Thursday, May 20, 2010

Pigs lounging, chicks hatching - spring

Avery is taking a bath in the sink and playing in the whey that is draining off the chevre. Every morning one of my first chores after making breakfast is to do the dishes, and clean the sink and counter so I can pour chevre which has been culturing overnight into cheesecloths to hang for the day. Avery often bathes in the sink so I can watch her while doing dishes and cleaning the kitchen. I haven't been saving the whey. Sometimes I feed it to the chickens, make ricotta or water plants with it.

Spring starts hardening off, protected from Avery who is still at the stage where she will spontaneously pull plants up or rip leaves off.

Ameraucana chick hatching.

Ameraucana  chicks in the incubator. We set twenty eggs and have eleven chicks so far. I made the mistake of setting a dozen eggs and then setting one or two each day until we'd filled the incubator. So now I'm ready to set some duck eggs but I've got to wait and let the rest hatch. Our Ameraucanas are show quality and lay lovely blue eggs, unlike the Ameraucana Easter Eggers that you would find from a large hatchery which are not show quality but hybrid mutts, bred to lay a variety of colored eggs...still nice birds just not the same thing.

So, here are the pigs I've been talking about. We selfishly talked our friends into raising pigs this summer, one of which is for us. They seem to be off to a good start. There are two sows and a boar. They are being fed whole local barley, pig feed, brome hay and scraps. I am impressed with how well they are turning the ground, wish they were easier to transport into the garden come fall.

I'm already dreaming of lard for pastries and frying, bacon, sausages, ribs...mmm


Anonymous said...

Those are really big pigs- where did they come from? We got pigs from a lady in fox, but they were 6 week old ~15 lbers. I would be curious to know how old these ones are and when your friends plan to butcher them.

Emily said...

The pigs came from a guy in Delta who also grows and sells hay and barley. They were suppose to be weaner pigs but he didn't have as many born as he thought so these pigs were already thirty or forty pounds when she bought them at eighty dollars a piece (I don't know how old they were) All the pigs I'd looked at were around a hundred and twenty- thirty dollars a piece for weaners. Apparently my friend had done a friend of his a favor, and he was returning it, the price of the pigs was a big factor in getting the pigs in the first place. We are planning on helping with the killing and processing and were hoping to wait until late August or early September, once the temperatures start cooling down as we'd like to hang them somewhere cool and make some cured meats without worrying about the meat spoiling. I am guessing they'll be pretty huge by then. She would like to finish them in her garden but we can't decide the easiest way to move them...

TriciaB said...

love that last picture of the pigs with the one sitting on the other! so cute!