Farrowing House Live


Friday, April 24, 2015

In The Swing of Spring


Spring is a busy time of preparation and work on the farm. We have had two litters of piglets. Rosie (Cody's sow) farrowed March 8th. She had five healthy piglets. Rosie and Cody both did a great job with their first farrowing. With smaller litters it is fun to name the babies. Their names are Cleo (the only gilt), Harry Potter, Darwin, Spotlight, and David.

Growing, growing, GONE. All but Cleo are sold and with new owners. 
Next Edith had her litter of 13 on March 25th. Three were three still-born, and one (Oliver) was sick and was helped along until it was apparent he was in pain and was put down. The runt of the litter (Wilbur; of course) has been bottle fed and has lived in the house until this week. He is about one-half to one-third the size of the others, bless his little heart. He is a fighter, though and he is going to be just fine!

Edith has a congenital abnormality called Atresia Ani (no anus) so we were extra cautious when she farrowed to be attentive and ready to help. However, she delivered very well and has been a good mama.

 almost all of 'em
this shows how much smaller Wilbur is than the rest

he's so tiny
this picture was taken at about 5:00am,
we had been farrowing for about 3 hours.

 he might not admit it, but Clint is smitten with Wilbur

 My dad (Andy) bonding with the baby. 
Wilbur is the furthest right. He held his own pretty well when nursing, but the others pushed him around enough to hurt both his right legs and then he couldn't fend for himself. 
Warm milk
Nap after a bath
Andi and Wilbur
Wilbur's favorite warm spot

Kep and Wilbur relaxing in the sunshine

Wilbur's bath time with Andi
Sand pile with Andi and Sawyer

Wilbur likes chili

Wilbur would make a pretty little girl
Castration Day:
We kept two boars from Edith's litter. The rest we castrated on a beautiful day two days after Edith's were born. 

 there's just something about a man and a baby
...just kidding...

Before we even knew what the future held for us at Hill Top Farm, Clint and I purchased a book when were visiting a living history farm in South Dakota. It is a little-bit-of-everything book about self reliance by John and Martha Storey. In the section on bees it recommends a book by Richard E. Bonney titled Beekeeping A Practical Guide. Cody and I read the beekeeping book and we ordered three packages of bees and all of the necessary equipment. 

April 23rd, our bees were ready to be picked up. The next morning we installed them in their hives. Following the instructions in the book made this process easy. 

Queen Bee

 Next are some of the things that are blooming. This will be our bee's first nectar sources:
Apple tree


Canadian Choke Cherry
As I write this entry it has been a sunny cool spring day and now we are enjoying a gentle rain shower. We have cleared about half of our hay/grass field and oats are planted. We are looking forward to all the bounty the spring planting and tending will bring in summer. See you next time!