Last litter of the year!

Last litter of the year
Newest Hampshire cross litter Last litter of the year.

 

 

 

 

 

We had our last litter of the year. 6 healthy babies from one of our Hampshire gilts. I love the little red banded boar.

Now that our last litter of the year is on the ground we need to start thinking towards next year. We are going to try to schedule our litters this year. In doing so we hope to spread out the babies to coincide better with demand.

We have already had one hiccup to that thought. Our Hamp sow that we hoped to have a litter out of this week….. decided to come into heat a couple of weeks ago. I didn’t think she was getting big at all, not big enough to have a good litter anyway, but know I realize why. She skipped more than 3 heat cycles, I don’t know if the weather was in play or if it is our boar. She is due to come back into heat this weekend and I am going to watch and see if she comes in again.

If she does not present signs of being in heat, that will mean she is short bred. And that means she will have a litter right in the middle of our coldest time of year. So much for trying to make a schedule. One thing I have learned working with animals, is that mother nature has her own schedule and will slap you with it just for spite.

Even worse, what if she comes back into heat? That means our boar has a potential problem. Good Thing I like the little red Boar!! I guess we will find out this weekend.

 


 

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Baby Chicks Hatched!!

New Baby Chicks
Baby Chicks Hatching
Chicks Climbing out of shell
Two Chicks Almost Out of Shell
Hatched Chicks
Chicks Hatched and Drying Off

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We had some success hatching some baby chickens. We set 25 eggs and 14 hatched. I was hoping our hatch percentage would have been higher, but I have a few things to change to increase our rate.

We grabbed 25 eggs over 2 days and set them in the incubator as a maiden trial. We hatched some Speckled Sussex, some Rhode Island Reds, and some Black Sex link. basically a barn yard mix.

I isolated 3 Barred rock hens and a Barred Rock rooster with hopes to hatch some purebred babies. Now that our incubator is empty I am starting to save back some eggs to set.

We are going to set the Barred Rock eggs this weekend. Now that I have hatched my first eggs, I will write a post about our process and equipment that we use.

 


 

 

 

Fall Butcher season

Fat Hogs
Ossabaw Island and Duroc cross fat hogs

 

 

 

 

 

Fall has always been the time to start thinking about putting up some pork. The days of hanging pork in the smokehouse for the winter have long been gone, and the art of processing a hog by the family has almost been lost. I have the hogs fattened up and wondering what I can do with them.

During my journey with the hogs, I have not been fully content with getting our hogs processed at a locker.  It seems that no processor I use is without fault, and each one has their own way of processing and presenting a final product. My journey has lead me to experiment with processing our own hogs.

I saved back some pork bellies  from a hog I butchered a month ago for a hog roast. This weekend I am going to practice making my own bacon for the first time.  I have purchased some curing salt and have researched some recipes.  This is also research into another ” Stream of Income” for the farm. I will keep you updated.