with the cows for grasses since goats are browsers and cows are grazers. The goats eat things that cows won't eat.

It is quite a sight looking out into the pasture seeing the goats romping around.

The goats won't let us get too close to them yet. We aren't use to our animals keeping their distance from us. But, in due time I'm sure the goats will come around as well.

The girls can't hardly stand this though. They've made many trips out to the pasture that the goats are in with many coaxing efforts to end in,"They just aren't ready yet."

They have taken a liking to the dogs though. The ranch that they came from worked them with dogs. We can't wait to see what kind of goat wrangler Max will end up being.

We had a momma sow farrow the sweetest litter of piglets to date. She had some very uniquely colored piglets. Some where speckled and one of them was brown. We don't have one single brown pig on this farm, but little one.

The sow is doing quite well at being a first time momma. She is young and this is her first litter of piglets. But, we've been impressed with her so far. She had a total of 10 and hasn't lost any yet.

Losing piglets tends to be just part of the game sometimes. We've had tremendous success with huge litters of pigs. The average loss is usually 1 to 2 piglets per litter- sometimes none, sometimes more. Most of the time, they are stepped on by the sows or crushed by them when they lay down to nurse.

Today, we were outside playing in the yard. I heard the loudest piglet squeal coming from the barn. Instantly, I rushed over to the barn (common protocol) because I knew the owner of the squeal was in a very precarious position.

When I arrived, I saw the little piglet half under the sow and pinned up against the fence. I made the sow stand up and quit nursing the piglets. I'm just glad that she kindly obliged and didn't give me any resistance.

The little guy was up and running in no time.

And I felt like I had bonded with the piglet over saving his week old life.


Cottage Dreamers said...

Sounds like a lot of fun. I bet your girls really enjoy all of those animals.
Those piglets are the cutest little things!
☺ Celeste

Anonymous said...

yes, i think we all ready for springtime...just thinking of it makes me "giddy"..the goats are cute...the piglets are cuties too..brown one , how special.. blessings to you my sweet baby girl. i know both you and j have your "plates" full..i remember the day when 2 kiddos' use to tell me that i had too many plates full...maybe you will get some rest with me this weekend...hope mom

Anonymous said...

Nice pictures!


Susan Wymola said...

OH I love pigs..I've never seen anything cuter in my life. Baby piggies are just Awesome!