Not Sure I’m Cut Out to be a Pig Farmer

I’m loving the weather this week. There has been a mix of rain (1.3 inches) and glorious sunshine. Even with the sun out, it has not been too hot. Nice!

I have moved the ducklings that hatched last week out to a chicken tractor. They are enjoying fresh grass and I am enjoying less mess to clean up and fewer refills of a much larger waterer for them. They are still pretty tiny and look even smaller in the chicken tractor, but we are all happy with their new home. I had a buyer for several of them but they weren’t quite ready so I am now awaiting the arrival of a new buyer this afternoon. I started thirty more duck eggs last week also, so there will be more yellow puffs available soon.

It took much longer than I had anticipated, but I got the barbed wire removed from the north and south ends of the vineyard to see if it makes it any easier to mow. We had fenced the vineyard years ago to protect the plants from the horses that roamed the property that we leased to a neighbor. The horses are long gone and I only need the fencing on the east side of the vineyard and eventually on the west side. I had been mowing the vineyard for several years with a push mower but that is truly a lot of work and I am actively looking the make that job easier. Maybe we will stay on top of it better is if it is easier. The riding mower we have still isn’t ideal for the job but I’ve got to do what I can. Check out the video here:

I’ve been trying to make some tough decisions regarding my piglets and my boar, Oscar Mayer. This is my first time dealing with what to do with piglets, ever, and I have a lot to learn. One thing I did decide was to get the runt castrated. As cute as he is, he shows traits that I didn’t want to be passed to the next generation, along with being the runt. His head is shaped a little oddly and his ears reminded me a little of Yoda. So, that’s what I decided to call him.

The AG teacher at school offered to castrate any of my piglets that I wanted done and I took him up on his offer. I was going to get a blonde male castrated also, but when I picked up Yoda to load him in the car, his mother Wattles became very intimidating and I chose to stick with only one. In the end, I was glad for that choice as I was not prepared for the emotions I experienced. I knew it was going to be difficult for me, but castrating cute piglets was a little more than I am willing to participate in for the future.

Mr. Jinkins did a great job and I’m grateful for his services. He made it a class for the students and instructed them on the whys and hows of the castration process. I will admit that is was kind of amusing to watch some of the boys squirming at the process.

After the castration, Yoda was also ear tagged. The poor little guy was not a happy camper when I returned him to the cage in the back of my car. Because he was still bleeding a little, I was not willing to return him to his mother and siblings too quickly. So, he snacked and took a nap in the back of my car for a few hours. When i finally returned him, of course, he squealed and Wattles came running again. I was more than happy to get the piglet out of my hands and into her care. I was not prepared to be as intimidated by Wattles as I was. Let’s face it; I was just not prepared for this process at all.

Yoda has recovered nicely, but he does still keep his distance from me. I don’t blame him a bit. Here is the podcast I made regarding Yoda’s bad day.

Early Wednesday morning, I took 41 Cornish cross chickens to the the processor in Kansas. After they sat in ice for a day, I transferred them to the freezer.. On Saturday, when they were frozen solid, I emptied the freezer and and completely reorganized two of the three freezers, with the newest birds on bottom. Chickens are in the large freezer, turkeys and ducks in the small freezer and miscellaneous items in the upright. I was tired but satisfied with my work. While I was doing that, Tom worked in the garden. He transplanted more tomatoes and peppers and prepared more garden area for future planting. We may have a nice garden this year after all!

I did post a little short video on TikTok, YouTube and Facebook of my layer chicks exploring their new home in the chicken tractor.

I look forward to connecting with you next week!

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