Monday, May 31, 2010

Pig Birth video

Sunday, May 30, 2010

They're here!!! *GRAPHIC BIRTH PICS*

The piglets are here! YAY! A few hours ago AR went to check on mama and she still hadn't given birth, about 30 minutes after that when he went back she had delivered 2, he ran to get the camera and he went in to witness the miracle. It was a wonderful experience and he was mesmerized. He didn't want to miss a single second of it. She delivered 5 the 1st hour and 4 in the next. AR was thrilled to be there to assist when #7 was born in her bag and he got her out. He took some awesome pics and was able to capture one birth in 4 shots and 1 birth on video (he falls out of focus few times). Enjoy.

Mama takes a stroll

DH went to milk when he realized that mama sow was missing, she had busted through the fence and pushed open the barn door and took off. He went ahead and got Mag in the stanchion and hooked up to the milking machine and went looking for her. Well in true pig form she had parked herself in the shade of some trees nicely hidden by lots of tall brush. Or as the rest of us know it, behind the chicken coop. We have the beefies grazing down that area so it is behind the electric fence and cannot be accessed by vehicle. She had no interest in food, she was panting heavily and pacing a bit. She even snapped at Dh as he tried to approach. Deciding that she was not going anywhere we opted to leave her for the time. DH got back to Mag and went to the store.

He ran into the wife of the other pig guy in town and told her the situation. Not 10 minutes later they were at our house and the men went to see her. About 30 minutes later Dh returned to the house to report that Mama was back in her barn, though she is now in Mag's section. Channeling their inner Pa Ingalls, the charged at her hollering and she came running home. We have put hay down for her and hosed her down to keep her cool and just to be safe wedged some wood to keep the barn door shut in a slightly open position so that the air can flow through. As a side note, DH also reported that Jack finally may have bred Pinky, I'll spare you the details, lol ;) Please pray that mama will have a safe delivery and a healthy litter :)

Monday, May 24, 2010

Weaner pigs and a mama sow

We got 5 (1 is still waiting to be delivered) weaner pigs and a soon to be mama sow. She is due any day now and my oldest is in his glee as he is the owner of the sow. She is HUGE!!! She seems so very uncomfortable, but I don't imagine being pregnant with multiples is very comfortable. Jack is very eager to meet her and missy and pinky are set to meet the butcher next month. (If you are going to want pork, please email me or send a message via our facebook group). Piglets will be available for sale in a few weeks once they are weaned.

The beefies broke the fence by the pasture as they decided to sample the grass on the other side. Thankfully only 2 got out, pickle and notch. They are now on lock down with the bale of hay, hopefully dolly and blackbird will give them a good talking to.

The kids are so excited and we are really thankful that we were able to get them a piano last week. Makes piano lessons a bit easier to practice. Of course now I hear it all day long but that's the point right? :)

The garden appears to be coming in very nicely, pray that we get a bountiful harvest from our small attempt. We have been diligently watering and hilling and trying to weed (this one is still not our strong suit). The corn appears to be coming up in 3 out of 4 rows we planted (we did a very tiny plot). The strawberries are starting to come in, the blueberries are looking good, so are the grapes, blackberries and raspberries. The peach tree is really taking a beating from the wind, but the smaller cherry trees are fairing well. The squash and cantaloupe are coming, we'll see what else comes in as it bears fruit, they kids planted lots of seeds in various locations of the raised bed so some are a mystery, lol.

Friday, May 21, 2010


Tomorrow Today we say goodbye to Quinn, we weighed him and he is a whopping 700lbs. Hopefully that will work out well after processing. As usual he gave us quite a run for our money when we attempted to get him loaded into the trailer. He busted through the gate and trailer door and took off down the highway. My little guy came into the house and let me know what was happening. I got the kids in and took off in the car to offer my assistance as our oldest son manned the gates.

DH walked behind him trying to lead him back but he was leading the way . I cut him off from crossing the street and sent him up the strip behind the property, I went back to the house only to find that Quinn had doubled back, I was less than pleased. So once again I was off to head he off by the road. I was able to convince him to walk along the outer fence line and come back home, but AR wasn't expecting him from that end so the gate was not open yet. :( Quinn jumped over the trailer hitch but stayed close by.

