Birth and Death

Yesterday we noticed the very pregnant sow was in distress and realized she was trying to give birth.  Two stillborn piglets lay near. A sow usually has her piglets in fairly quick succession so when two hours passed and no more appeared, we knew it was time to intervene. Carefully sliding a hand into the vagina, we can usually tell where the problem is. It was immediately evident we were in trouble because the distance between the sacrum and the pelvic bones was so small that my clenched fist would not fit…. Read More

Of Mud, Pig Pancakes and Wrestling

It should have been simple.  All we needed to do was open the gate of the pig’s winter quarters and let all but 5 out into a lane that led down to the prepared pasture. We began the process a little after 8, took a break to give a tour for a family who came to pick up some meat, and then ploughed on. We were tired, sore, thirsty and ready for lunch when we got in a bit after 3 0’clock that afternoon. It was quickly evident that I couldn’t carry… Read More

The Cattle Begin Their Spring Pasture Rotation

We bale grazed 5 cattle through the winter, and raised 5 calves on milk.  Recently we brought in 4 heifers from another farm in the area, and this week we brought in a heifer and a steer from our neighbor. We want to keep the calves on milk a little longer, but we don’t want the main herd to be held back from the pasture, so last week we ran the cattle down to their first rotation area. It went as smoothly as we could have wished, unlike yesterday’s crazy pig move…. Read More