Animal Overview

First, let’s meet the piglets.  These ones are a little older.  In the background, you can see their mamas, the sows. 20160910_143022

Here’s Sturgill, the big breeder male we’ve got.  You can tell he’s male because of the big man-bits he’s got.

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These big adult pigs are monsters — 400-500 lbs if they’re an ounce.  You know how hippos are surprisingly ferocious?  Same deal with these.  If they’re not distracted by food or something, you should probably stay out of their pens.

In the background, you can see a feral cat that has adopted the area, Pounce.  The pigs all have wallows (mud pits) that they flop around in to stay cool.  Checking the animals’ conditions is a very important daily task, and one of the things to check for the pigs is to see if they have enough mud.  The chickens are around as a cleanup crew.  They eat food that the pigs miss and keep down the rodent population.

I don’t think pictures don’t do the sows justice.  Their size is quite impressive.

Out in one of the fields are the meat pigs — adult pigs that will be sent to the butcher before too long.  Most of our piglets will go here when they are older.  They were all in the shade to keep cool today, but even so they were panting pretty heavily.  I threw ten or so buckets of water on them to cool them off (they seemed to like it a lot).  They are almost as big as the sows are.

field-pigs

Not far from the pig bars is the sheep pasture.  The field is divided into fourths and they get folded over each a few days at a time.  Their house is on 4×4 skis so that you can rope it to your truck and just pull it around on the pasture.  With them is Fennel, a pupper that stays with them full-time.  The sheep are for meat, not wool — wool sheep are more prone to parasites, apparently.  There are several dozen sheep clustered in there.

sheep

The laying hens are kept right next to the vegetable field.  They live in a big coop that can be towed as a trailer.

chicken-house

Here is the meat chicken pen.  There are several hundred chickens in there, mostly back in the woods and in the houses to keep cool.

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