Give Me New Pasture: Now!

This week, life was much more normal after all the storms. That doesn’t mean that things didn’t happen around here! Any time there animals in the mix, something interesting is bound to happen.

I really like the A frame pig huts that I built for my Idaho Pasture pigs. They are more affordable than the rounded tin tunnel shelters. I would like to have tried one or two, but the cost was more than I could justify. I will post the plans to the pig hut that I use sometime very soon.

As much as I like these pig huts, because they are lighter weight, my full-grown pigs are frequently seen lifting them up and bouncing them around a bit. Nothing too dramatic but they can move them into fences over time, creating a way for them to escape. Fun. We have rebar cut into about 5 foot lengths that we use for about everything else and decided to try tamping a couple into the ground to keep the pig hut from sliding into the fence. It worked, for a few hours. Pigs are very strong and it wasn’t long before the rebar was bent, allowing the pig hut to slide ride past it into the fence. Sigh. I now have a small stack of bent rebar.

I resisted the idea of t-posts as the paddocks are only temporary and I didn’t want to have to struggle with pulling t-posts with every move, risking bending them too. Over time, the pig hut has done considerable damage to my electric net pig fences and I had to try something. So far, the t-posts are keeping the pig hut in place…mostly. It’s no problem sliding the hut back into position and I can buy more time for my fence.

Another storm rolled through Wednesday night. After the damage from the first two storms I struggled to sleep. My youngest ducklings were quickly getting too big for the small brooder and my brooder shed was obliterated. I decided to combine the ducklings with the others that were a month older. I didn’t see any sign of abused from the older ducklings and decided to give it a try. With every gust of wind, I imagined my poor ducklings being swept across the field. I was quite relieved to see that my imagination was in overdrive. I will say that these storms have made for some very panicky ducks though. One of the smaller ducklings exhibits interesting behavior that I thought was a result of the storm, but I think something is just wrong with him. He appears to either have vertigo or is blind. His head swings around slowly and he turns in circles, chirping constantly. It’s as if he’s saying “Marco!” hoping the rest of the group will answer, “Polo!” I’ll have to keep and eye on him.

My sow, Wattles, got out two evenings in a row and I knew I was way overdue to move her and the piglets. Both of my mowers were down and I had not been able to mow a perimeter for the fence. Mowed or not, Wattles made it perfectly clear that she and the piglets needed a new paddock, NOW!” I’m slow to get the message but I finally figured it out. She is much happier now.

I did finally get the video up assessing the damage from the first storm. It can be seen here.

As you know, I have been in a quandary about what to do with Oscar Mayer, my boar. There is definitely something wrong with his back, probably pinched nerves from falling off the girls while breeding according to the veterinarian and the animal chiropractor. Walking is very difficult for him and he spends considerable time just lying around because it is just too difficult to stand up. He did, however, make his way to the mud hole to cool off…and then couldn’t get out. I set more t-posts and hung up a tarp to provide shade for him until I could get help getting him up. The next morning, Tom was able to wedge the poor guy out of the hole. He likes it when I set the spray nozzle on jet, cut way back on the velocity, and let him drink, much like out of a drinking fountain. That way, I know he’s getting water on days that he can’t get up. Other days, he is up and around, so it’s been an interesting journey.

Saturday morning, Tom transplanted some blackberry bushes he received for Father’s Day. He had asked for the Prime Ark Freedom variety from Stark Brothers. We also spent a couple of hours getting a new “roof” for one of the chicken tractors that had sustained damage in the first storm. Video coming soon.

I did record a podcast, Episode 36: Church Kitchen Time. All my podcasts can be watched on the YouTube channel, This Grandma’s Life or can be listened to on your favorite podcast player. Or, you can watch it here.

Kinzie has started a new phase in her life. Now that she drives and has her own car, she has decided that she is tired of being beat up on the basketball floor and has been working out at the gym almost daily. She also goes to the school on days the basketball court is open so she can practice. She has also gotten a job. She just started her first job as a cashier at a nearby grocery store. I have mixed emotions about that. I figure she can work the rest of her life once she gets out of school, but she is determined that there are some things she wants to buy and does not want to ask me to pay for them. I can appreciate that too. Regardless, as any grandmother would be, I am exceptionally proud of her.

That’s all I have for you this week. Stay safe!

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