The Fat Ewe Farm 
    and B & B

...organic permaculture farmin' 
  for the lazy you's and
 Bed, Breakfast 'n Bale

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Pot Belly Pigs and Sheep

Posted by Fluffy on January 3, 2013 at 12:00 AM Comments comments (0)

There are only so many pens with shelters on the farm. The sheep were separated for breeding 2 days ago. Most were wormed at the same time and many hooves were also trimmed then. The pot bellied pigs are for sale because their space was needed, but they did not sell, so they are cohabiting with the Icelandic sheep. 


The Icelandics are tough sheep, not the largest of breeds, but are quick to bash things in their way or that they do not want around them, like the pigs. I have figured out that if the pigs are fed dog food, the sheep will not touch it so for the next while, that will be their staple, but everytime they come anywhere near the sheep, they head butt them back to their shelter. A separate shelter has been erected for the sheep and the pigs have been relegated to their shelter or the area immediately around their it. The pot bellies do not like the snow and are not willing to forge a new path to the food and water, so they keep trying to get by the sheep and continually head butted back to their own place. Eventually the sheep will be resting and not care much about the pigs, but the water will likely have frozen by then. At least they can eat snow for a few days, but that is not totally adequate. The dog food is eaten and it is assumed that the pigs are doing so since the sheep are not interested in it at all. In the meantime, I am feeling sorry for the little piggies being bossed around by those mean Icelandics. Poor piggies. 

Soul Survivor

Posted by Fluffy on November 21, 2012 at 11:45 PM Comments comments (0)


It was not too cold when she was born, along with 6 other babies. She was the only survivor of the litter, Brianna's first living baby. Brianna sow has had 2 other litters. The first was born in the dead of forty below and though she had a good shelter and a heat lamp, she continually scattered her babies out of the nest and they froze solid. The second litter was born in spring. The raven had young in her nest and came in through the back behind the barn and slowly over 2 days, took each newborn up to feed her little ones. This third litter, well, who knows. It was not cold outside. There was no raven. But 6 of the 7 babies were dead when I found them, the day of their birth. This was to be Brianna pig's last litter, however; since the little piglet has survived a month, perhaps she has learned about mothering and will do better the next time. If not, I guess she will just have to go, but the little survivor can stay. She has soul!

Piggie's Last Chance....Sad Day

Posted by Fluffy on October 21, 2012 at 8:30 PM Comments comments (0)

The female potbelly had her litter today, a few days early. I could only count 7 piglets, one alive and 6 dead. The dead babies were healthy and there is no reason for them to die. The mother had 2 other litters and all piglets died. She scattered them out of the nest and they froze the first time. The second time, I am unsure, but do believe the female raven stole some to feed her babies. There was no trace of any bodies. Today, I found 6 bodies covered under the straw. I made sure not to give her much bedding too, so she could not bury the babies, but she managed to anyhow. She renests and renests, configuring the babies in the nest and they die. She has one baby left. I would not doubt there are a few more that I did not find, but I did not want to disturb the mother too much. The ones I did find were fished with a three prong rake carefully so as not to worry the mom so she wouldn't sit on the baby. This was her last chance. She will be sold or given away now. Poor baby piggies.

Downsizing

Posted by Fluffy on September 16, 2012 at 10:00 PM Comments comments (0)

Winter is coming. I bought some older granaries for shelters, but do not have some one to bring them here yet. In the meantime, I have been assessing the situation for winter housing and feeding and have decided to sell some stock. I love the Berkshire pigs, but their food has to be bought and the market for them is poor here. People still expect to pay next to nothing for a pig weighing 500 pounds, but will pay thousands of cows. So, with great sadness, I have decided to sell my bottle baby and friend, Tavy, the Berkshire sow, and her brother, who is also the boar, Simon and not raise pigs anymore. Also the potbelly pigs will be sold if I can find buyers. This is not a good time to sell because people do not have winter housing set up and prices will be way down. 

The turkeys drive me crazy so I have also decided to sell all but one pair. That pair will hopefully stay in their hoop coop with a huddle box for cold winter time or join the chickens, but the amount of poop a turkey can produce is enormous compared to a chicken. 

