Eggs are laid with a thin film of protein sealing the pores on the egg, a natural way to help them stay fresh for longer. So I never wash them. If you wash them they are then vulnerable to contamination and must be refrigerated. But with all this mud and with all our chickens being free range the pigs are getting a good number of eggs to eat. I just collect the eggs, boil them up, cool them and feed them to the pigs like candy.
Yesterday was warm so I cleaned out Tia and Txiki’s sleeping area. Usually I am throwing bricks of frozen solid manure with the rest just frozen to the ground and immoveable, so it good to get it really clean. I leave one part of the shelter as deep bedding this I just pick the cow pats out of and spread more straw on top of. The floor of the barn is concrete and cold. They like to sleep in the deep beds.
I also attempted to clean out the piglets toilet corner but they are hopeless – always wanting to play with the fork. And throwing forkfulls of pig manure outside with little piggies trying to CATCH the fork AND any flying material means someone will lose an eye before bedtime.
It is wet. We did not get the forecast ice, or even much of the rain they were sending out red alerts about. This part of the plains had air full of thick wet fog and great droplets of water that did not rain down as much as hang around. It is 43F/6C already this morning and this looks to be our high for the day. From now the temperature will drift slowly back down below freezing.
Everything is sodden.
Today I will load the little chicks into a big dog crate (after putting Boo on the chain) and take them into the big chook house where they will meet the big chickens from the safety of their own house, in a few days and at night I will release them. It is time to get the turkey house cleaned out. When I come back from the UK and my mystery destination (any guesses yet?) we will receive a new set of layer chicks. They will be ready to lay between 4 and 5 months old so I like to start early.
Poppy the sow was observed being bred by Manu the other day so that is good news as I have a date for her. No-one saw him breed Molly so I have no idea about her, we will just follow the signs. I timed their meeting so that she would farrow six weeks before Poppy so if my plan works Molly will farrow in late March and Poppy in May. The gestation period for swine is three months, three weeks and three days. But you know what they say about plans and mice (or pigs).
I hope you all have a lovely day.