RicelandMeadows


Water Babies
April 24, 2015, 10:38 am
Filed under: April 2015 | Tags: , , , ,
Little pigs at the fountain

Little pigs at the fountain

April 24, 2015

Winter is over, so I have put my homemade pig waterers back into service. The curious piglets figured them out quickly. They were soon fighting over the nipple. In a very short time they aren’t thirsty anymore, but they love to play with the water nipple. I guess its like kids and a spigot… any reason to play in the water is great!┬á ­čś«

At first, it’s cute. They monkey around delightfully playing in the water. By day three or four it becomes annoying for the farmer. There is always one smart Alec who learns to hold the nipple in his teeth and let the water flow out of his mouth…and ALL OVER the floor. Then again, just like small children, the pigs, run, splash and play in the water. They have a great time until their entire pen is soaked…even their nice straw beds. Like a dutiful parent, I clean up the mess, remake their beds and offer no water at bedtime ­čś« This cycle however, continues until the pigs go off to freezer camp!

In summer, the mess must be kept to a minimum otherwise┬áthe flies find great places to lay their eggs….and what a yuk fest that is!┬á Having water readily available is necessary and it helps the pigs grow. It is much better once the pigs are out on pasture. They still play in the water, but the dirt soaks up┬ámost of it. The pigs still┬áfind a way to make a sloppy place to play. They don’t sweat so the mud keeps them cooler. I guess all this mess making now is just good practice for later.

I make my waterers out of a 15 gallon plastic jug/barrel. I use two pipe flanges with the barrel sandwiched in between. I use silicone caulk to keep it from leaking around the bolt holes and face of the flanges. I then drill a hole in the center of the flange and screw in a pipe nipple, then a bushing and last, the pig nipple. It is important to set your pig nipple up for gravity flow. They come from the factory set up for pressure.



Lambing Time
April 19, 2014, 6:13 pm
Filed under: April 2014 | Tags: , , ,
April Babies

April Babies

April 19, 2014

It’s time for the 2014 lamb crop. The weather is beautiful. We lost three little ones born the night of the winter storm. So far, these babies are doing great. We have several more moms to lamb yet. Soon, the pasture will be jumping with cute little fluffy lambs.

The sugarhouse clean-up continues. I am very slow I guess. It seems that I have been working for a week, but it looks like I have only been a couple of hours. Maybe, I’m just too picky, but I want it clean, not sticky and neat…even the woodpile ­čś«

A walk through the woods revealed a whole list of things that I would like to do. I had a great walk. The ramps, wild onion, trillium and other small wild flowers were blooming. It warms my heart to see the signals of spring and the beginning of another life cycle.

The sun has been warm these last few days. The soil is drying out some. I can’t plow yet, but it won’t be long. I will keep working on my clean-up job while I plan for manure spreading and plowing. In the meantime, the lambs will play, racing and chasing one another around the pasture…. I will watch, laugh and remember my grandpa Rice.

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