Bye, Bye Pigs

To the tune of Bye Bye Love:
Bye, bye pigs
Bye, bye composters
Hello, pork goodness
I think this will be awesome

Monday, we took the pigs to the slaughterhouse to be processed on Tuesday. It’s strange to not have the sounds of either the pigs or the chickens anymore. It’s nice to have a short break from chores, but we are already making plans for replacements (chickens in a couple of weeks, pigs in early spring) and additions (goats next year?). The pigs loaded very nicely. I had them in a paddock near the trailer so they could get used to it before I tried to load them. I opened the fence a couple of weeks ago and in less than five minutes, they destroyed a reflector and started chewing on the wires at the front. Fortunately, when I tried to load them Sunday night, they went straight in for their dinner. Monday morning, they again went nicely into the trailer. I was really relieved that that wasn’t a problem. Actually, getting the pigs to their destination was really straightforward. Even backing the trailer up to the drop-off was easy. Honestly, the worst part of the whole deal was driving on the interstate with impatient people and a trailer loaded down with pigs.

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Where’s My Schedule?

After being released from work for the season, I’ve completely lost track of any kind of schedule. Which is my attempt to explain the missing post this morning. The herd work day that I mentioned last week got postponed because of the weather (apparently, rain doesn’t make for good hoof trimming).

I’m taking the pigs to the slaughterhouse on Monday. We’re excited for the results of the summer’s growth, but I have to say, we’re going to miss them. They’re great composters and their personalities were really amusing. Moving them as much as we did minimized the smell (some days were definitely more noticeable than others). We’re looking forward to getting at least another pair of pigs in the spring.

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In other homegrown food news, we finished culling the chickens (for the MS) and put them in the freezer. I’ve spent the last week or so working on cleaning the chicken house…I’m realizing that one of the reasons I really hate cleaning is that there’s always one more thing to do before you’re done. Or one more thing to do before you can do this other thing that has to be done before that other thing. I finally got the chicken side cleaned out, but the shed side still has some work to go before I can power wash. And then I can sanitize and paint. And build a roost. And a new waterer and feeder.

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This picture of Whiskey is something Tony told me I should try to photograph. Most of the time, trying to take pictures of the sun like this doesn’t work for me, but Tony complimented me so much that I figured there was no harm in trying. Especially since my pictures are all digital now. And Whiskey was a pretty cooperative prop.

Dairy Updates…Among Others

Sorry for the missed week. Our internet has been so bad it’s been basically impossible to do anything online. Sometimes, I say that as hyperbole. This time, I’m not. And there’s been a lot happening!
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First, work at the dairy is done for the season. Well, except for a herd work day (tomorrow), to which I’ve been invited. I’m looking forward to that. Anyway, when they told me the season was over, they said they’d like for me to come back next year. I’d really like to do that again, so I’m seeing what I need to do to make that work. I’m still really excited about that and they told me this past weekend, so I’ve had plenty of time to get used to the idea. The picture is actually from a “production walk” that the leasing farm gave for the vegetable side of things…not a part of the farm where I usually work, but still really pretty.
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Second, we’ve made good progress on the parts of the yard we intended to seed this fall. The front is growing really well. This picture is pretty old – it’s probably about this big in the back now. It’s spotty (I’m apparently not that good at seeding evenly…shocking!), but it’ll hold the soil in place, so that’s good. The back is a couple of weeks behind because I was waiting for another rainfall and hoping to get another really good deal on hay. Missed out on the hay, but there was a week where it rained pretty much every day, so the seeds got a really good start, though some of them did wash away.
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Third, as we’re closing in on the pigs leaving us to become bacon and ham and roast and…yum. Anyway, I know I’ve taken Whiskey into the pig pen more often than Rhythm, but I didn’t realize how much more until I had them both in with me while I was trying to adjust fences. While Whiskey thought the pigs were fun, big dog things, Rhythm thought they were scary. When they turned to look at Whiskey, he dashed away with his tail up, as if to say, “I dare you to come and get me!” While Rhythm tucked her tail and scuttled away as if she thought they were actually fast enough to catch her. The funny thing is, she’s usually the bolder of the two of them.
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