Preps before the rain

We are expecting a weeks worth of rain starting Friday. So I spread out new straw for the chickens and the fatties. The new straw keeps the chickens a little bit cleaner so the eggs are not as dirty during a rain event.

The piglets were VERY pleased and the boys got right to rearranging the straw.

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(They are so hard to get pictures of. They hear me coming and stop what they are doing and beg for food. Silly boys.)

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The moving-of-the-straw was very important and so very exhausting.  Once they had all the straw juuuuust right, they stretched out and took a nap.

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Just plopped all over each other and snoozed. A big pile o’piglets. Sweet little fatties.

 

This week end will mark Willow’s 21 days without any nursing piglets. Hopefully she will come into heat soon. I was thinking to move the fatties in with her after her first post birth heat cycle. Her udders have receded nicely and she almost looks like her pre-baby self. Pigs are herd animals and I don’t like her to be by herself. Plus the piglets are getting larger and have out grown their small weaning pen. So it’s time to move them back together.

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This picture is from about a week ago.

The boys (my real 2 legged children boys) and I will run into town on Saturday for 2 more pig panels before their 4:00 baseball game and we will expand the pig palace by about 40 feet. The area where the big piglets and Willow will be together is plenty large now. But Willow has rearranged the area so much with her digging and nosing about that I thought it would be nice to offer all of them a new bit of dirt/ soil to explore together. Then I was thinking of laying down a thick layer of straw over some scattered dried corn. The corn will give the pigs something to hunt for beneath the straw. Pigs are very intelligent so hunting for small bits of food is “intellectually stimulating”.

I once read how Temple Grandin suggests giving pigs a telephone book every day. She suggests that the act of tearing up the phone book is “intellectually stimulating” and makes for happier, contented pigs. I tried that, ONCE, with Willow and her brothers when she was smaller. They tore the book up alright. And the pages blew all over the pastures. All. Over. It took me every bit of the afternoon to clean up the mess that four small-ish pigs made. (Can’t you  just see my big fat fanny chasing telephone pages blowing around 40 acres of fields? Not a pretty image, eh?) The telephone book is a good idea. We don’t want our pigs bored, (I don’t think). But I guess Temple didn’t have to worry about telephone book pages blowing all over her yard and pastures and neighbor’s property, too. So I’ll just stick to dried corn buried under straw.

 

 

And though this post is about pigs, I just couldn’t pass up an opportunity to post a picture of Maisy. Look at that big beautiful milk making machine!

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Maisy: “Does this angle make my fanny look big?”

Today’s count: 2.5 gallons milk, 23 44 eggs

What’s for supper: Cheese burgers on the grill with onion buns (I’m going to try a new recipe for hamburger buns. I’ve tried these before with limited success. But this is a NEW recipe! Can’t wait! I’ll let you know how it goes!)

Weather: Showers likely and possibly a thunderstorm. Cloudy, with a high near 63. Northeast wind 7 to 13 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%. Showers tonight. Low around 44. East northeast wind 8 to 16 mph, with gusts as high as 23 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. (Do you see that! Lows 44! Yippee!!!)

 

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