January 9th 2015

10897068_10205972070643916_6330420245653281622_nBUNNIES!!  Here are out babies that are growing SO STINKING FAST!!  Christian found the plans online for our rabbit wringer and he was able to solicit some help from co-workers to build the tool!  I am pretty stinking excited to get it mounted and start the butchering process!  We are still at least 4 weeks out, judging by the size of the bunnies at this point. They are growing a bit slower than expected, but that’s okay with me.

Our second batch of babies is due literally ANY DAY NOW!  Arya is building her nest and we expect to have another fine crop of young ones!

Pigs are being reserved at an alarming rate!  We have reservations for 20 pigs (some weanlings and some butcher).  We are watching out sows like crazy just praying that they are all bred.  Neko looks bred for sure, and in her last litter she threw 14 piglets.  Silver Pig seems bred too, so we expect 6-8 from her first farrowing.  Mommy Fluffy Pants has us guessing.  The other day it seemed like she was in heat, then suddenly not.  So.. I will keep my fingers crossed and hope that she IS bred!  We would like to have around 35 piglets to sell or raise for meat!

Boarmir is off at another farm, and will be leaving there soon to visit yet another farm before coming back to us in the spring.  Then we plan to breed Neko, Silver Pig, and Mommy Fluffy Pants again in late summer for a fall crop of piglets to overwinter and butcher next spring/summer!  The demand is there, we just need more pigs!

I had an AHA moment yesterday while driving home from Zumba class, and I have FINALLY figured out our rotational pasturing system for all of our pigs!  It feels so good to finally have a plan that will be easy, and manageable.  One person will literally be able to move hogs (no matter how many) easily from one paddock to the next.  Now just to wait until the ground thaws to put it to the TEST!!

I wonder if the 15-25 year old me would have ever guessed how excited I would get by manageable FENCING attached to a rotational grazing system??!!  WHO KNEW!! Also.. For you fellow pig raisers, I have been working on a pig watering system that takes into consideration the challenges of a small time hog operation.

Challenge number 1.  WE DO NOT HAVE THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS TO INVEST IN LARGE SCALE INFRASTRUCTURE!!  My watering system will cost BRAND NEW from 75$- 150$..

Challenge number 2.  PIGS LIKE TO DIG UP, TIP OVER, AND DESTROY EVERYTHING!!  My watering system will be made of a virtually indestructible material, that will not weather, crack, or break.  The design will make it virtually impossible for the pigs to wiggle their little noses underneath for their DEATH TIP maneuver.  No matter how many times they slam into this system they WILL not break it!

Challenge number 3.  Weather..  BABY ITS COLD OUTSIDE!  Any REAL watering system has to take into consideration that many people who farm live in climates that CHANGE. So, not only will this system be made of materials that will not GIVE IN TO THE PRESSURE of sub zero temperatures, but it will have a built in heating system that never actually touches the water itself.  The cords can wind up during the nice months or during moving, and store away until needed. That way the cords themselves won’t take and unnecessary damage.   The pigs will have ZERO access to the heater itself, its cord, or the compartment, so LESS MONEY being spent on replacing floating or submergible heaters!

Challenge number 4.  Cleaning.  We all know pigs are kinda indifferent to what they put in their mouths.  So regular cleaning of their waterers makes for happy healthy pigs!  But how to clean it completely without being constantly splashed in the face with nasty water?  I have thought of that too, but don’t want to give away too much!!

Challenge number 5. PORTABILITY!!  HUGE for a rotational grazing system!!  And TOTALLY COVERED!

Now.. just to build the thing!!  LOL!!

P.S. I am also working on a portable non containment rabbit pasturing system too, one that will not require FENCING on the ground level.  So the rabbits are free to pasture in a large area, and have more variety of food choices!  STAY TUNED!!

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