POPPY’S Six are growing like weeds. They were three weeks old yesterday and I am in no hurry to wean them so they will continue to grow like weeds.
Their favorite food is boiled eggs and rice (of course) mixed with grain but I shred the sprouts into their meals to encourage them to eat their greens. Like all toddlers they are onto me and eat around the good stuff. I put hay in their dining area and it does move about but I am not sure if they are eating it yet.
Yesterday I literally spent hours in the asparagus beds carefully weeding around the growing asparagus. There were quite a few asparagus heads popping up but then it froze last night so the crop will be slowed down again.
Today I will sow the beetroot and peas into the kitchen’s garden.
My feed supplier raised its prices significantly this week putting a spanner in the works so I am cycling through a series of mathematical problems to try and come out ahead again. I need this certified GM free feed for the market I sell to so basically I need to use twenty percent less grain with the same result. Eventually I will have to discuss raising my prices a little. It is a good problem. Very workable.
Do they still call mathematical equations: problems? Maybe we should work all our problems as mathematical equations. Set all the numbers down and shuffle them about as we work on a solution.
I think the sprouts on a larger scale will be part of the solution. More hay. Plus better management of their fields. Weighing their bought feeds to minimize waste. All that sensible stuff.
Anyway – lots to think about.
The Uglies are very happy over in the rat house. It will be a few months before I get a good enough stand of pig pasture (which I have not even sown yet) to move into so they are also being trained to eat sprouts and hay. Of course hay is at a premium this time of year too.
They are looking healthier now that they are living out of doors with no doors. Much better.
We have sun! I hope you have a lovely day.
Thursday 04/26 0% / 0 in
Sunny to partly cloudy. High near 65F. Winds N at 5 to 10 mph.
Thursday Night 04/26 10% / 0 in
Partly cloudy skies. Low near 45F. Winds WSW at 5 to 10 mph.
5:57 AM 7:44 PM
Waxing Gibbous, 86% visible 4:17 PM 4:29 AM
So cute. And ready to root!
Soooo cute when they are little ha!
Love the sturdy, chunky little Uglies with their stocky legs and round bums. Do you see how the tail on the middle one forms a perfect question mark? I wonder what he’s thinking….
Everything seems to keep going up, we lost our biggest organic supplier in our area and so many are scrambling to find replacements, most are further away and they are all more costly. Its a problem to work on for sure. I think we are going to be cutting out a few more of my smallest breeding programs here on the farm. I think you are on the right track in regards to the sprouts/hay/field. I know that you have most likely already thought of this, but have you considered doing extra production of some of the really good overwintering squash that can be used in spring to help with calories-fat (the seeds are the big part but the fiber ect is good in the squash as well) to help when the hay its at its most costly. I am just about out of my feed squash, I have only a few left. Of course growing space is something that needs to be looked at as does non-freezing storage area over winter.
A girlfriend of mine down the road by 40 min really swears by fermenting her grains for improved weight gain, I have not gotten into it in a big way yet, I prefer sprouting myself
If fermenting grains works the same way it does for Kimchee/ Sauerkraut, etc
(and if I understand it correctly; ) nutrients are more easily available for digestion than when raw: )
Of Poppy’s 6 – the one second to the left looks to be a week older than the rest! Did you ever say the count of males to females? And why are you calling the other crew Uglies? Is it that they were not as healthy as the animals you raise?
I call them the uglies because they were not pretty enough to go into the show circuit. Of course they all end up in the same place at the end of the season – ugly or pretty.
Ah! Yes, I see. Show circuit ppppppppppfffffffffffttttttt! Your animals are all better looking than those show animals because they are well cared for, well fed and have a good life.
They do indeed look like lovely porkers…its a shame that eventually they get eaten..but that is what its all about..supply and demand…..demand and supply… As l said before l would be absolutely useless as a farmer
It always happens, just when you think you have your costing all sorted somebody raises theirs or closes down 🙁 How did you manage to get the little piggies all to line up and face you, that is some feat? Laura
They are already talking of closing down too. That would be a downer
The little pigs look like a posse from a spaghetti western. I think the new pigs, especially the black and white ones are quite cute.
That Berk has fantastic marking on her face. Very dramatic
Have you considered growing some of your own grain – not the usual corn/soy but sorgham? Or using a green manure crop as feed? I don’t know if this kind of thing fits your land or even if you can get non GMO seeds for them, but something that you could grow and just let the pigs forage there, might be good. Joel Salatin has some great ways he feeds his pigs without a great deal of expense. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=who0VEOPvkk Here is one of his videos. He has some amazing ideas. Hope this is of interest.
I do grow for forage. As I said it will be at least six weeks before I have anything grown enough for them to eat. Do you see where they are standing ? Nothing growing yet. The winter and spring feeds are the problem – eight months of the year they need additional feed. I don’t feed my pigs corn and soy. Joel Salatin did well with his ideas but he does not live in Illinois. Have you seen his farms? They are huge. I own four acres. Anyway – yes- I am growing forage and feed for them. C
Somehow I knew you had looked at what Joel does. Yes, I have seen his farm. It is huge. I didn’t know you only had 4 acres. Somehow it looks like way more than that. But maybe I’m seeing in your pictures land beyond your own. I think the Indians called late winter, early spring the hungry moons. I know how well your pigs eat! Lucky little oinkers! Eggs and sprouts, heavenly! I live in Georgia and I think your growing zones is way colder. We can grow forage in the winter here – rye and buckwheat, some clover, etc. I forgot that you would have no way to grow a winter crop in that kind of cold. Believe me, I was not being critical in any way. I read your blog every day and am always amazed at all you do and how well you manage and so kindly. I thought growing sorgum might be a way to grow in fall and have for winter. But as I said, I don’t grow in your zone. And we’ve had a late spring here in Ga., and from the news it looks like you are too. Doesn’t this crazy change in weather make you nuts? I’m just now putting in some tomatoes when most of my friends put them in at Easter weekend. But then most of them got drowned out so I’m going to hold off a bit more before all go into the ground.
Yes. I am annoyed at myself really. I do not like being dependent on the whims of the vastly political gm vs non gm grain growers. And you are right – it is the season. Anyway yes I own 4 acres and rent 6 from his family. John’s mother owns some land but is reluctant to take it out of the conventional mono agricultural- she rents it to a big GM cropper. That is the land you are seeing. I occasionally steal a few acres- but she owns it and it is a tenuous arrangement. Plus I pay the going rate to rent so that is not sustainable- with John retiring so early- my little farm is in trouble if all these costs continue upwards.
Squeals with piggy laughter. Look at that butt in the last picture. OMG I love pig butts and I cannot lie! XOXO – Bacon
WOW! Fix time I’ve seen all six piggies at once! Usually, only five are visible. You have some wonderful pseudo-children there, Ceci!
‘Fix’ is supposed to be ‘First’. Silly spellcheck doesn’t have any logic built into it!
My those piggies have grown!
When my grandfather raised pigs decades ago he used to boil potatoes in a huge built in kettle and feed it it to his pigs. I think he also mixed in some sugar beet leaves that turned sour in a large silo.
Oh they would love that.
Oh that little piglets bottom is the cutest!