A New Well House and Settling Into the Farrowing Facility

1wellhouse

Our new little well house in the pasture.

2watertrench

Digging a trench for the waterline from the well house to the new milking facility.

3wellhousefrog

A Gray Tree Frog in the well house. You can hear these frogs in the evenings as the weather warms. Learn more about this species here.

4berkshireduroccross

Berkshire/Duroc cross pigs on the new floor.

5crossbredgilts

Crossbred replacement gilts in the new hog house.

6sows

Sows on the new floor.

7farrowing

An inside view of the new farrowing and growing facility.

8castrate

Jordon and Brandon castrating young boars.

9branden

Brandon catching boar pigs to be castrated.

10meats

The future of Moojuice meats, more crossbred replacement gilts.

11teats

Brandon Bell counts the teats on young pigs to determine if they can be retained as sows in the future.

12notch

Jordon Criss notching the pigs ears as a way of permanently identifying them.

13scarlet

Jordon holding his little gilt “Scarlet.”

14teeth

Jordon removing the razor sharp ends of the pig’s needle teeth. This is to prevent damage to the mother’s udder and causes no harm to the piglets. Dalton in the background recording the pig’s identification number and other important information.

15dalton

Dalton inspecting a newborn pig.

16birdeye

Jordon taking a “bird’s eye view” of the farm.

17rudy

Rudy, our two-year old bull.

Spring on the Farm

Is anyone else glad that it’s finally warming up?

springfarmThe fowl are certainly enjoying the weather.

springrooster

guineas

Rogue and his harem have a new pasture.

pasturepigs

The Walkers built a new hog maternity ward for us.

walkersworking

Our little lady calves have their own pasture to prance around in.

calveseating

The honeybees are waking up and enjoying the native flowers in the area.

honeybee

And even some of the perennial plants in the garden have begun to poke up. Here’s our strawberries.

strawberrysprouts

Happy spring, everyone!

 

Fences and Shelters

 

Putting in fence posts and starting to hook up the wire.
Putting in fence posts and starting to hook up the wire for an enclosure for the newly-weaned calves.
Stretching the fence from post to post.
Stretching the fence from post to post.
In preparation for moving our weaned calves to the newly fenced pasture, we built calf shelters. Dawson, pictures here, worked hard as our main driller and nut tightened. He did an awesome job!
In preparation for moving our weaned calves to the newly fenced pasture, we built calf shelters. Dawson, pictures here, worked hard as our main driller and nut tightened. He did an awesome job!
Shane: "This morning when just the cows and I were awake, like many mornings, I was thinking about the people I love so much, and thanking God for placing them in my life. When I went to turn the cows back into the pasture, the sun had just broken through the darkness. It was as if He was saying 'You're welcome.'"
Shane: “This morning when just the cows and I were awake, like many mornings, I was thinking about the people I love so much, and thanking God for placing them in my life. When I went to turn the cows back into the pasture, the sun had just broken through the darkness. It was as if He was saying ‘You’re welcome.'”

Farm Lessons

Our kids are growing up almost as fast as our heifer calves. Each day is a new lesson on the farm. Learning to care for our animals is important to being a good farmer, no matter how old you are.

Dawson, Shane and Kirsten's son, tries his hand at milking.
Dawson tries his hand at milking.
Leeland, Shane and Kirsten's Grandson, helps, too.
Leeland, Shane and Kirsten’s Grandson, helps, too.
Molly also lends a hand.
Molly also lends a hand as well.
Dawson likes to help gather the girls when it's milking time.
Dawson likes to help gather the girls when it’s milking time.

gatheringcows2

And he's been known to give Annabelle a good brush while the others are being milked.
And he’s been known to give Annabelle a good brush while the others are being milked.
There's always more work with a new calf on the farm. Wren gave birth to a little heifer yesterday, who was named Stormy for the weather she came into.
There’s always more work with a new calf on the farm. Wren gave birth to a little heifer yesterday, who was named Stormy for the weather she came into.
Our friend Dustin came back for another lesson in hogs. He showed precision skill in neutering boars.
Our friend Dustin came back for another lesson in hogs. He showed precision skill in neutering boars.
Dawson knows feeding the hogs is important.
Dawson knows making sure the hogs get a meal is important.
Leeland held his first pig, and proved to be quite the skilled pig-catcher.
Leeland held his first pig, and proved to be quite the skilled pig-catcher.
Molly cuddles with a piglet.
Molly cuddles with a piglet.
As the piglets get bigger and stronger, they can come outside.
As the piglets get bigger and stronger, they can come outside.

Fall Piggies

Farrowing is a family affair. Here are Kirsten and Dawson assisting at the birth of a litter of piggies.

familypiggies

It is important to us to share our resources and knowledge with our neighboring farmers. Our friend and fellow hog enthusiast Dustin came recently when our sows we’re giving birth to learn how to assist hogs during farrowing. Here he is giving a newborn its iron shot.

ironshot

Here’s a few of our new piglets sharing a meal.

feedingpiglets

Hard Workin’ Autumn

Winter’s coming just around the corner (though you wouldn’t know it by this weather), but we’re not slowing down at all here on the farm.

There’s been work on a farrowing house for our mother pigs.

Plotting the location
Plotting the location
Getting the corner holes dug out.
Getting the corner holes dug out.

prayingdepth

Here’s Mama Pig with her piglets.

mamapig

We cut our first hay…

firsthay

haytractor

And our cows get to enjoy it.

firsthaycows

The goats needed a fence.

goatfence

We’ve had a lot of brush to clear.

brush

And of course, a few calves have been born recently.

Our lovely Sophia with little Sammy

sophiasammyday

 

Lucy, the first calf born on our farm, has now given birth to her own first calf, Ladybug.

lucyladybug

 

Ladybug invites a friend to breakfast.

breakfast

Fifi, ever the protective one, had her calf in secret, and it took us a little while to find little Suellen.

Fifisuellen

Tiger enjoying a meal while Catherine keeps in the shade of pasture trees.

catherinetiger

This is Renee’s little Dew Drop

dewdrop

But even with all this work, we still have time for a little fun.

Eeyore (front left) often leaves his calf herd in the pasture to come visit Jack (back right), whose job it is to protect the goats.

eeyorejack

Jordan and Jack
Jordan and Jack
Investigating the new farm dog.
Investigating the new farm dog.

 

catmilk
So, how do you get the milk out of this hose?

 

Pork Coming Soon

4859

The next round of farm fresh pork will soon be available. These hogs have been raised on dirt, and are 100% antibiotic, steroid, and hormone free. They have been fed a vegetarian diet, with the exception of whole Jersey milk and a few broken eggs. If you know someone who is interested, please pass along Sarah’s phone number. Taking orders now for half or whole hogs.

Spring Pregnancies

While you can always find out what ladies are milking on this page, we’d also like to keep you updated on whose expecting a little calf. So here’s our prego ladies, enjoying the new spring growth and warmer weather.

Catherine
Catherine
Cocoa
Cocoa
Juli
Juli
Renee
Renee
Lucy (first calf born on our farm in 2013)
Lucy (first calf born on our farm in 2013)
Ursula
Ursula

A Hog Tale

Hogtale1

Anticipating cold weather, Shane built Reba a temporary shelter from the wind and snow.

HogTale2

Before moving in, she inspected every inch.

HogTale3

When it was clear that the apartment met with her approval, he gave her a bale of straw to furnish it.

HogTale4

She thanked Shane by letting him scratch her belly.

HogTale5

The End!