The Fat Ewe Farm 
    and B & B

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

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No More Berkshires

Posted by Fluffy on October 27, 2012 at 9:00 PM Comments comments (1)

I love the Berkshire pigs. They are gentle and sweet natured, good at rototilling, prolific and usually good mothers, the boar can be left in as a family unit without having to worry about him hurting the newborns, and they are intelligent. I loved my piggies, but the price of grain has skyrocketed and the price of a live pig has not, so economically speaking, the decision to keep them as pets was simply not an option. It was hard to say good bye to Tavy, especially, my little bottle fed baby piglet. She was such a delight and loved her ears scratched. Today the last two piglets were picked up and their pen is conspicuously empty. I am sure I will look over and think of them many times in the next while. And who know, maybe I will raise a piggie or two once again in the future. The potbelly pigs are still here, the sow, boar and one surviving piglet. It ran out of the pig hut squealing today and the mamma shoed it back quickly. She is not quite a week old and cuter than the dickens. Good bye my Berkshires. I will miss you. 

Paring Down for Winter..So Long Tavy and Simon

Posted by Fluffy on October 19, 2012 at 9:20 PM Comments comments (0)

Tavy and Simon were born on the Fat Ewe Farm in April of 2011. Actually brother and sister, the two pigs were the breeding pair. Tavy had a wonderful litter of 11 and raised 10 of them, two of which are still here. I find it difficult to raise animals to slaughter them for food, yet to buy meat from a store is worse. The pigs are the only animals that are grain fed on the farm too, both the pot bellies and the Berkshires. No, that is not true, the birds all get grain, but not the sheep, goats, llamas, alpacas or horses. To feed the Berkshires, though, it was taking 6 gallons of grain a day. The cost of grain is high and the return on raising the pigs, either for breeding stock or meat is low. No matter how much I enjoyed them, and I certainly did, the economics of the situation were such that they were very expensive pets to keep. So a very nice lady, named Sharon, came and picked them up, along with one of the little potbelly boars. She will give them a good home where they are treated humanely as they were on the Fat Ewe Farm. I will miss my piggies, boo hoo. Tavy was bottle fed and my sweetheart. I was right there when she had her babies, rubbing her tummy and talking kindly to her. I love the pigs. 

Simon is Sick

Posted by Fluffy on September 20, 2012 at 12:10 AM Comments comments (0)

Poor Simon, 

He must have eaten something that was toxic when he was free ranging. He is confined to quarters along with the family for the next while. Last night, he did not come to supper and I knew something was off. Actually, he has not been himself for about 5 days. I put in a spoiled bale of straw which normally he would have thoroughly explored by now, but he only made a bed and laid down in it in the sun. We have had frost the past 3 nights, but during the day it is still very warm. 

This morning Simon got up when I called him. He staggered to his left side with his head tilted to the left as well and walked into the fence. I called my friend, who is a long time farmer with a lot of experience. He and his wife came by later and he said he looked as though he would be fine. I was ready to give him a shot of penicillin if necessary. Simon was still not well, but he did get up and peck at the ground. Earlier he vomitted twice, all yellow bile. This is not the fun part of farming, when there are sick animals. 

On a brighter note, the folks enjoyed their stay at the B and B last night...accountants from an oil company in Calgary with interests out here. They asked for some cards and brochures to spread the word and also indicated they would like to come back. Yay!

Also, at long last one of the granaries was delivered today, but the previous owner of the buildings has not gotten the grain out of them yet. It is covered in mouse droppings and very gross. Even the granary that arrived here today had a mouse scurrying in it. I left the door open so the cats could find their way in. There were two men working at the place where the granaries came from and I hired them to help do some things around the farm. They are older and retired and like to keep busy as well as help people in need. Very kind, very kind. 

All around I see people now who are going out of their way to help me. I am very grateful for this and for them. A friend from White Rock offerred to come and do my roof as well. How blessed I am, really. Now, Simon needs his own blessing. 

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!

Happier than a Pig in Mud?

Posted by Fluffy on June 29, 2012 at 1:50 PM Comments comments (0)

Just look at that smile. I think it says it all!

Are You My Mother?

Posted by Fluffy on June 5, 2012 at 6:40 PM Comments comments (1)

Oh Boy! Simon has discovered something good, MILK! Everytime the sows try to nurse their piglets, Simon is right there, pushing them away and attempting to nurse himself. He does not seem to hurt the sows at all, but they are somewhat annoyed at his not-so-gentle bunting, that method that all the young use to stimulate the milk to flow. I am quite sure Simon does not realize he weighs 400 some pounds. He seems to remember being a piglet last year nursing from his own mother. Silly Simon! At least it is encouraging the sows to stop nursing and may alleviate the problem of having to separate the few piglets that are not sold as weaners. 

Cows and Sows

Posted by Fluffy on June 2, 2012 at 8:45 PM Comments comments (0)

The neighbour's cows keep going through the fence to come into my yard. It seems they were raised with sheep and are more comfortable here than at home, but they terrify the sheep and goats who have not seen such creatures before. 


The sows, however; had a whole different outlook. Not near my babies, was what they appeared to be thinking and the boar joined on. They made strange grunt/oink noises very loudly and ran to the fence where the cows were, directly approaching them. I had not seen the sows defend their piglets before, so this was a moment to capture. 
They were not having those creatures anywhere near the babies and told them so. 

The fencers finally came today and 90% of the farmyard is finally fenced in. The dogs are not happy because they are used to going freely where they wish by just zipping under the fence. Now they cannot do that, except to go along the south side of the gate which will be finished soon. Then the bed and breakfast yard will be fenced in as well so the guests can drive directly to the house and the gate can be closed leaving the ducks, geese, chickens, dogs and cats on the other side. When the dogs saw the cows, they were not so panicked as the other animals, because they were used to the Dexters that lived here all winter, but they would have preferred to go to the other side to investigate if they could have. I am hoping they will not go to the highway anymore, yet still protect the farm yard from predators. Anyhow, the cows and sows were quite interesting, even to the dogs, who have not heard that voice (sows) before. 

Au Revoir Shetlands and Sonia

Posted by Fluffy on May 23, 2012 at 1:40 AM Comments comments (0)

The Shetland sheep sold to 2 different parties. The local is a woman of similar age (to me) whom wishes to spin wool and make things. She is delighted with the prospect of owning Shetland sheep and to find them so close to her home. The other 2 are going to Tatalayoko, BC, a beautiful wilderness farm in the Cariboo near the mountains.They will join the rest of the sheep there which are also all purebred registered Shetlands.

And my Sonia piggy is sold too. I decided to keep only one sow and one boar. They are brother and sister and were both born here on the farm. For the initial breeding, being closely related does not matter, however; breeding Simon to his offspring would not be a good idea. That is just too closed of a gene pool. I have one gilt that was spoken for and not picked up, so I may trade her for a breeding gilt from another farm. 

Amidst the downpour that has onslaught the farm for more than 24 hours now, the sheep decided they should get loose. So out there I was this evening, rounding up sheep. I did put Michael and Shannon with her little ram lamb in an easy pen for pick up tomorrow. The others, I will have to round up in the morning. And, in the pouring rain, I managed to corral the goats and give them a dewormer, B vitamin shot and a vaccination. They will need a second dose of dewormer in 10 days and then they should be good for summer. Their little ones will inherit some of the immunities through the placenta and milk, too. I cannot wait to see those kids!


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