Katie's Journal

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April 1, 2015

Updated Horse Pictures

by @ 7:45 am. Filed under Horses

Nothing really to say, just wanted to post some new pictures of the horses. ­čÖé

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January 12, 2015

New Pigs

by @ 5:17 pm. Filed under Pigs

Big pig is now in jars in the pantry. He weighed in about 400 pounds live. He was just over a year old. I think he had more fat on him than the last pig. The last pig didn’t get enough protein – he just got fed corn and oats. This pig we used the hammer mill to grind a mix of corn, oats, and soybeans. Some photos of big┬ápig…

 

When we first got him outside in the spring:

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Tolerating Sami the Pig Rider:

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Meeting Miriam:

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Being lazy in his pig bed:

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When the time came to get him to the butcher we hit a snag. We can’t get the trailer into the pig lot and we don’t have a cart low enough to load him into – or that he would fit in. He grew to be a big, LONG pig. Our hope was he’d follow a grain bucket up to the barn where we could load him. Nope. Pig knew where his world was and he was NOT leaving it. We tried and tried, even ganging up and trying to shove him out the door. When he finally got REALLY aggravated at us, he went and laid down in his bed and refused to get up. We gave up for the night and wracked our brains trying to figure out what to do with him. Finally Ernie got the idea to get him out the back door (which he was used to doing). We then took a hog panel tied in a circle and threw it over him, then used that to shove him up to the barn and onto the trailer. At least now we know the secret to loading a pig.

 

We already had our next pigs when that one went to the butcher. This time we went with two. Our thought was to sell the sausage from one to pay for the other. I don’t know what we’ll actually end up doing, but that was the plan. I’d originally reserved 2 barrows, but as it turned out the breeder only had 1 male in the litter. Friends of ours had asked for a male to raise up as a breeding boar. So we let them have the boar and went ahead and took 2 gilts.┬áIt’ll be interesting to see how these two turn out compared to the males we’ve raised. I don’t like pigs any more now than I ever have. But I am glad we got 2. I always did feel bad for the last ones we’ve gotten, being raised alone. It is nice to see these two have each other to snuggle up with.

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Meat Chicken Update

by @ 5:14 pm. Filed under Chickens

This will be a short one, but will bring to a close the saga of the meat chicks. Once again I’m irritated at myself, as I never got any final pictures of the meaties before they went to the butcher. I took all those early pictures, but never got any of the final stage. Oh well. I can say I was very happy with the rangers. I got them the first week of April and we finally got them butchered the first of November – 7 months old. The roosters were old enough to be crowing and sparring a bit, but there was no major bloodshed. They really grew to a nice size. I thought my barred rock hens were big until they stood side by side with the rangers. I believe I ended up with 18 that went to the butcher – I started with 26 chicks. All in all I had very little feed in them. I think the method of free ranging them but keeping them longer really worked for us. I plan to do it again in the spring. I was very happy with the hatchery I ordered from, but I have a local friend who has kept a group of red rangers and hatches eggs from them, so I told her I’d buy chicks from her this spring. Hopefully in February. Getting them from her I can pick them up and get them earlier than I could have them shipped. My only complaint remained having so many chickens in the calf barn pooping on EVERYTHING. My plan remains this year to put them down in the pig house from day 1. I’m down to only 4 chickens in the calf barn, and if I don’t ever put food out in there next summer hopefully the rangers will stay put with the pigs!

 

Anyway, we canned all the chicken. They were just yellow with fat from all the corn they ate. The meat is delicious and it’s really nice to know exactly what went into the meat we’re eating.

 

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December 25, 2014

Golf Anyone?

by @ 4:40 pm. Filed under Rabbits

I have posted before about Golf, my last remaining Californian doe. I had planned to cull her. But then I got the colony set up and the new Cali buck. And I thought well, the new does won’t be old enough to breed for a few months yet. And maybe it was the buck that was producing low litter sizes. I decided to give Golf one more try. A few days ago she had a very nice litter. Of two. Yep, she couldn’t even do 3 this time. Talk about failure. And so once these 2 kits hit weaning age, Golf will be dinner. 2 working does is more than enough, so at least this makes the decision to cull her quite easy.

 

The above I wrote way back (I’ve lost the date I started it, though I believe it was the end of July!) but never got it posted. So I’ll go ahead and fill in with a rabbit update. Golf is still here, for no other reason than┬áI keep putting off butchering her. The aforementioned litter of 2 was her last litter, and it was a complete and utter failure. 1 kit died somewhere along the line. The second died a few days ago. Par for the course, I┬ánever got around to butchering and I figured the kit wasn’t going anywhere. I planned to butcher it with the up and coming group so I could do a bunch together rather than just 1. But no, in true rabbit form it was fine one┬áday and lying dead in the colony┬áthe next.┬áThere was some runny poop where she died, but I don’t know what that indicates. It’s been several days now and no one else in the colony is sick and nothing else has died. So 5 months of raising a rabbit, and she went to feed the cats. Sigh. Golf has apparently decided to retire from motherhood and hasn’t had a litter since that one. If she’s still around when the grow outs are ready to butcher, she’ll go to freezer camp with them.

 

In the mean time, Juliet and Black have started producing. Juliet had 1 litter and Black has now had 2. I pretty well left the nests alone due to the cold, but I think Black had 4 each time and I think Juliet had 6. Two of Black’s litter went to the neighbor as Christmas presents. That leaves me 6 older kits and 4 younger ones currently growing out in the colony. In the first litters, the kits were all solid black or californian colored. In Black’s second litter, there was one brown tipped one colored like Juliet. I suppose I’m not 100% positive the litter was Black’s (and not Juliet’s), but the nest fur was solid black. I know nothing about rabbit color genetics, but at least I’m getting some that aren’t white!

 

I realize this thread is useless without pictures, but surprisingly I haven’t taken any rabbit pictures. I’ll have to remedy that tomorrow.

Edited to add some bunny pictures. ­čÖé

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