Thursday, June 27, 2013

Pigs: Diamond, The Pot-Bellied Pig


Our Pig Partner has a farm, E-I-E-I-O!
And on his farm he has a Pet Pig, E-I-E-I-O!

Meet Diamond. She's not for eating... she's a pet! Diamond's owner was getting older and wasn't able to take care of her anymore. Diamond was so fat (even for a pig!), and she had a diaper rash of sorts from laying in her pee-soaked blanket. The skin on her back was so dry that it flaked off in big pieces and often bled. Her nails needed trimming so badly (they were 4 or 5 inches long!) that she couldn't walk on her toes the way pigs usually do. She's starting to walk better, and with room to move, she is getting strong and healthy. She's super friendly, too. Mr. Farmer wants to bring her to our house, but she's better off with all that open space at the farm.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Pigs: Back in Business


Our Pig Partner has a farm, E-I-E-I-O!
And on his farm he has a PILE OF PIGS, E-I-E-I-O!

That's right, folks, we're back in business! Last month we purchased 17 piglets. Two of them will be going as payment for transportation of the animals, and we are currently deciding which will breed and which will be butchered or sold. The best news of all is that Our Pig Partner is leasing enough land that the local authorities can't hassle him/us.

Mr. Farmer walks the fence line every day to make sure nothing is disrupting the flow of electricity. The pigs are learning the boundaries quickly, and they are starting to put on weight just like they should. It is a promising start.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013



Our Pig Partner has a farm, E-I-E-I-O!
And on his farm he has a Bunny, E-I-E-I-O!

Ok, so he has TWO bunnies... for now. After all, rabbits will do what rabbits do...

Wednesday, June 5, 2013



Our Pig Partner has a farm, E-I-E-I-O!
And on his farm he has a DUCK, E-I-E-I-O!

A big, fat, pigeon-toed duck who waddles around and lays huge, delicious eggs! Yummy!   She doesn't really have a nest, so she just lays her egg wherever she sees fit that particular day. It's like Easter all the time!  

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Off Topic: Dinner Drama

Does anyone else feel like preparing dinner is like being on one of those competitive cooking shows? I swear that some nights (like tonight) I hear Ted Allen’s always-charming voice inside my head...

Ted: Contestants, open your baskets! Tonight you must prepare dinner with… (dramatic pause)…
  1. Bone-In, Skin-On Chicken that you bought because it was cheap and now is threatening to spoil if you don’t cook it soon
  2. Pasta, because you served rice last night and one of your kids would rather NOT eat potatoes
  3. A completely filthy kitchen, with at least two loads of dirty dishes sitting around
You Have 30 Minutes. Please begin!
Judge 1: Oh, the producers have a bit of a sadistic streak tonight, eh? I mean, after the long day she had today, they give her bony chicken AND dirty dishes all over the prep table? Ouch!
Judge 2: Chicken leg quarters are inexpensive and low quality. But more importantly, they take at least an hour to roast in the over, and she only has HALF that time!
Judge 3: I agree, and Farmer is at a real disadvantage here. She will HAVE to bone out and skin that chicken if she’s going to finish in time, and she has only the smallest of experience butchering birds. Her real talent is disassembling pork. Couldn’t we cut her a break and give her more time?
Ted: No chance. Those kids have school in the morning, and they need to get up early. Besides, there is no doubt some homework that has yet to be completed, so she’s gotta get them fed so she can discover it. Wow! Look at her washing the dishes while the pasta-water boils! Excellent time management!!
25.5 Minutes Later:
Ted: The clock is running down. The table is nearly set, and the hubby is starting to circle. Water glasses are filled… She’s draining the pasta… Wait! The Hubby just called the kids to the table! They’ve come running and the dish isn’t assembled yet! Look at those faces staring into the kitchen as she stirs the sauce into the noodles…
Judge 2: Get it served… GET IT SERVED!!
Ted: AAAAANNNNDDD…. Time’s Up. Please step away.
Me: Whew. Hope you like it.
Family: MMmmm…
And Then the Cycle Repeats....

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Congratulations! It’s a BULL!!!

Our Pig Partner brought home a very young dairy bull last night. Apparently they are reasonably priced, as dairies only need a small number of bulls to keep up production. I don’t have a photo yet, but this little guy is ADORABLE! Ok, I know that the little fella has a destiny that is less than desirable to most, but there’s something here that cannot be denied…


OK, I’m done gushing. But honestly, I am looking forward to a new adventure. With any luck, I will be allowed to do some of the butchering. I love adding to my skills, and I’m a pretty good butcher! Financially we cannot afford our own calf right now, but maybe if my luck changes…

(Did I mention that I scratched around a young bull’s nubby horns today, and that he is super cute?)

Update 5/31/13: I finally got a photo! Oh, and it's a STEER now. (wink wink)

I told you he was cute! He's getting BIG, too!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Chickens: Out with the Old

After cracking my eggs into a hot pan beside some leftover steak, I did something I haven’t done in some time: I tossed the shells in the trash instead of putting them aside to feed back to the chickens. We raised this latest batch of leghorns from day-old chicks to full-grown, egg laying machines for the past 3 years. There were times when they didn’t lay eggs at all, and there were times when we had so many eggs that we gave them away or sold them for next to nothing.

Sometimes they had to take turns laying.

The girls have been getting tired over the last few months, however. We continued to feed them well, but production was way down. Mr. Farmer kept looking at the coop and thinking about ways to improve the setup for the next run. So, when we found an ad on Craigslist looking for older chickens, we decided to retire them to a farm where they will run free.

We aren’t very sentimental about chickens. Still, these girls have served us extremely well over the years, and leghorns aren’t very meaty anyway, so retirement just seemed like a better fit than slaughter. So stay tuned (do people these days even know what that means anymore?) for updates on the new brood, the new brooder, and the new chicken coop… all scheduled for Spring 2013!