Yesterday I strung up the Plonkers new field. Then shifted the Solar Panel and earth rod and electrified it. Then took down their old fence and invited them across.
.It takes patience to move pigs, they are always very hesitant to cross the line where the old electric wire was, then on the way down the race they have to sniff and investigate every litle thing.
They do not move as a herd and without Boo to help wth stragglers I just placed all the feed bowls under the tree in their new back yard, openedd all the gates and waited.
Eventually they found their new home and I closed the gate.
Within an hour they had gathered their courage and were exploring the old root cellar with its very, very deep bed of straw.
When I went in there to check how they were doing I was very surprised at how much warmer it was down there, at least 10 degrees warmer and when they are all in there it will be toasty. The lack of ventilation out the back is my only concern but there is a big open doorway in the front and I will be paying close attention.
The new field has created a corridor from Sheila’s Salad Bar Field right through the Rat House Paddock, through the Middle Field (that the piglets have just left) and out into the big Pats Paddock. This will be the stomping ground of the little black and white herd for the winter. All the young cows. Bobby T (Lady Astors steer), Txiki (ALex’s heifer), Bobby T3(the new black steer) and Tia (the new black heifer). They were all born this last summer and are about the same size, so they will grow together for the winter. They have the lovely new shelter in the Rat House and will share the fields with Sheila who has her own house that they are too tall to enter. Their daily hay will be thrown over the fence right down the back of Pats Paddock. This way they will still get lots of exercise.
So now these two groups of animals are settled for the season.
Lady Astor and Aunty Del are still in the milk maids fields. I had a feeling that one of them was in heat yesterday. Too late in the year to breed anyone and I could not quite put my finger on who might be coming into heat. I have seen nothing like this in months so I will be watching closely over the next few days.
Last night I took the group of young pullets (they were hatched by a wild hen in the late summer) and put them in with the layers. Night time is the best time for this. They will spend a few days in a cage in there until the flock is used to them. To further protect them I caught and threw out all the big roosters SEVEN of them – there are always too many roosters. They will live in the Rat House now and make a nuisance of themselves in there. To acclimate the new hens to the old hens, in the big chook house, the door will remain shut for a few weeks, (so the little ones learn where home is) and the roosters are too hard on the hens when they are shut up. Plus they eat too much and produce nothing at all. The roosters this year are huge.
I was very pleased with my progress yesterday. And my fitbit told me that I achieved 21,000 steps without even leaving the property. My daughter helped me buy the fitbit a while ago, she has one too and it is another connection that we have, watching each others steps on the app on our phones. Once again tehnology helping families divided by geography maintain communication. It makes for milk competition but also wonderful encouragement.
Very soon I will shift the last hatching of seven chicks into Kim’s now vacant little baby chicken house. At present they are still in the turkey house with their mother but that is too cold and not designed for long term. She is a very protective mother hen so catching her first is always the challenge!
Also today I will string up the electric fence for Poppy’s brood. Time they learnt about electric fences and got out on the grass while it is still there. The trouble with Poppy and fences is that she was not trained to them as a young piglet. She did not develop respect for the thin white string.
The high forecast for today is 50F/10C – very warm!
I hope you have a great day.
You had quite a full day. 21000 is a lot of steps. I have not reached 10000 yet unless I specifically go for a walk.
Ok that is the first time we have seen a plonker on the root cellar roof. I do hope that the milk cows haven’t come into heat. Laura
For some reason I’m imagining a heifer sneaking into Sheila’s house and going to sleep with her…
It sounds like you’ll be having coq au vin for supper some day soon 🙂
I am enjoying the extended warm autumn weather. It allows us to get so much more done in preparation for the bitter cold of winter. The old root cellar sure does look cozy!
More fascinating accounts of your life ‘down on the farm’.
You know, I can’t quite summon up a map of the Farmy in my head… I’d love to see where things are in relation to each other. If you weren’t so very busy, I’d ask for a plan to be drawn so we could all have a mental picture of where you mean when you refer to Sheila’s Salad Bar or the Rat House. Lucky people who have visited and have seen it first hand….
Yes – Good thinking – I am hopeless at drawing to scale but i will give it a crack for you!
Oh, great! And scale isn’t that important, just relative positions.
