Pumpkins for cows

The pears have petered out except for a last few left in my fruit bowl and now the cows have been switched to pumpkins for their  milking treat.  The cream in the milk when I was milking on pears was amazing. The pumpkins make for a rich heavy cream. I found some reasonably priced lemons at the supermarket the other day so today I will make more marscapone.  And more ricotta salata for the winter.

Yesterday 4 of Molly’s tribe (3 month old pigs) were sold to another farm. They were transported in our stock trailer but to catch them I threw a little food into a big dog crate – they ran in, I shut the door then their new owner and I lifted the box and carried them to the trailer. No squeals, no frights, no worries. Just a heavy lift. The hardest part was getting only ONE pig to run into the crate, I would have three or four trying to jam their heads in there like porcine key-stone cops. Plus they really were too big for the box so it was an uncomfortable few minutes for them.

They are growing fast.So, the four greediest have gone. Now the last nine will get a better shot at the bowls of milk and boiled eggs and vegetables (pumpkins too) and whole milk soaked grains and they will grow even faster now.

Six more will leave in December leaving three to be grown on over the winter.

The fatties are going to a good home and I am confident they will behave themselves. Unlike Poppy’s tiny chubby children who will not stay within their fences and keep appearing (much to their delight) on the driveway. They are easy enough to get back into their own garden,  with Boo’s help, but it seems that every day they are finding ways to escape so every day I am barricading up another hole.

At some point this winter I am going to remake that whole fence-line.

The babies have grown so much in the last week that their warm light has been turned off for a number of days now and they have graduated to the big, dog house which I have fitted into their creep.  I like them to have their own roof and they love being able to snuggle up together. Pigs are sweet like that. Every pig I know (except Sheila who hates pigs) loves to snuggle up. cow

Good morning. The weather continues to be warm and still. And in the night the readers of the kitchens garden tipped over the 6000 mark.  Thank you! Don’t forget to introduce yourselves in the Join Us page in the Menu above.

I can hear the calves bellowing to be let out onto the grass again. They are doing very well. I hope you have a lovely day.





36 Comments on “Pumpkins for cows

      • You may be right – after all this time of running everyone off – though her winter set up will include calves this year (though her bedroom will be cow free,) so i am interested to see how that goes – she grazes with cows so as long as they don’t touch her stuff it might be alright. .

  1. I bet Molly’s piglets are heavy. I can’t say I’m in the least surprised that Poppy’s babies like to escape.
    I wonder what the milk would taste like if you fed the cows lemon with pumpkin? You’ve made me think that I’d be feeding cows all sorts of different flavours if I had some 🙂

    • Cows love lemons too.. it is an interesting thought that flavouring of the milk – I think it affects the cream more – I feed my cows heaps of cabbages and kale in the summer and the milk does not taste cabbagy at all. But clover results in a sweeter milk too.

  2. Lifting heavy has gotten a little harder for me this year. Do you feel it sometimes? Do your hands ache and fingers not grip like they used to? I find it a bit disheartening… this age. But I keep on keepin on. There is work to be done! 🙂

      • I was sorely upset the other day. I was washing windows, it shouldn’t be difficult, they’re relatively new, all tilt wash. 2 sash and 2 storms each. Normally i would do all the windows and the 3 doors in one day. This day I only finished the downstairs windows – not a single door and my arms and shoulders simply gave out on me! I was stunned. I’m still trying to figure out how & why this happened – it can’t be age certainly!!!!

    • Aren’t they funny – I know I just have to hold out until they get to FAT to escape! Then like the man with the hole in his roof – i forget about the holes in my fence until the (rain) next batch of littlies squeeze through. c

      • I have a handy supply of pallets to plug the gaps, quickly tied with bailing twine. This temporary measure will leave me with a wooden fence eventually 🙂

  3. Moving piglets, always fun. The guy I buy mine from weans the piglets in pens at the bottom of his field, I park my car at the top of his field, in between are all his other pigs.. I take a crate, big enough to fit three six week olds, the guy, inside the pen, catches the piglets in the crate and puts the whole crate on the top rail of the pen, I am on the other side, balancing the crate whilst he hops over the fence. Tthis is a very vulnerable position as the piglets will have alerted their mother to the terrible goings on and I am on the fierce Mama side of the fence. Then me and the pig guy carry the crate down the field running the gauntlet of Mama and Papa and all the other outraged relatives who like to get into the action, we are fast! At the end we have to get them over the electric fence, its only a small fence but by now my arms are tired and it is hard to lift the crate and jump the fence with Mama pig still bearing down on you. Then comes the drive home, just you and three little piglets who are crapping their pants, stinky. Then at the other end there is only you to carry them to their new pen so you lift them out of the car on to a wheel barrow, then up onto a table on one side of their new pen, then another on the other side, then on the ground. Phew.

