Wednesday, February 25, 2015

To Little Boar's Dismay, I Learned A New Skill

Sorry, there will be no photos of this.  

Our little boar almost got a reprieve from castration yesterday as I received an e-mail from a farm in search of a breeding pair of Idaho Pastured Pigs.  

But, after talking with the customer, we decided that it would best suit her if she was first on the waiting list for a breeding pair from our farm and the farm we're working with in New York.  This way she would get summer piglets of about the same age. 

Then I got another e-mail today from a customer looking for a breeding boar.  She is looking for a boar to breed with her gilt in March.  Our little guy was too young to have been ready for breeding at that time.  I thought maybe we could figure a way to have her gilt serviced by our mature boar, Tigger.  We're still talking. 

So yesterday, my husband and I caught our little piglet and took him to our local large animal veterinarian.  I wanted to be sure I was learning the proper way to do castrations for future operations and our vet is fantastic about helping the developing farmer learn new skills.       

We almost would have been unable to do the operation because it seemed as if the testicles had not descended.  But the vet was finally able to locate and isolate them.  She showed me how to do this.  Then the incision was made and the testicles were removed.  

Boar to barrow is a quick process.  

I learned that I will definitely do this on boars when they are younger and easier to hold.  Our seven week old boar was pretty big for this operation.  I would probably do this when the piglets are a week old. 

Little Barrow is home safe and sound and recuperating nicely.  

Monday, February 23, 2015

Little Boar's Last Chance

We pushed back the castration of our little boar until tomorrow - when the temperatures are slightly warmer.  This means he has one LAST day to be purchased and raised as a breeding boar.  

After today he will be a castrated pig, or barrow, and raised for meat.  

See the link above to "Idaho Pastured Pigs" for breed and pricing information.  

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Idaho Pastured Piglets For Sale.

THESE are the pigs for your small farm!

I have two Idaho Pastured Piglets for sale. 

They have Registered parents and can be registered.   

These are not your normal skinny meat piglets.  This guy and girl are solid little oinkers!  Born January 6th, 2015, they are now six weeks old.  This brother and sister will not be sold as a breeding pair, but a non-related boar or gilt can easily be arranged.  Time is running short for the little guy to be sold as a breeder.  On Monday, February 26th, he will be castrated and be raised as a meat pig.   

Six week old boar. 

Six week old gilt. 

To learn more about Idaho Pastured Pigs and for pricing information please click on the "Idaho Pastured Pigs" link above.  

Saturday, February 14, 2015

This Is Love.

Our lab, Daisy, waits patiently in the snow, for my son, John, as he walks around outside. 

Happy Valentines Day!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Bee Worried

sisterstyleforever: I [heart] fall tag

I'm worried that the bees are not going to make it through this next blast from the Artic.  Look at the frigid temperatures we have coming!  

Weather for Coudersport, PA
Light snow21°F | °CThuFriSatSun
Snow ShowersMostly CloudySnowCloudy
Light snow
Wind: SW at 1 mph
Humidity: 83%23°F-8°F12°F7°F25°F-4°F1°F-13°F

The beehives have held on for so very long (I've listened with my ear against the hives to hear the oh so lovely humming) and now I know the bees have got to be getting low on food supplies. 

When I closed up the hives in the fall I left them with a sugar board on top for extra food and I tried a new (to me) contraption called a hive quilt to keep them warmer and reduce humidity in the hive.  I hope, hope, hope, that these extras gave the bees the edge they need.  

Cross your fingers for the bees and any of the hives that make it through this winter will be split at least once in the late spring. Hopefully this will help settle the swarming issues we had last year!  As a bonus, it gives us new hives.  

In anticipation of some hive losses, I've ordered five packages of bees from Brushy Mountain Bee Farm for the spring.  We're hoping to expand our bee operation across the road from our house.  

With the cold weather and the challenges the bees face, I think that a prayer would be entirely appropriate and I came across this lovely "Blessing of the Bees."  

Blessing of Bees

Lord God, Almighty, who didst create heaven and earth, and all the animals that live in the air and on the earth for the use of man; Thou who hast directed that the ministers of Thy holy Church should light candles made of beeswax when the holy sacrifice is offered in which the Sacred Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, Thy Son, becomes present and is consumed; send down Thy blessing on these bees, that they may multiply and be fruitful and be preserved from all harm so that the product of their labor may be used to Thy honor, and to the honor of Thy Son, and the Holy Spirit, and the most blessed Virgin Mary. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen. 

Translated by Most Reverend J. H. Schlarman Bishop of Peoria

Tuesday, February 10, 2015


Yesterday's freezing rain (which gave the kids a happy day off from school) left everything looking like the frozen land of Narnia.  Lovely and treacherous!

I say treacherous because it was quite a feat to haul two 5 gallon buckets of hot water in the sled down to the critters.  The laden sled kept trying to slide on past me as I slipped and slid down the frozen slope - pulling me down with it!