Although I’m always busy with something, some weeks are a more eventful than others. It seems this past week was one of the more eventful ones.
I’ve been spending extra time out with the piglets. This is my first time farrowing and raising piglets and I am trying really hard to learn as much as I can from this current experience. Plus, they are just extra cute! It’s actually a little surprising to me to realize that they are already a month old. Here’s a TikTok of them sharing and evening meal with their mom.
That same day, I candled the thirty duck eggs after their first week in the incubator. Four were not fertile so they were removed. I also moved the pair of pigs, Oscar Mayer and Daisy, to a new paddock. Oscar had shoved the pig hut over into the fence. I tried to shove the hut back over but Oscar discovered new grass and would not cooperate and return to their current paddock. I really didn’t have the time to move them, but Oscar won the battle and it worked out better in the end anyway.
On Tuesday, I met with a customer and was able to sell ten of the fifteen Pekin ducklings that had hatched from the previous batch. That has left me with five ducklings. If no one buys them, I’m actually okay with that as I need to increase my own flock anyway. I certainly need to get younger birds added. And, of course, ducklings are awfully cute too.
I dug through the archives of my video footage and found a short clip of our layer chicks from last fall. I had just moved them from the brooder shed to the the John Suscovich-style chicken tractor. Like John Suscovich, we use them for meat birds, but I’ve also discovered that they are exceptionally handy for housing all the birds, even if it is only temporarily. Because it is a chicken tractor, I can move it to new grass at any time easily, keeping bird poop to a minimum under their feet. This particular short clip is of the chicks discovering that they have room to “spread their wings.”
The next day, we got .2″ inches of rain. The rain this year so far has mostly been very nice and steady instead of the raging thunderstorms with major downpours we usually get.
I also posted “Yoda Had a Rough Day” on my Grandma’s Homestead YouTube channel. Yoda is my little runt of the litter piglet whose ears remind me of Yoda. I will say that he definitely had a rougher day than I did, but I still felt his pain.
As I was checking some messages on Facebook (yes, I still need Facebook to communicate with my customers and followers), I saw where a friend of mine had to deal with a black snake in her chicken coop. Then I saw a few more posts about people finding snakes. I knew it was the time of year for them to show up and I had been looking for them for a couple of weeks. A few days earlier, one crossed my path near the barn but had not found my mobile egg unit, yet.
That evening as I was doing chores, I spotted a black snake about four feet long slinking into a nesting box. Tom was not home from work yet and I knew I needed to take care of it myself. I was apprehensive, but I got my nerve up and went for he snake wrangler I had bought last year. I am so very glad I have that snake wrangler. I know black snakes are not venomous, but I still don’t want to get bitten by one. The snake wrangler kept him at arms length, grasped tightly so he can’t get away. I was able to easily capture him and take him down to the road at the bottom of our driveway. I had hoped it was far enough away to keep him from returning.
Many people feel the need to tell me to not kill these snakes. I did not this time because Tom was not home. He has such a loathing of snakes, I am the one to hold the snake still enough that he can take his wrath out on them. Personally, I am not crazy about having these snakes around either but I don’t feel the desire to kill them. I will say that they can eat a lot of our eggs and have even eaten some of our chicks. Therefore, it can be expensive to allow them to live near us, regardless of how many rats and mice they eat.
When Tom did get home, he helped me repair the waterer for Wattles and the piglets. The nozzle is low enough in the barrel that I can’t reach it from both the inside and outside at the same time to tighten it. I was glad for his help. The pigs had loosened the nozzle so much that the barrel couldn’t hold water.
Saturday morning, Tom helped me moved the layer birds to new pasture. It is a bit of an undertaking, so having some help makes the task a little easier. I have a video in the editing process I’ll will share with you next week.
I like productive days like this previous week. We all work hard but it is nice to have something to show for that work. And, I’m a little proud of myself for overcoming the trepidation of catching the black snake to release him elsewhere!
What have you accomplished that you are proud of this week? I’d love to hear from you!