Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Kunekune on Pasture!

It didn't take the 5 Kunekune any time at all to adjust to their new home on pasture. They are enjoying the "salad bar" surrounding their Hawg Haus.
Home with a bluebird house in the yard.

The Hawg Haus is equipped with a water storage tank and solar collector to charge the battery which provides the electricity for the fencing.

Chomp, chomp, yum!

The goats and dogs were fascinated by their new neighbors, but not for long. 

Pig's eye view of the fine eating on this pasture.
Stepping out the door for the first time and eating with every step.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Five Little Piggies

The Kunekunes are here!  Charlie drove to Virginia yesterday to collect our five pigs. Unlike other breeds of pig, Kunekune are vegetarian and can be raised on pasture without supplemental grain.
Bella is the ginger-colored gilt. At 5 months of age, she is our oldest and largest pig. Miracle is the black with white spots boar to her right. He is almost 4 months old. He is blind in one eye due to a piglet accident with a dog when he was very young. 

Five piggies in the straw though only 4 are visible here. The black one in the forefront is Snickers, the smallest and youngest gilt.  She is almost 3 months old. The two ginger pigs in the middle are the barrows, destined for the freezer rather than the breeding program. 

Miracle is in the front here and the other 4 are packed like sausages behind him catching a few winks as they recover from yesterday's trip and become acquainted with their new home. They will be moved to pasture and their "Hawg Haus" in a few days, after they are trained to recognize the electric wire that will define their space on pasture. 

Monday, December 29, 2014

Carpenter at work

Charlie is taking advantage of the sunny days we have between rain storms to work on the Hawg Haus. The doorway has been framed. The pigs are much shorter than this doorway but this structure will serve eventually as the farrowing house so we have to be able to get the farmers into it in case any midwifing is needed.

After building the door, Charlie propped it in the doorway until he has time to attach the hinges.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Helpful Visitors

Visitors to the farm are always willing to pitch in and help with routine chores or whatever project is currently underway. Laurie and Brian have been here doing just that the past few days and we are very grateful.
Brian helped Charlie with the Hawg Haus. The roof is almost complete.

Laurie assisted with egg gathering.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Hawg Haus in progress

Charlie has been working away on the portable piggy pens he's designing & building in preparation for the KuneKune pigs we've purchased. While Jonathan was visiting he helped with the construction of the first one and named the structure "Hawg Haus."
Charlie and Jonathan taking a photo break from their work.

Two days later. Brian just arrived so the work that requires 4 hands can resume.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Kunekune, arriving soon!

After considering many porcine breeds we have decided to raise Kunekune, an old & rare breed. Kunekune are small, friendly and vegetarian so they are well suited to our system of pasturing our animals. Stay tuned!

This litter is a little older than the ones we will be receiving. 

Kunekune love tummy rubs!

Bella, one of our 2 gilts, arriving soon

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Guarding the chickens

We recently lost a pullet to a red shouldered hawk from this flock of New Hampshire Reds so we moved Sofie, an Akbash Anatolian mix livestock guardian dog in with them for a few days.

Later in the afternoon we discovered the hawk had gone to a different flock on the opposite side of the farm and helped itself to one of the barred rock layers so we moved Josh, our other livestock guardian dog, into that pasture, leaving the goats to fend for themselves for a while.

Because our flocks roam within the limits of movable electric fencing they are protected from most predators. Aerial predators such as hawks have an advantage though they are usually not a problem. Colder weather is here and apparently some of the small rodents and snakes that comprise the hawks' diet are not as readily accessible