Dh managed to get him back into the corrals but upon trying to load him once more he busted through the gates again. It was more than a little frustrating at this point. Got him in once more and DH determined that he needed to back the trailer up a little more. I was less than impressed with this plan as it required all gates to be open while Quinn was standing within 100 feet of them. He got Quinn a flake of Alfalfa and he backed up the trailer. It was perfect now. He walked Quinn straight into the trailer with no further fuss or fanfare.

We've had Quinn since he was 6 week old and this is a bittersweet end for us all. We had hoped to sell him but it never turned out that way. We hope the meat will last us quite a while, we will find out about getting the hide in the morning. The skull, bones and organs will also be coming home with us. Well not much else to say except, thank goodness summer vacation is here :)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Rose Petal and Honeysuckle Jelly

The lovely Mia of Aspiring Homemaker made this lovely pictorial and we are excited to give it a shot next week once we get the Pomona Pectin. Thought I would share it in the mean time :)

Read Here

Monday, May 17, 2010

Foods High In Protein | LIVESTRONG.COM

Foods High In Protein. Protein is an essential element of a healthy diet. The building blocks of protein, amino acids are needed in order for the body to be able to produce enzymes and additional protein...

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Praise Him ALWAYS!

We are really please to have hit the 50% mark of our surplus sold, we hope to finally put a sign out as others around town have inquired. We will be getting a few more layers to balance out our hen to rooster ratio. The meat birds will be ordered soon (if you will want some please let me know asap) as we have a standing pre-order. All in all we are very pleased with the current pace and look forward to see what the Summer and Fall will bring. :)

Mag is still a bit of challenge with her kicking, she has gotten a lot better since we started using the milking machine but occasionally she gets so antsy that she even kicks at the milker :( Dh thinks we may need to get a hobble after all, at least until she learns not to kick. I really miss that about Buttercup and Treva.

Miss Broody's eggs did not hatch, we were really bummed but it was great learning experience. Now with warmer weather we may opt to try the experiment again.

The garden is coming along, the potatoes seem to be growing nicely, as are the strawberries, tomatoes, squash and cantaloupe (saved seed from last years volunteer garden). We put the corn in (we are doing a very small patch), with pigeon peas, I really hope they both do well as I LOVE pigeon peas and it is not easy to get it around here. The blackberries, raspberries, grapes and blueberries seem to be doing well. The peach and cherry trees aren't dead so that's progress ;) All in all we are very optimistic for the small (tiny really) garden we have attempted this year. :)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

We're still here

I meant to update sooner, thank you to all who emailed, we are fine the tornado was a few miles sw of us and continued moving east until it had past us an then crossed the border about 6 miles east of us.

I have been really tired, to the point that I physically ache :( Hoping the dr will have some answers next week. Thankfully it does not inhibit homeschooling :)

We have had a steady increase in demand, we are thankful for this and I have ordered additional jars to keep up. We thank you for you continued prayer for the success of our farm.

This week we discovered that the first grasses of Spring are not the best for dairy cows as the wild onions/wild garlic and mustard grasses, affect the taste and smell of the milk. We have since pulled Mag off the pasture and bought her some alfalfa and fresh hay. She LOVES the fresh alfalfa, the bright green bales were enough to even lure Quinn out of the pasture for a taste, lol. Quinn appears to be coming along quit nicely, he goes to the butcher next Friday.

