Sunday Walkies

All these babies wake up a farm from its frigid winter slumber much faster than the weather.  Even though we only just reached above freezing yesterday, still the babies all commanded attention and sweetness and good food. Even the biggest baby of them all our beloved Sheila.

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I have taken Poppy and her Bali Belly right back to basics.  She just smelt wrong. So I tore off the label at the bottom  of her specially ground feed and went over it more carefully. Consequently I have hauled the bag of special baby pig food out of the barn and dumped it, after finding ‘animal fats’ in the badly printed  small print. I truly believed that I had got what I asked for but maybe the person I bought it from did not realise. Anyway I have been over this and should have checked the label more carefully.  From now on, like Sheila,  she only gets food I have mixed  and ground myself.  I was being lazy. All yesterday she only ate fresh food and raw milk, boiled eggs and tiny portions of kefir and by the evening she was perking right up.

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By afternoon it was warm enough for the babies to come outside. The Bobby took Daisy for a walk. Three days old and he was gambolling about the field. He slept well last night.

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Daisy and I are getting into a rhythm with the milking now . Though her udder is still too wide for the cups to reach all four at one time. Luckily I have had John to help.  The next few days are going to go even colder.  And John is back at work. So as well as milking three times a day, without John about to help, I will have to bring the pump and the defibrillator, that sits on top of the bucket and drives the pulse, back up to the house where it is warm.  There is no way around this. Luckily the pump is on wheels.  You will remember we did this all last winter.  However by the end of the week it is due to warm up a little.

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Guess who inherited him mothers dagger looks.  sunday-on-the-farm-067

The peahens are still waiting for Godot.

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Sheila and I went out for a good run, she always feels better after a run. I have a feeling that this winter is getting her down too. I have never sighed as much as I have sighed this winter and I think Sheila feels the same. sunday-on-the-farm-082

Nothing like a running pig. I call out, “Lets Race” and she and I run like crazy back to her pen, I turned to take this shot  very quickly as she was gaining on me! She has never actually run me over but you cannot be sure with a galloping 400 pound piggie. She Loves to run and then when she turns the corner she trots back into her bedroom panting like a horse.

I hope you all have a lovely day.

 Spring  will visit by the weekend  and it will get warmer! I am SURE this time.

Love your friend on the farmy

celi

60 Comments on “Sunday Walkies

  1. I was hoping for a girl this time from Daisy. And I too have been sighing (and grumbling) about this ridiculous winter. Get with the program spring.

  2. Look at that black piggie snout! So pleased Poppy is perking up!
    Definitely on opposite ends of the earth – you with your endless winter and us with our endless Queensland summer! I am still literally sweating and it’s very nearly 10pm! Can’t afford to run the a/c’s any more :-/ Last month’s elect bill almost broke us! Hopefully the weather will turn for both of us this weekend as you predict 🙂

    • here too, just south of the border from you…the sun’s not up and I have the fans on already….hot humid and wet!

  3. I know how Sheila feels….and you too. It’s been a sigh worthy winter, with spring weather long over due. We’ll all have to wait a while longer.

  4. I relate to your sighs. I sigh a lot too. It helps. But I’ve become aware that I do it much more conspicuously than I thought, like a public bus letting out its air brakes at the bus stop. Sheila running is a sight! I love that big ole girl. Have a good one, Celi.

  5. Training the Poppet to be a calendar girl too? With those looks, she’ll be joining Auntie Sheila soon…
    Good to know she’s perking up…Big Dog must like having his milk back, too. Fingers crossed for Warmer – we could have 6 inches of snow on Wednesday 😦

    • I am convinced that raw milk is great fro arthritis, so I am looking for an improvement in The Big Dogs legs. He literally camped out (in the barn) outside the milking parlour door, his bowl perfectly positioned for the warm milk. He loves the milking time.. c

  6. There’s a lot of cuteness on the farmy just now… Lots of bright eyes, shiny coats and sweet baby faces. I’m looking forward to seeing Queenie’s baby and his/her curly coat.

  7. I do feel for you and the delayed spring. We had the same last year and in 2010 and I honestly thought that the ice was never going to leave. I know how it can get to you and sap your spirit. Plus you have an enormous “to-do” list that can’t be started until it’s warmer… I’m praying that the weather gods smile on you and the new babies and bring you some much needed warmth and sunshine.

