Friday, February 26, 2010

Piggy Wiggy

Two of the piggies left the farm yesterday to be prepared for my freezer. Wait. Three piggies left the farm. Hopefully, one will come back. We think the sow is pregnant and we really don't want to butcher her. We are keeping the Boar as well. I'm a little nervous to find out how it goes down today.

Loading pigs is not as easy as it would seem. I have always heard that when the time comes, they know. After yesterday, I agree.

The two that we did not want to load kept coming to us but the two we did want kept running to the corner. With a lot of food and many entertaining antics, we were able to get them loaded. So, after three pigs finally went up into the trailer, we closed the doors and called it a day. If we tried to get the extra one out, the others would surely follow and we would have to start all over again.

A friend came to load up the pigs and take them to the processor. Lee is off vacationing for a week, er..I mean getting laser eye surgery, so it was up to his friend and I to deal with the pigs. This same friend came to my rescue a few days ago when the pigs escaped their pen. I was able to get all but one back in. I tried for over an hour and was just about ready to put my 9mm to use when he showed up. It took a while but we got the little convict back in the pen.

It is a little sad to see them go. Raising them has been a really neat experience. I have learned a lot from them. Pigs are smart and funny and cute in an ugly kind of way. Hopefully, we will have a bunch of piglets running around in about 4 months. That is IF the sow comes back. I am sitting on pins and needles.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


It seems like I have been doing a lot of cramming lately. Cramming home school, cramming farm work, marathon training, and fun. That is not necessarily a bad thing. We have been getting a lot accomplished and that feels very good. Now, I have to do a lot of cramming in my blog update because I have been neglecting it.

We actually got 4 inches of snow here in lower Alabama. It lasted for a full day. The kids really enjoyed playing in the snow, making snow men and snow angels. Except for Brandon. He had surgery to get his adenoids taken out the day it snowed and he could not enjoy it. He did enjoy 2 gallons of ice cream, however.

The snow left as fast as it came and spring is trying to creep in. My fruit trees are budding out,
welcoming spring and begging it to stay. This is one of my peach trees. I just love the flowers.

My tulips and daffodils are poking up through the ground. I have been planting pansies and dusty millers. Dusty miller has done remarkably well here. I planted some last spring and they lasted through summer and winter and are still doing well.

I have put in two strawberry beds like this one. As the plants spread out and get bigger, I will make more beds and transplant the overgrowth. These beds are in the orchard, by the path I am putting in. I have a tree guy coming over tomorrow to give me an estimate on stump removal. I could not be happier. It is like Christmas for me. I have been waiting so long to get these ugly stumps out of here. The property is really starting to look better and that makes me happy. Our hard work is starting to pay off.

We had a chance to get out as a family. We found a nice trail not too far away and spent the day hiking. It was so nice to get out in the sunshine and take a day off.

Elllie (the white goat) had a miscarriage. I guess Butter did have a chance to breed her before he died. Sadly, she could not carry the baby to term. May (the grey goat) should have been bred as well. I have seen some subtle signs that she may be pregnant. I am really hoping she is. If so, she will kidd in a few months.

Lee built this chicken coop inside the barn for me. I would say "we" built it but all I did was hand him things. He used material left over from when the barn was built. It matches the barn nicely. He did a wonderful job. This is the side view.

Here is the front view. He made built-in nesting boxes with access from the outside of the coop. He put in a large window and a nice walk-in door.

Here is the view from inside the coop. One of the Americana hens is laying a turquoise egg. They are so pretty! I have another Americana that is laying pink eggs that are speckled with brown. These are my favorite chickens! Just don't tell the divas that.

He also put in this multi-level roost......

And a door to the outside. They are happy hens and I'm a happy wife. My husband is so good to me.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The egg bowl runneth over

The chickens started laying again about a month ago. They only took about 6 weeks off for winter. I was surprised how quickly they started laying again.

After all the drama and cannibalism in the barn was over, I started finding eggs everywhere. The divas are giving about 6-7 eggs a day. There are still several that will start laying for the first time in the spring. Things are very eggciting around here. Sorry, it's a rainy Tuesday. That's the best joke I can come up with on a gloomy day.

One of my Americana hens started laying yesterday. I was so happy to see a beautiful green egg waiting for me in the nesting box. Lee told me it was not ripe yet and to put it back in for a while. ; ) Finding the egg made my whole day, which is good because I was having a pretty cruddy morning.

It has been so rewarding to raise these chickens from fluffy, soft, yellow, chirping balls to hens that are providing food for our family. I don't think I would have appreciated them nearly as much as if I bought them full-grown and laying.

It has been a lot of hard work, drama, and some heartbreak raising them the past year. It was worth it though. I am one step closer to earning my farmer membership card.