The Nigerian Dwarf goats and their kids can also go, and Sarah, the Alpine baby who was bottle fed and does not know she is a goat. I have acquired 5 beautiful Icelandic ewes, but they and the Cotswolds, 3 ewes and a ram, are the only additions to the farm. 

I have tried to sell the ram lambs, but again, people out here only want big animals, even if the smaller ones have better traits and taste. I may end up almost having to give the lambs away or keep them until spring and butcher them. I do love lamb, though after raising animals on the farm, I am almost a vegetarian. I eat little meat, especially if I have know the animal. It seems almost wrong to raise the creatures for slaughter. 

Anyhow, if I can find buyers for these animals, they will all be sold before winter sets in. Last night we had a slight frost that caught the tomato vines, but the lower tomatoes were fine. Tonight it might just about freeze. Winter is coming!

Downsizing

Posted by Fluffy on September 16, 2012 at 10:00 PM Comments comments (0)

Winter is coming. I bought some older granaries for shelters, but do not have some one to bring them here yet. In the meantime, I have been assessing the situation for winter housing and feeding and have decided to sell some stock. I love the Berkshire pigs, but their food has to be bought and the market for them is poor here. People still expect to pay next to nothing for a pig weighing 500 pounds, but will pay thousands of cows. So, with great sadness, I have decided to sell my bottle baby and friend, Tavy, the Berkshire sow, and her brother, who is also the boar, Simon and not raise pigs anymore. Also the potbelly pigs will be sold if I can find buyers. This is not a good time to sell because people do not have winter housing set up and prices will be way down. 

The turkeys drive me crazy so I have also decided to sell all but one pair. That pair will hopefully stay in their hoop coop with a huddle box for cold winter time or join the chickens, but the amount of poop a turkey can produce is enormous compared to a chicken. 

The Nigerian Dwarf goats and their kids can also go, and Sarah, the Alpine baby who was bottle fed and does not know she is a goat. I have acquired 5 beautiful Icelandic ewes, but they and the Cotswolds, 3 ewes and a ram, are the only additions to the farm. 

I have tried to sell the ram lambs, but again, people out here only want big animals, even if the smaller ones have better traits and taste. I may end up almost having to give the lambs away or keep them until spring and butcher them. I do love lamb, though after raising animals on the farm, I am almost a vegetarian. I eat little meat, especially if I have know the animal. It seems almost wrong to raise the creatures for slaughter. 

Anyhow, if I can find buyers for these animals, they will all be sold before winter sets in. Last night we had a slight frost that caught the tomato vines, but the lower tomatoes were fine. Tonight it might just about freeze. Winter is coming!

Downsizing

Posted by Fluffy on September 16, 2012 at 10:00 PM Comments comments (0)

Winter is coming. I bought some older granaries for shelters, but do not have some one to bring them here yet. In the meantime, I have been assessing the situation for winter housing and feeding and have decided to sell some stock. I love the Berkshire pigs, but their food has to be bought and the market for them is poor here. People still expect to pay next to nothing for a pig weighing 500 pounds, but will pay thousands of cows. So, with great sadness, I have decided to sell my bottle baby and friend, Tavy, the Berkshire sow, and her brother, who is also the boar, Simon and not raise pigs anymore. Also the potbelly pigs will be sold if I can find buyers. This is not a good time to sell because people do not have winter housing set up and prices will be way down. 

The turkeys drive me crazy so I have also decided to sell all but one pair. That pair will hopefully stay in their hoop coop with a huddle box for cold winter time or join the chickens, but the amount of poop a turkey can produce is enormous compared to a chicken. 

The Nigerian Dwarf goats and their kids can also go, and Sarah, the Alpine baby who was bottle fed and does not know she is a goat. I have acquired 5 beautiful Icelandic ewes, but they and the Cotswolds, 3 ewes and a ram, are the only additions to the farm. 