Well not a whole lot else going on, we are going to work on getting this old farm house fixed up in time for my moms visit this summer. :)

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Mother's Day and Birthdays

Tomorrow is Mother's Day and a year ago I also gave birth to our precious GH. DH is also celebrating his birthday on Monday. What a wonderful weekend to relax and spend with family. We don't have any real plans to speak of but sometimes not having to do anything is enough, lol :) Well, this was just a quick note. Happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there :)

Friday, May 7, 2010

A pleasant day and stuff

Today we had the pleasure of hosting a homeschooling family. The weather was cooler than it had been the past few days but all in all it was nice. The kids were cold and clung tightly to their mother as the wind blew cold. The sun was out but did little to offer much warmth. We brought Meg out onto the front lawn so that they could meet her and pet her. The chickens made a brief appearance but opted to take cover in the barn. DH brought out some pickles for the kids to feed to pigs, but they preferred to watch. Being such a small farm there really wasn't a whole lot to see but we did get to chat for a bit, which was very nice. We lost all rack of time, the kids enjoyed playing with the cat and puppy and finally we said goodbye when DH mentioned the time. It was to be able to show them around, hopefully they had a good time too :)

In other news, I am really pleased with Mag's condition and will definitely be ordering again from the Co op. It is Amazing how much cream she produces, we thought Treva made a lot but Mag makes a whole lot more. Of course to be fair Mag produces 4 gallons a day and Treva was not up to that production before she left.

The pregnancy is progressing, it appears my thyroid is going to be an issue this time and I likely be put on medication. Since this runs in my family I am not terribly surprised but it will be a new chapter in my life as this will be a life long issue. I'm off to do more blood work for it today and am hoping that if medication is needed, that it will help with the weight and exhaustion.

The farm is picking up. We are selling our excess and I am hoping to be able to sell all so that I can help bring in some income. We are right now selling 25-30 percent, but we have had a few more inquiries that I am hoping will pan out. I have ordered jars in the meantime in preparation. (Side Bar Note: I have created a fan page for the Farm on facebook, please join us if you want more info about what we're selling and our schedule).

Well I've got to get to the lab. Toodles, lol :)

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

A quick note from Quinn

He is such and ornery little punk, lol :)

Good bye Buttercup and LJ

Today a couple came and bought Buttercup and LJ, it was a bittersweet goodbye. We have been looking for a van to fit us all and we decided to post her for sale. They were taken by her and wanted him too. They will need to wean LJ, but they will have a wonderful milker in Buttercup. Of course, I will now need to get a few more dairy cows we have sold all of our extras but that's ok, we don't mind :) Breaking cows to be gentle enough to be milked is probably the most challenging and rewarding job. The thing is we rarely get to enjoy the fruits of our labor as the cows go on to their new lives with their new families. Buttercup's life will be WAY different at her new home as they have 9000 acres. It is nice that our cows get to go to such large agritourism farms, it is also nice that they get to be the only when they get there. :) LJ is such an attractive calf it would have been nice to see his babies, but I'll survive :) Now to find the right van :)

Monday, May 3, 2010


Today we went to take care of mid-day chores only to find that something had moved the brick that keeps the coop shut and had killed all but 3 of our chicks. The attack was so vicious we are beside ourself. Dh had checked on them this morning and everything was as it should be, we cannot imagine what could move the brick and do this. Bubba Ray is not a suspect as he was in the house all morning and he is much too little to move the brick. The remaining 3 chicks will be re-situated until we figure this out. I am still in shock, I cannot imagine how this could have happened. Sorry to keep rambling. Thoughts?

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Other updates

Baby girl has begun standing and working without holding. I think she is on a race to get it down before her birthday. lol Dh is so excited for their joint birthday this year, the first of many :)

I got tired of fighting with my cheap sewing machines, I spoke with a friend who knows a thing or two and sent her a few links of what was available in my area (at a reasonable price). The machine above won hands down came with it's own sewing table and was under $50. The 2nd runner up was a completely refurbished 1960's portable singer straight stitch machine, that was under $40 and will be great to start teaching HG the basics on. She is so thrilled!

Just because he can

Quinn enjoys the thrill of escaping, at least that is what I've decided. He walks himself back home and waits at the gate once he has gotten some passersby attention to let us know. He doesn't like to wait I guess. Compare that to Mag who spends her day roaming in the arena/east pasture or just the yard. We don't have the electric fence charger hooked up since we didn't want it to get rained on. Dh is working on making a box for it but with him working nights that project seems to be the furthest from his mind. So we let Mag get the benefit of the lush grass without competition from her bovine friends.