Molly and Tahiti are hard to get a decent photo of at the moment- they are so grateful to be back that they are at my heels the whole time I am in there with them. They are big girls now and I have a sneaking suspicion that Manu (the gentle Hereford Boar) bred at least one of them the night of the big storm. That was about two months ago. I hope not though – they would have been a bit young – they were big enough just not old enough. But we will see.
It would have been crazy for him to not breed Poppy while having her for three months and then breed the gilt over the broken gate in the middle of a lightening storm before we were even ready!
Theo the peachick was sleeping with his hens last night – I had to use the flash to get these shots for you or you would never have believed me. Once more ignoring their roosts they had all gotton up onto the top of his dog house for the night and he was crying-crying on the floor trying to get up there too so I lifted him up and placed him with them just to see what would happen.. he snuggled right in and went to sleep.
This is such an ugly shot but you need to see this.
Later again I went out and the five day old chick had fallen to the ground so many of the Rhode Island Red pullets had gone down with him and he was sleeping under the wing of one of them, all I could see was a little of his white wing feather poking out and hear his sleepy peeping. Once again I need to point out that he was not sleeping under a broody hen tricked into thinking this was her chick. He is a tiny five day old orphan chick sleeping with a flock of mean three month old pullets. There is no putting him back in his box now – we will have to just see what happens. The good news is that if he does survive this unusual upbringing he can live with these hens for years as they are being brought up as layers for the farm.
Speaking of layers; my big hens in the chook house are laying between 15 and 20 eggs a day now. These are used as the protein for the animals plus for the house of course. There are no meat products in my animal feed ( as you know I do not trust their provenance – in America the pig food has pig by-products in it – either processed fat or blood or ground up carcasses from rejected animals – all sterilised of course but I prefer not to feed pigs to my pigs) so I have my own feed specially mixed from locally grown grain and then add protein to their diets by way of milk, whey and boiled eggs. Lots of milk and lots of boiled eggs combined with pasture and weeds and produce from the gardens. By boiling the eggs we make more protein available to the pigs and it is fed to them shells and all.
Even the layers and the birds I raise for meat are fed vegetarian feeds and I supply their proteins from my own trusted supply of milk and eggs and left overs from the kitchen.
As a positive side effect the farm does not smell bad – the manure I mean.
I have always said that if I did not raise my own proteins and meats or was not able to find a trusted source I would happily be a vegetarian. I need to be able to trace where my food is coming from. That is my choice though, I do not mean to sound preachy. Not everyone can do this. In fact most of the world takes what food it can find and is grateful. Many, many peoples are too poor to be picky. Luckily I have a few acres to enable me to feed everyone very well.
I hope you have a lovely day – it is Memorial day here and my girls are making Pulled Pork. It is an American dish that I have yet to master so I look forward to their version. John has put it in the smoker already.