When we went to load the pigs for the second time we figured everything would go a lot better then the first. We had a bigger trailer that's lower to the ground so the incline on the ramp was significantly less. We figured now that the ramp's incline was shallower Toony would just walk right up into the trailer... not. So we once again were chasing around a pig in my dad's backyard while I desperately held the rope tied to her back leg and then it began to rain.
You really think I'm gonna cooperate? Ha!
2 Fridays ago things did not go as planned, which wasn't a huge surprise, but I didn't think they would go so spectacularly wrong. Everything started out well enough, Jeff had finished the boxes to transport the pigs in and we had my dad and our friend Yvonne to help us load them up, and then we let Toony loose. Boy was she happy to be our of her pen and because we figured she would just fallow us we didn't restrain her (not that you can really restrain a 500lb pig). She romped around for a bit and then followed us into my dad's backyard, so far so good. Then came time to go up the ramp... ya not so much. Toony would take three steps up the ramp and then jump off the side and start rooting around my dad's backyard.
Jeff just got hired as a full time Engineering Technician at GE Transportation in Erie, PA! So it’s bye bye Plattsburgh!
Jeff still has to finish a rehab house that he’s fixing up and sell our house that we live in so, I will still be in Plattsburgh for a while but the animals should all be moved to Jeff’s aunt and uncle’s property by July. The pigs are actually the first to make the trip and we are hauling them down there tomorrow. We are holding off on the goats and sheep because both Sophie and Faye are pregnant the latter being due within the next week or so. It’s an 8 hour trip so we don’t want to subjugate them to the stress while they are pregnant.
Jeff’s aunt and uncle have been nice enough to take the animals for us until we can get a place of our own. They are going to breed the pigs together and keep the piglets as payment, and if they want I will probably offer Sophie and Faye’s kids to them as well – I don’t plan on keeping them.
To transport the pigs Jeff has built two big wooden hutches that will second as movable houses for the pigs after we get them to his uncle’s (I am so HAPPY they are going to be out of their disgusting, muddy pens and onto pasture!). I’m super paranoid about the trip, but a pig farmer that we talked to said they should be fine just to make sure the hutches are well secured. (2 pigs running loose on I-90 would not be funny). I plan on taking lots of pictures of our trip and tweeting (Twitter ID ImpulsiveFarmer) as we travel (except for one area where there is no radio or cell coverage). We are loading up the pigs tonight and leaving first thing on Saturday morning. I really need to invest in a video camera because us trying to load the pigs is probably going to be hilarious. We are hoping that if we throw a bunch of apples into the transport hutches they will just walk right in, but of course nothing ever goes as planned.
Also there is a butt load of flooding in this area right now and Lake Champlain is at a record breaking high, please keep all those that have lost their homes and have no place to go in your thoughts.
This week the chickens resumed laying, I found out that hay is not a good bedding to use when keeping sheep in your basement, caught a funny video of Flower and Sheena, and made Irish Stew after spending a week trying to find lamb and/or mutton.
So latter today we are heading down to Jeff’s parent’s house for Christmas (for more info on my opinion of Christmas check out my blog post on my other website)… which is about eight hours away. I am probably going to have an ulcer by Sunday, this is the first time we have left for any extended period of time sense getting all of the farm animals and I am a nervous mess. Luckily my father is taking care of all the bigger animals behind his house and we have a friend stopping over to take care of the chickens. I don’t foresee anything going wrong, but still I worry!
Well, we will be back on Sunday and then we have to start working on our site plan for the Town Planning Meeting. We received an email this past week saying we had to either submit something to the planning board or face a fine, so yah. We explained to the Town that Jeff is being laid off and that we were holding off until we knew if we were going to have to move or not; luckily Jeff has found another job locally so we won’t have to move. We are scrapping the barn plans though, and will just be putting up movable shelters instead. We figure with the movable sheds we can rotate grazing so one pasture doesn’t get over grazed. We have to have everything together before January 18th (might have the wrong date) for the February planning meeting. I am actually looking forward to butting heads with the local anti-farmers again J I have given up on being frustrated and now just find amusement in their useless attempts to get us to remove our animals.
The four Mallards received a pardon from becoming dinner this week when they started laying eggs! The pekins though, both of which are male, are still slated to become Thanksgiving Dinner. The pekin males where beating the crap out of the little mallard females so they had to be separated until it is time to butcher them (my neighbor prefers it be a little colder out so as to not attract flies). That was Saturday, on Sunday me and hubby Jeff along with sissy Karen took a 2.5 hour drive to West Hartford, VT to pick us up two six month old Alpine does. We left about 6:30am and got back home a little after 11am, which gave me and Karen plenty of time to trim hooves before she had to go to work.
So thanks to my friends over at BackYardHerds.com I have discovered that Sheep and Goats can not thrive on the same food... great. So after taking yet another trip to Tractor Supply (I think they are starting to recognize me) to buy a bag of DuMOR® Sheep Formula and a separate bag of Dumor® Goat Formula, I went to feed my animals around 5pm as I do every day.