New Fence Charger

Last week, I thought I wrote about the fun we were having trying to get the fence powered. But I forgot to finish my story. We went up to get the pigs, thinking we’d gotten the fence hot. We put the pigs in their pen thinking we’d gotten the fence hot. Then, the pigs rubbed up against the fence and barely twitched. Now, I’m not looking to make them hurt, but I would like for them to respond with “I don’t want to mess with that!” instead of “Hey, what’s that making me twitch? If I stand here, maybe I’ll figure it out.” I really don’t want neighbors angry with me because my pigs rooted up their yard and not mine.

Fortunately, the new charger showed up before the pigs made an effort to escape and honestly, I’m not sure how interested they are in getting out. They don’t seem to have tested the fence and when I hooked the new one up (I love it so far…it’s really easy to use and seems to be really well thought out…I mean, they put a place for the t-post to slot up into the bottom of it!), the pigs noticed the lead hooked to the wire, thought about touching it, and seemed to think better of it. Of course, the pigs have food, water, a place to roll around in the mud and a place to poop. What else could they possibly want?



Monday, I went to pick up our pigs.

Trailer’s all hooked up and ready to go. Actually, we were supposed to go get the pigs on Friday, but the electric fence wasn’t working like it was supposed to, so we asked the people we got them from if we could postpone the acquisition and they were quite nice about letting us wait. So we thought we got the fence fixed and Dad and I went up to get the pigs. It took longer than I expected (and hoped), so I got the pigs home after dark. We weren’t sure how we were going to get the pigs into their pen (the gate wasn’t exactly well placed…shame on me), so I fed and watered them in the trailer and left them overnight.

Sleeping on things is a good way for me to figure out how to deal with things. This morning I woke up and realized that the dog crates would be a decent way to get the pigs from the trailer to the pen. After all, that’s what was used to get the pigs from the pen they were living in into the trailer. So, I got Tony to help me by holding the door of the crate open and the crate in the doorway of the trailer (since there’s no way to latch the door from the inside). They weren’t exactly cooperative, but they’re still small enough to manhandle. So, I held them around their ribs and directed them to the crate and we hauled them, one at a time, to the pen. It didn’t take them long to shove their noses in the dirt. They’re pretty funny animals – we’ve really enjoyed watching them so far. Crossing my fingers they don’t get out before the new charger comes!

March/April 2016

As a side note, Google’s move to kill Picasa and move everything to Google Photos doesn’t look like it’s going to work for me (Photos doesn’t like my browser settings for some reason and I don’t see much privacy control when I do get in). If you know of good photo hosting that works well with linking/embedding with blogs, let me know. I’ve looked at Flickr (Yahoo account? Really?), PhotoBucket (2GB limit? I have more than that already) and a few others. Hosting on WordPress has the same problem PhotoBucket does.

Power, Power Everywhere

Learning my new job has taken a lot of my brain and things have been pretty quiet around here lately. I’m still working on getting pigs and hope to do that by the end of the month. New photography subjects to wear out!

But really, it’s been kind of nice that the last couple of weeks has been finishing projects instead of trying to figure out when I’m going to ever get things done. First, we finished wiring the shed (there is light!).

Then, Dad helped me finish wiring the marker lights on the fender wells of the trailer, so once I find some bolts for the license plate (I’m not sure what I did with them), it should be road-worthy. Yay!

I had to replace the doors on the shed because a mouse (I think) was chewing through to find a place to hide. I replaced them very slowly: a sheet of T1-11 with a frame on the destroyed side; then bracing to keep the door from twisting when I opened it; then the other door (just the frame and T1-11 again…not even the latch, just a block to hold the door shut); then the latch; and, finally, last week, the bracing on the second door. I never would’ve though it would take that long to get the doors replaced! And honestly, I don’t love the bracing…I cut the angles all wrong. I don’t want to go buy more materials to make it actually right, so it stays the way it is. Most people may not notice, but having done the work, I know where to find the mess, so it’ll bug me for a while. But it works, and honestly, that’s what matters to me right now.

Now, I just have to get the pig housing/fencing situation straightened out and I’ll feel like I’m not quite so far behind anymore!

Dairy Job

Aren’t they cute?

At the end of January, I was browsing the job listings on Craigslist and found one for a sheep/goat dairy not too far from me. They were looking for someone to do three afternoon/evening milking shifts and only wanted someone for about six months. That sounded like a really good fit for me, as I’m interested in getting some goats at some point for milk and meat (for us) and I’m not looking to be employed indefinitely.

The first day was chaotic and overwhelming and awesome at the same time. I loved it. The second day was less chaotic and someone different was showing me how to do stuff. I liked the different perspectives. The third day felt like I was starting to pull stuff together. While I know they were doing a lot of the things they’ll eventually hand off to me, I felt like I was able to start doing some of the things they’d already showed me.

The other exciting thing was that on the third day, one of the goats had babies! Kyle (one of the owners of the dairy) called me over after I finished what I was doing and I got there in time to see both of them born. The first kid came easily and the second he said was tangled up a bit, so he had to help. The babies are super cute and I think it’s pretty cool that part of my job is cleaning their buckets so I can look at them.

One of my favorite parts of the day, right now, is driving the animals to the barn. The guys who own the place said that it works best to drive them to the barn and lead them to the pasture. I’ve seen a couple of the goats be really slow going back out, so I’m a little nervous about doing that part on my own, but that’ll be a while yet, I think.