    I love the pictures of Bobby. Look at him with Daisy – those funny, gangly calf legs. ♥ ♥

    And Miss Sheila – doesn’t she look like a happy soul racing around the fields. Who knew pigs had such personalities? And ggrrr about the baby food for little Poppy that contains animal fats! What are they thinking? As you say, you have to read absolutely every line of the contents and then try and work out if they are hiding anything unpalatable under a new euphamism. Lucky you are on the ball, so I hope Poppy will be bright and perky soon 🙂

    • The other thing is that when animals(humans as well) eat a lot of low grade meat and fat, the smell is dreadful. And although a tiny pig will ‘go’ in the toilet corner of her pen, still it reeks out the whole barn. You can almost SEE Sheila wrinkling her nose. Now that they have the milk they are getting piles of protein. Milk really is a fantastic food, especially raw. We have two more bad cold mornings then I am looking forward to a break.. Now it is breakfast time for me. Daisy milked 5 gallons of milk this morning, a perfect session. I am well pleased. c

  8. Celi, do all your animals hand you their bowls for food rations? We saw shiela do it and now you say the Big Dog brought his bowl to the milking parlour. You are one great trainer!

    • Big Dogs great trick is to pick up his bowl when Full and carry it away to eat out of sight of the other dogs.. and he never spills any!

      • Now that is clever! Do you have deportment classes with the animals walking about with a book on their heads? 😉

  9. Aw….lovely pictures this morning as always. Bobby surely looks great for his tender young age! Love Sheila running—-you have so much fun with your animals and they obviously are in love with their Miss C! Glad you figured out what Poppy needed foodwise—-I bet that was a shock to read something in the ingredients that you specifically asked to NOT be in it. But you knew–didn’t you, that something was off??? Good on ya, C!

  10. I am glad Poppy is doing better. I understand the choice for a vegetarian feed, but pigs are omnivores. While they eat mostly vegetarian, given the choice of a carcass they will take it and this is normal even in the wild for pigs. The reason they tell you not to feed them meat (and to chickens who actively hunt rodents and reptiles) is that their waste products (such as chicken poop or ground bone meal) get fed back to cows and sheep in commercial agriculture, and that is where things like mad cow come from. :/ Cows are strict vegetarians being fed chicken poop, pig fat and ground bone meal. So if those animals have of course been fed beef there is the mad cow. Scary. I suspect that your pigs perking up has more to do with getting real, fresh food than cutting out animal fats!

    • You are right, pigs are opportunist meat eaters, but they do not hunt, they forage and live very well on a good well balanced vegetarian diet as do many people… also of course the meat from a vegetarian grass eating pig is much tastier than from one that has been fed pig fat on a regular basis. That whole cow feed thing is awful, even grain is not normal for a cow, pasture is and grass seeds.. I am appalled that there could be animal products in cow feed as well.. merciful heaven.. are there animal products in rabbit feeed as well? c

      • Lucky us, there’s no known animal products in rabbit feed. There is simply no reason to add them. Heck their feed is mostly grass and legume hays ground up anyhow. Not even much grain! But I have met some people (breeders even) who think it is the right thing to feed their rabbits meat before giving birth to prevent cannibalistic tendencies. It is bollocks of course and a rabbit that is stressed and poorly cared for will eat her young whether you have fed them meat or not. Such people are simply ignorant and uninformed.
        It is also permitted to feed a calf cows blood as a milk replacer. Cows have it rough in commercial agriculture, almost rougher than chickens. There is a reason places like Mc Donalds can charge $1 for a whole hamburger but charge $0.50 for a single slice of tomato and some onions. Very scary. I cant wait to raise my own someday…. As it stands most of our beef in our diet has been replaced with rabbit since it is about a million times better for you than even grass fed beef!

  11. Can’t we give the new baby a real name, I know what “Bobby” means….please…..

    • I know what you mean, all the Bobbies eventually find a name that goes with The Bobby. Like Bobby Blanc, and The Bad Bobby (he really was bad) .. just so long as you know that he is going to be part of the beef herd, he will be here a few summers though.

  12. Great to see Bobby out for a walk with Mom. I too have been sighing about the winter…we had another 4 inches of snow yesterday. Where did you learn to make your own feed Celi? How do you know what to include?

    • Like you i study. Mostly I study what an animal eats in their natural wild state. With Poppy I have to be careful not to let her get fat and infertile like sheila, so I am actually grinding hay into her baby food to encourage her to eat her greens.. c

  13. I trust you took the ‘orrible unnatural pig feed back to the shop and emptied it over the salesman’s head. Small print should be outlawed, as should be feeding pork to pigs.

    The pictures are great – You must be incredibly fit to outrun Sheila.

  14. i would love to see a video of shiela running! that would be something to see. i am glad that poppy is perky! i hope you don’t get any snow from this next storm. i think it is going south of you!

  15. Love the shot of Sheila running! Here’s hoping spring is on the way soon. I’m with you and Sheila and quite ready for it.

  16. It’s wonderful to feel the new life on the farm through the pages of your blog. Wish I could send you a package of Andalucian sunshine!

