Saturday, 10 July 2010

piggie update #2

Despite everything I have read about creep feeding etc. the piglets are now standing in the feed trough and eating everything, they seem to be fine so am not worrying about whether they're getting what they need, they look fine and have fat little bellies.

The piglets kept breaking through to be with the male, so we have opened it all up again and hopefully the adults will do their business and we'll have one more litter. We've sold all the piglets so far, but will keep back one female from this litter and maybe one more from the next litter. There are some question marks about the virility of our male pig, as clearly he was not the father of this 1st litter, they were both too young to mate so she could only have been knocked up by a very mature male.

So we'll see. I'm quite happy with what we have and is more than enough meat for us.

Thursday, 8 July 2010

getting tanked up

We had the wettest winter on record here this winter, which was miserable for most of us but it has meant we've had loads of running water on the land, last year it all dried up by June, so we've been lucky. There's still a bit of water coming out of the spring, but only enough for the pigs. We bought a 1000 litre tank recently which we've been filling up from our 90 meter bore hole.

However, getting the water out of the bore hole requires the good old fashioned engine. Whilst not complicated pieces of machinery when they break down and you're not a mechanic, you are reliant on someone else fixing it.
Without the generator to get the water out of our hole, we have no water. OK, not a big deal as we are not currently living on our land, but we are trying to grow everything we need and grow food for the animals. So, when the generator stopped working, it went straight to the generator fixer recommended to us, but three days later he still hasn't even looked at it, I started to panic. Our neighbour and friend came up with a suggestion and I took it one step further. Our local president is a lovely guy and always seems willing to help and assist. So I asked if we could borrow a 1000 litre tank and pump 1000 litres of water out of the river and drive the water up to our land and get that water out of his tank and get it into ours. These tanks are heavy when empty which is why we needed to borrow one and not use ours, ours is currently in situ by the house which is 30 meters down the mountain. Rick broke his toe last week and I'm recovering from whiplash so bringing the tank up to the truck is not an option......

Anyway, everyone joined in and we all got wet, including my plants

Friday, 2 July 2010

brooding part two

On May 23rd I posted that our black hen had been broody for some time, we tried lots of things, nothing worked. On my way back from the UK I got talking to a man in the airport terminal about chickens and pigs. He was very knowledgeable, he suggested that despite all my efforts the hen would die unless I got some fertilised eggs under her. When we touched down, I rang husband and asked him to find someone in the village with a cock!!! "What" he said, "you know" i said "a male bird", "oh...."
Our neighbour gave us 7 eggs, I put crosses on them and placed them under Betty. Wrote the date in my diary. 21 days later they hatched

well nearly all of them. One disappeared and one didn't hatch, but now we have 5 chicks. Cute...Betty seems very happy although won't stop sitting on them, I guess that's normal.

The brown hens have gone on holiday.

They were being, as per usual, racist and nasty. They've gone to stay with some friends of ours who have loads of creatures, including alpacas!!!
I'll bring them back when the chicks can fend for themselves. I'm rather hoping they'll come back with a bit less attitude.