Monday, February 28, 2011

Easter Eggs

The chickens are steadily increasing the number of eggs they lay.  We average around 13 a day right now.  It is great to see they kids get excited about the different colors we are getting.  Our adult friends are surprised at the color range, as well.  This is the first year we have had such a varied flock and have really enjoyed them all.  Below is a typical day's worth of eggs.


We are down to one, thankfully healthy, pig.  Wilbur is our lone survivor.  Charlotte died within a 12 hour period of getting sick on Wednesday night.  We didn't have much warning at all.  For the record, placing an IV in a piglet isn't easy.

Wilbur is doing very well and now weighs 2 lbs 9 ounces.  He drinks 2-3 ounces at every feed.  We voted and decided to drop the night feeding at 2 am.  There was only one vote against and that was Wilbur's.  He was able to go to the Animal Clinic with me on Sunday and everyone loved him.  He got far more attention than your average pig.  

Wilbur is a Hampshire and has very distinct markings which help add to his cuteness.  We are somewhat disappointed that Wilbur's only means of communication consists of screams and grunts.  He is absolutely satisfied and happy, or he is not.  There is no middle ground.  So we try to keep him happy and he tries to let us know when we fail.  He can move amazingly fast when he wants to run.  Amazing that God made them so effective at escape from predators at such a young age.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


Wilbur and Charlotte are doing well.  Unfortunately, Templeton died last night.  He had steadily eaten less and less.  He was much smaller than the other two and had far less hair than either of them and may have been underdeveloped.  He also did not get colostrum from the mother and so was less protected than they were.  We were all disappointed but we had already warned the kids when we brought him home so they were not surprised.  Wilbur eats the most every time and is visibly growing.  Hannah made the comment tonight that she thinks he would already feed three or four people.  Brenden has been helping feed the piglets during the day when Dad is gone.  Carter and Chase love to visit the piglets but neither wants to hold them. Carter already wants to get a few more.  Dad vetoed this, knowing that if he didn't, Mom would.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

New Arrivals

Yesterday we brought home 3 piglets from a sow who's surprise delivery occurred while she was waiting to be picked up to go to the butcher.  After talking to the owner, Hannah and Dad bought two piglets and were given a third that had been laid on by the mom.  It was cold and lifeless but quickly revived after we provided some sugar water and heat.  The kids were very excited.  Especially Chase, who recognized what they were immediately.  The kids were told that we could raise the piglets but that they would be food sometime in the future.  They reluctantly agreed after we explained how much damage a 450 lb pig could do and that the expense of feeding them would be horrific at that point. 

We will raise the pigs approximately 5-6 months, until about mid July or so.  In that time we will give them a great life.  And we will get the gift of knowing exactly what goes into our bacon and ham. 

We have named the girl Charlotte.  The two boys are named Wilbur and Templeton.  So far they are eating about 1.5-2.5 ounces every 4 hours around the clock.  They squeal quite excitedly when they hear us coming with the milk. We will have to let you know whether this is still fun after a week of this schedule.