    • Oh I meant to tell you, Daisy’s udder was so sore that I have been rubbing the arnica in, not near the teats, just the actual udder and I think it is helping.. c

  17. Thank-you, for the warm weather. It’s suppose to show up here later in the week. Mind you we still have 2 feet of snow so don’t take all the heat.

  18. I didn’t realize little Poppy wasn’t doing so well. I know you said she has some toilet issues but I didn’t know what that meant. Sheila wrinkling her nose (even if it’s only almost) must be quite a sight. A dreadful stink pervading the barn is something you don’t need. And I love that Big Dog knows Daisy’s milk makes him feel better. Just incredible.

    • When you visit Bali and are not used to the local water, sometimes you develop .. um.. gastric issues..at home we call it Bali Belly.. c

  19. When I first saw the shots of Poppy stacked and in the pen, I thought it was one shot of two piggies and couldn’t figure out if I’d missed something! Lovely to see everyone looking so fine and to see a pulled back shot of the Bobby having a walkabout with Daisy. Sheila would make a great character for a children’s book…I’m sure someone has already mentioned that here…with her big personality, animated face and ears.

    • Its either that or i am going to throw myself on the floor and go into a full blown tantrum.. this way is easier on the furniture.. morning darling.. c

  20. Nowadays it seems that I spend a lot of time reading labels. You are right, grain is not a natural food for cattle. Most of the bicarbonate of soda produced is fed to feedlot cows because corn bloats them so badly, not to mention it is all GMO stuff. I now feed my cats grain free food as they are strictly meat eaters. No shedding now or upchucks anymore. I also carry a small magnifying glass because it seems the small print is getting smaller. Lovely pictures of your babies. Little Poppy is such a cutie….and Sheila….what can I say. I know there is a “when pigs fly” joke here somewhere. I missed Marcel today.

    • also the corn is very acidic, so their lives are curtailed anyway.. Daisy eats beet shreds when I am milking with molasses and oats and barley mixed in.. it is going to be a while before she gets some grass by the looks of it, then it is all grass.. c

  21. I just get over whelmed by the tender loving thoughts that you have for all your animals especially the babies. I thought farmers were supposed to be hard nosed and gritty, but you are so kind hearted and care so much. I am happy that Polly Pig is back to health. It just shows you what rubbish we could be giving our animals if we do not read the labels. Bobby is coming along well and Daisy looks like a real proud Mum…and Sheila..what can you say about Sheila , a character, an actress, a wonderful pig and dear little Marcel, ain’t he just the cuddliest thing you ever did see…..As much as I love animals I would not be any good as a farmer as I would have to keep all of them and that is not self sufficient….. love to you all, and happy Milking!

  22. The thought of Sheila running makes me laugh endlessly. Hope spring soon greets you and the farmy, c!

  23. Thank goodness that milking machine has wheels! I remember you dragging around the old machine during the Winter months. I hope this one proves more reliable, too. Knowing how very large Sheila is, her running must be quite a sight! I wonder whether Poppy will like to run, too. Now that will be something to see. 🙂
    Have a great day, Celi.

  24. Reading labels drives me nuts… I’ve learned the hard way never to assume about descriptions, ingredients or best by dates but still I buy stuff that at home upon closer inspection goes straight into the bin.
    You had me laughing at the mental picture of “Let’s Race” 🙂

  25. Shelia absolutely validates my life long decision not to eat anything with a face 🙂 xx

  26. Late love and laughter: Oh I DO love the mother-and-child pictures received in the middle of a busy day! Make me relax and smile and go at a far more sensible pace myself!! Bobby has a few wonderful years ahead on the farmy, so won’t stress too much over his inevitable future!! And , [the proverbail] OMG ~ that biggest baby of them all . . . who quite by accident became the icon of the farmy 🙂 !

      • Some time from where you know sending you a huge hug and a good ni-ni whenever you get around to it!! I am unpacking a month’s worth of groceries – should not complain: many people in this world do not have that for the next day!! Sleep well, Milady!!

  27. I can just see you being chased by Sheila. Too bad we don’t get video! Poppy is looking brighter. The Bobby has great legs, and he knows how to use them–taking his mother for a walk. That made me smile, for sure.

  28. I love the photos of the bobby and his mum. They look so connected to each other. Sheila running – that just makes me laugh. Isn’t there a saying about spring coming in like a lion and leaving like a lamb. I think it’s going to come roaring in just when you least expect it.

  29. Oh, Daisy’s udder looks so much better. Well done, you. And it’s high time to sponsor the Pig Races. Can’t you see a pack of 400-pounders high-tailing it across the lot? There’s the next calendar.

  30. You are amazing. I hate it when the livestock run. I feel for the fences.

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