    • Ha Ha that is a fantastic description of overcoming a series of pit falls. i am interested that he weans the piglets straight from the mother to you. He must trust you as a good farmer of pigs – that is a delicate period for the wee beasties. I was thinking about you this morning – I have always remembered how your pigs graze up that hill and come running down in the evening. I often think of putting mine in the long grass out the back – I might yet this year if this autumn holds! c

      • He weans them at 5 weeks, mum reckons mum has had enough by then and they are already eating solid food . So they have a week or so seperated from mum before I get them. But yes I am mindful that they are still babies being taken away from all they know so far, and treat them as such. They stay locked up and safe in a big pen with lots of straw and quiet for the first few days, normally takes three days for them to trust me and become bolder and keen to come out. Next to a small enclosed outside space, then I set up one side of the outside fence with an electric “test” fence, then a bigger outside space with only an electric fence, this is when the breakouts occur as they test the fence but by then they know the sound of food in a bowl and are easy to get back. Sometimes they run up the driveway away from me. If they do this I leave them cos I know they will lose their confidence before they get to the top and run home, if I go after them it emboldens them to go further. I learnt this after many many breakouts!
        Then finally down to the big field you described above where they are contained by only one strand of hotwire tape as I move the fence a lot to strip gaze them. My operation is about to get a wee bit bigger here so it is interesting to figure out how to continue to do all of this on a bigger scale. I am glad you have found a buyer for some of your piglets.

  4. PS That looks like a cardboard cut out of Aunty Del rather than the actual Aunty, the light filtering around her is amazing.

  5. The cows and pigs are going to love those pumpkins … don’t forget the chooks 🙂 Laura

  6. I was wondering who the cow was. And thought–that can’t be Aunt Del!! NO! She has really really matured!!!

  7. I’m glad your piglet population is decreasing slowly, a bit less worry about how to feed the 5 thousands… I love the description of how you capture them – they are the victims of their own greed, and selected themselves, it seems! And wow! Miss C! 6,000 readers. Congratulations 🙂

  8. My wife and I, snuggle-lovers, must be part pig, though I daren’t say that out loud. And our cat, the escape artist–also pig-like in that, and in his attraction to laps. Pig genes, how did they get disseminated so widely!? No, im guessing it’s not a matter of genes, but rather of body mass. Or maybe just big hearts, thin skin, and lack of wool bankets.

  9. How interesting that what they eat influences the flavour of the milk and cream. But it was the same with my chickies and their eggs and the colour of the yolks so it makes sense!

  10. We just scored a load of pumpkins too. Every animal on this farm has their share. Their mouths just drip with saliva when they see me coming! “More for me, mom. More for me please!!!!”

  11. Wee piglets have nothing to do all day long except eat and sleep and find holes in the fence, so they do. xx

  12. Loved your description of the ‘fatties’, Ceci! AND congratulations on 6,000

  13. Oops! Hit the wrong button! I’ve tried to introduce myself several times, but always in the wrong spot here, Hope it’s OK here…. My name is Sunny and we live on a small farm in the mountains very close to Yosemite, CA My hub and I raise chickens for eggs only. Seems ‘the good die young’, so we’ve never used them for meat. We had with 30+ a couple of summers ago, but with coyotes, bears and raccoons taking their toll, we’re down to 4 little missys and 2 misters. Come Spring, we’ll raise more chicks in our bathtub in the house till it’s warm enough to move them outside to the little girls’ quarters. Then, when they’re big enough, incorporate them with the older gals. We have enough eggs to trade with the neighbors for veggies and fruits from their gardens. We sell them for $2/doz, even though they run much higher in the stores here. We do it for the pleasure, our friends, and for our personal use.

    I’m so sorry we lost our Lurch, but I love wearing my T-shirt and explaining it’s meaning.

    In your words, “Have a nice day”!

  14. Wow! 6,000 readers!! Congrats Cinders! Whoa…I saw it is now 6,001…I wonder who that 1 person is? The very newest fellow follower to the Kitchen’s Garden! Can you share your marscapone recipe C? I just happen to have some lovely lemons I would like to use up too! Those pesky piglets running amok and escaping…They must be dang cute to watch though! 🙂

  15. Congratulations on 6000!!! Lovely pumpkins and Aunty Del edged in gold. This is a very pleasant autumn so far and I’m enjoying it. How often to you get to sit outside in shirtsleeves on November 6th? It does cool down a lot faster then during the summer, but it was a wonderful day to be outside and watching leaves drifting down.

  16. Wow – congratulations – 6,000 followers – AMAZING!! I totally understand why – there’s always so much going on at the ‘farmy’!! ; o )

  17. SO remember the day I asked whether you had noticed that you had passed ONE thousand? Congratulations on that exponential growth in readership!! And methinks your piglets [and other four-leggeds] eat better than many humans do – milk and boiled eggs and now pumpkins . . . glad there is a small exodus with fewer to feed and a little money coming in . . .

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