There’s a post here https://thekitchensgarden.com/2013/08/26/the-farmy-from-the-air/ that describes the various fields and then an aerial shot of the farm, with more explanations as to what’s where. Might help Kate until you can find time to draw it all. It’s lovely to see all the sheep again in this old post 🙂
Aha! Thank you – it was before I was a Farmy Friend, before I was on WordPress even… But if Celi can find the time to draw the Farmy and and label the fields, I’ll be able to carry the Farmy round in my head 🙂
Maybe you could print the photo Kate, and label it from Celi’s descriptions in the post……it would be even more firmly ensconsed in your head then 🙂
I tried printing it already, but it comes out very dark…
I was trying to think what i called that post – well done Netty! Good work. I had forgotton about that picture.
Makes me laugh, John & I can’t even come to grips with our place here. Our conversations go like this. “I think we should put the horses out front.” “You mean front front or in the middle?”, “Maybe we should just leave them out back”. “You mean behind the barn or way back?”, “I put the stuff in the shed”. “You mean the barn or the garage….. or the woodshed or the garden shed?” Good thing there’s no one else around to hear us!
you are never still as evidenced by all your steps- I am constantly amazed at all you accomplish! Have a wonderful day!
Love that you got the plonkers into the root cellar area. I think they will be most comfortable in there. It’s a good feeling to get things set up and ready for the winter!
Whew! You must sleep like a rock at night C. or a tree, or the root cellar or something that doesn’t move much! 🙂 I too am a visual person and would love to see a layout of the land! It will probably look completey different than the images in my brain of the Farmy!
Will you put a tarp or something across the front of the Plonker Palace, or are their beds back far enough to not be bothered by driving snow or sleet? you must’ve fallen asleep so satisfied to have those areas all sorted.
It is quite dry down there but if we do get a bad storm coming in from the east I might just bring them into the barn. Though weirdly it will be colder in the barn.
Sounds like it might be time for more fried rooster!
So much planning and organising! As for the rooster, time for some coq au vin?
Busy day on the farmy. Good job moving the plonkers. Mouth watering thinking about those tasty roosters! Time to pay back for their room and board.
Every boar pig we owned was named Pete (Pa said). I remember Pa walking Pete (duroc) about a mile down the back road between his 2 farms (Uphome & Downhome). I was outside and heard him yelling for someone to bring him the old washtub. I took it up to him and saw the problem. Pete refused to cross a small bridge on the road, I helped Pa put the washtub over his head so he could not see and backing him across the bridge. Once across the bridge Pa and Pete continued their journey without incident. Thanks for the memory.
Uphome and Downhome – I like that. I love the image of him walking the boar between the farms! What a sweet story that was – thank you!
I came by to have a look-see.
What a fascinating place you have! I’ve never been near a farm. I have a curiosity for pigs; have you any goats as well?
I reckon I will be back.!
[D] I recommend you dig down at the back, drill through the concrete with a 4in core drill (low down near floor, where carbon dioxide will accumulate), and connect up breather pipe outside up to ground level, and backfill. If you need to reinstate as root cellar, just put a cap on the pipe. Carbon monoxide accumulation from start of decomposition is what helps preserves the roots, but unfortunately for the pigs …
Goodness. There is no door on the cellar and nothing decomposing? c
I was thinking of it as a root cellar. You put the roots in, perhaps interlayered with soil. Door is shut and sealed around. The root vegetables begin to decompose, and that process uses oxygen, creates carbon dioxide. After a while the carbon dioxide increases and remaining oxygen reduces until there isn’t enough left, and the process stops – the bacteria die. That’s how the roots are preserved over the winter. You’ve no roots, but you do have pigs with straw/bedding (which will certainly start to rot) and both pigs and the bacteria in the straw/bedding use up oxygen. And certainly the pigs really do need a continual supply of oxygen to stay alive. As you’ve suspected yourself, the door is not enough to ensure the air at the back is good. So if you’re going to use it for pigs in the longer term, you really do need ventilation at the back.
Yes – good thinking – it won’t be hard to arrange.. thank you!
Sometimes I think my thoughts are like these pigs: “It takes patience to move pigs, they are always very hesitant to cross the line where the old electric wire was, then on the way down the race they have to sniff and investigate every litle thing.” (The line being the confines of comfort and my fear of change; but once out, the sniffing happens and it is nice.) See? See how much meaning the farmy stories and pictures contain? You move a lot more than piggies?
No question (mark)!
Oh wonderful! Pigs as a metaphor – I love it! Thank you Albert