Running of the Pigs

Saturday evening I was bringing the tractor in from the woods with a load of firewood when I saw this rodeo in progress. The electric fence had shorted out and the pigs escaped into the adjacent pasture with the cattle.  Pigs are cool with cattle; cattle are not cool with pigs.  (Actually, cattle can become acclimated to pigs, but they are suspicious by nature.)  You’d think that it would be the cows that would want to protect their calves from pigs, but I’ve always seen the steers show the most defensiveness.  I’m… Read More

Compost Post

‘Tis the season to clean out the deep bedding packs from the hoophouses where the chickens and pigs spent the winter.  I’ve never been able to find time in the schedule to do this earlier in the summer, so most years it is a September or October task. I built some extensions on the flatbed’s stake sides.  This increased my dump capacity, saving trips trucking loads of material out back to the composting spot.  This year I’m trying to get smarter with material placement, so my compost heap is right next to… Read More

Breathing Room

I opened up my chainsaw muffler ports today.  The MS290 has always been an OK saw, but it bogs down in full-bar cuts.  When doing heavy limbing and bucking work, speed is everything.  Long, slow cuts wear my arms out, especially on big undercuts.  Even with a brand new, nicely sharpened chain, I end up having to back off frequently as the saw bogs down.  I’m not ready to shell out $800-$1100 to buy a 70-75 CC class chainsaw that I’d like, so I have been looking around for an easy upgrade… Read More

Next: Pasture Raised Lobsters

We keep adding new livestock to the farm, but this time underwater varieties.  After we dug the pond two summers ago, we added some bottom habitat for fish.  But the fresh scraped clay surface was rather barren, so we needed to give it a little time to develop some life.  We now have frogs and tadpoles, water bugs of all sorts, dragonflies, turtles, snakes, herons, ducks, geese, (and, of course, leeches courtesy of the ducks and geese) all in or around the pond, so it seems like the next phase of stocking… Read More

Last Batch of Chicks Out to Pasture

This year’s last batch of chicks is out to pasture.  They spent their first three weeks in a brooder where we can control the environment.  We keep them hot for a few days, then gradually decrease the temperature while they grow their feathers.  After three weeks they are ready for any above-freezing weather, so long as they can keep dry.  We had a close call with frost this weekend, but all the chicks came through just fine. While on pasture they eat out of bulk feeders, but I noticed earlier this year… Read More