I have tried to sell the ram lambs, but again, people out here only want big animals, even if the smaller ones have better traits and taste. I may end up almost having to give the lambs away or keep them until spring and butcher them. I do love lamb, though after raising animals on the farm, I am almost a vegetarian. I eat little meat, especially if I have know the animal. It seems almost wrong to raise the creatures for slaughter. 

Anyhow, if I can find buyers for these animals, they will all be sold before winter sets in. Last night we had a slight frost that caught the tomato vines, but the lower tomatoes were fine. Tonight it might just about freeze. Winter is coming!

Little Lamby and Miss Piggy

Posted by Fluffy on February 28, 2012 at 1:55 PM Comments comments (2)

Little Lamby was in the barn for her whole life. I opened the doors from time to time in good weather so she could smell the sunshine, but that is obviously not the same as being outside. So, now that she is bigger, I thought I would try her with Miss Piggy, the pot bellied sow who lost her litter recently. 

Little Lamby is afraid of Miss Piggy and Miss Piggy is afraid of Little Lamby. They sort of do a dance around each other. If Miss Piggy snorts, Little Lamby runs and if Little Lamby tries to make friends with Miss Piggy, she moves away as fast as her piggy legs go. I can't say it is running, but in the mind of the piggy, maybe it is. 

They have been together 2 days now. I put the lamb back in the barn at night so she would stay warm. I tried turning the heat lamp on in the pig hut for her, but she would not go insdie where that big bad piggy was. Today will be day 3. 

Something rather amazing happened yesterday though. Little Lamby watched Miss Piggy drink water and eat, so she tried both. The water was cold and at first she was startled, but she drank some and then some more. Yay! That is her first step to independence. She watched as Miss Piggy munched too, and she went close and nibbled some straw, then some hay. She did not want to try the grain, at least not yet, which is fine, because my sheep are grass fed. Little Lamby does not belong to me though. She is a visitor that I am rearing for a friend who has helped me with the bed and breakfast renovations. 

So, the lamb learned from the pig. Isn't nature grand!

Bear on the Burner, Lamb in the Kitchen and Piglets in the Hut

Posted by Fluffy on February 9, 2012 at 11:25 PM Comments comments (1)

Well, Mrs. Potbelly did it. She finally had her litter sometime early this morning. By the time I got there, one piglet was totally frozen and another was dead and cold. Piglets, like most new born critters, cannot regulate their own body temperature, and must be kept warm. Usually a good mother will round up the babies, but pigs are not known to do much in that regard. Unless the piglets are under the heat lamp, they will not make it in the minus 25 weather we are having. Fortunately, the hut is wind proof and the heat lamp is turned on high. If the mother was a little wiser, she would make sure the babies are warm. She did not even care if I picked them up. One squealed pretty loud for a baby potbelly and still Mom just grunted. I spent about a month taming her, bringing her treats, hand feeding her, petting her, all the while she was in isolation with her own private maternity suite. We got to be friends and she would come when I visited, so perhaps she is not so concerned about the babies since I have already earned her trust. 

My friend Allan called and asked if I would bottle feed a lamb for him because he has gone to the USA to pick up some geese. He shows prize birds (who else would drive 16 hours to pick up geese????) and our mutual friend, Dave, had a lamb the mother of triplets would not accept. He found the little one cold and near death, took her in the house and bottle fed her but he cannot do that tomorrow because he works. He asked Allan if he wanted the little girl and Allan did, but was not able to take her, so tonight I have a lamb in the kitchen. She is 3 days old, some 4 way hair sheep cross, though she has wool, and is tall and leggy. I feel so sorry for her without a Mom to teach her sheep ways. I would like to see if Lena, my Karakul mother of a month old lamb, would accept her, but it is too cold to put her out just in case she refuses. So, there is a lamb in my kitchen. 

And bear meat is boiling for the dogs on the stove top. In the summer I was given a bear, likely born early this year and weighing around 180-200 pounds. The neighbour had shot him and I butchered the carcass and froze the meat. I have been cooking it well because bear can carry a parasite that is deadly to dogs, but freezing and cooking destroy the bug. I am cooking it well, just to leave no doubt. It is rather yukky!

And that is just another day on the farm!


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