Saturday, February 27, 2016

Idaho Pastured Piglets Playing

Is there anything cuter than a batch of piglets playing?  Watch these little ones run and jump.  They're adorable!  You can hear mom smacking her lips as she eats her breakfast.  One piglet had burrowed under the hay and I brushed away a bit of hay so that it would come out to play.   

This breed of pigs is mentioned in the January/February issue of "Grit" magazine.  In fact, the article's writers are the people from whom we acquired our pigs.  Idaho Pastured Pigs are a wonderful small homestead breed that does well on pasture.  

Although the article mentions that their sows farrow out on the pasture, we bring in our sow for farrowing because we've had losses in the past due to extremely low temperatures (below zero).  We only have one breeding pair, so we really baby our pigs and piglets.  

To the people who have contacted me about purchasing Idaho Pastured Pigs.  I wanted to make sure the piglets thrived before I contacted you.  I am in the process of working to create some non-related breeding pairs and deciding which will piglets will become barrows.  I will be contacting everyone shortly.  

See the link above for more information about Idaho Pastured Pigs.   

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Coudersport Courthouse

I'm not much of a photographer, but I captured these haunting (haunted?) photos of the Coudersport Courthouse last night with my cell phone.  

Absolutely ghostly!

Interestingly, one of the six statues of Lady Justice that isn’t wearing a blindfold can be found within the county courthouse to preserve its rarity (my understanding is that it had been hit more than once by lightening), with its replica taking its place on the courthouse clock tower. 

Sunday, February 21, 2016

We Have Piglets!

February 20, 2016

Flower successfully gave birth to six of the cutest piglets you ever want to see!  

A couple of them are tucked up under her front leg and you can see the tiniest piglet by her back leg.  The tiny one near her back leg is sooooo cute!  It's ears are still folded and it looks like a baby rabbit!  

Their have gorgeous coloring - four orange and two black and white.  One orange piglet doesn't have any black on him at all!  I believe there are four boars and two gilts.  But I didn't mess with them too much because I didn't want to disturb mama.  

This sow's temperament was outstanding.  I was in the pen with her the whole time and she easily let me move around piglets to ensure they weren't stepped on or laid on.  She became restless if I picked them up and made them squeal though, so I refrained from too much handling.     

Interestingly, there was a seventh piglet.  But it was born mummified.  I read about this and I found that if a piglet dies in the womb before a certain age, it will be absorbed.  If a piglet dies after a certain age, it will be mummified.  I didn't take any pictures of this because it is not pretty.  Or as my son said, "oh, gross!"

Now I'll cross my fingers that they all grow well without being laid on, stepped on, etc!

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

School Cancellation

Well, for the life of me....

... I just can't...

...figure out...

...why school...

...was cancelled...!

Source: This Old

No, truthfully, it was a very wise decision.  The roads are treacherous!

We're still waiting for our sow, Flower, to have her babies - and sooooo happy she didn't have them during the polar vortex of the past few days!

She's getting very, very close!

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Piglet Watch

Flower, our Idaho Pastured sow, is getting close to farrowing.  We've moved her into a stall in the barn where she'll be warmer and there'll be more protection for the piglets.  There's a nice little enclosed area outside the stall so she can still get outside and sunbathe on a nice day.    

The gestation period for pigs is 3 months, 3 weeks, and 3 days.  We know she was bred on Halloween, so that would make her due date about February 23.  But we're erring on the side of caution - we don't think she was, but, just in case she was bred earlier!  

If you remember, we has a disaster last year because Flower farrowed a week earlier than we expected and it was on the absolute coldest day of the year.  The temperatures were in the negative digits!  We lost four of her six piglets.   

So now we're watching her very closely!  Her teats are expanding and filling.

And she's building her nest.  

Tomorrow we'll put up the heat lamp and start running it at night in the event that she farrows during a cold, cold night.  Last night was 17-degrees and that would be awfully chilly for newborn piglets!

If we were a big working farm, we probably wouldn't go to all this trouble.  But we have one litter a year from our sow, and the piglets are very precious to us!

I've had a lot of interest in my piglets and I'm on watch to see what we end up with.  I hope we get a great batch of really nicely developed Idaho Pastured Piglets for everyone that's looking for them!

I'm looking for a new home for our Rosie and Violet, our mini goats.  Rosie is a mini boer and Violet is a mini boer/alpine mix.  I think Violet must have some angora in her because she gets a winter coat that I think could be spun.  They are both does and about 3 years old.  They have been pets up until now and I would like someone who would like to breed them or milk them - not for food.  Please contact me through the Fitzgerald Family Farm contact form if you're interested.