It's been awhile since I've posted so here is a bit of an update.
We are now selling small package and individual cuts of pork! If you don't want to buy a whole or half pig or just want to try us out before you do, check the Pork page for pricing and details.
We also have two piglets available if you are interested in buying a whole or half pig. They are scheduled to go to the processor on July 7th. Put a deposit down now to reserve your pork.
Hatching is in full swing here and we will have around two hatches a month. If you are interested in baby chickens or turkeys call or email us about availability.
Currently we have Golden Cuckoo Marans and Narragansett Turkeys hatching. The Marans are $5/per chick and the turkeys are $10/per chick.
I hope to have Partridge Rock chicks ($3.00/per chick) next month along with the marans, but I will have to see how they are laying. The cold weather has been hard on the birds and a lot of them are still not laying even with the longer days.
All birds sold as straight run.
We've been getting a few inquiries about the piglets and inevitably the question of why we don't cut (aka castrate) the boys comes up. So instead of trying to explain it to my husband so he can explain it to those who call I figured I would write up a blog post on the subject. (If you are wondering why I just don't handle the calls instead, well lets just say I'm severely phone shy).
There is going to be a lot of information in this post and if anyone has questions please leave them in the comments below.
Now I know I’m new to breeding pigs, but I have a certain eye for picking out who is going to be a good breeder.
I’m the one who chose Sandy when my husband and his parents chose Reba — Reba has yet to have any piglets and I doubt she’s pregnant.
I also picked out Niles.
I picked out the piglet that died, but I’m convinced that had she lived Dolly would have been just as good a breeder as her sister Bianca (maybe even better, because she had a much longer body).
I would like to keep one of the little gilts, but then I would need another boar and we just don’t have the space set up to have two separate herds. Maybe if we get some more acreage I can put my second herd of pigs on that and really get into the whole pig breeding.
Our boar, Niles, comes from the Blackie line at Sugar Mountain Farms. His sire is Ajax from Gopher Broke Farm in Vermont, but Ajax is originally from Sugar Mountain Farm. Blackie sows tend to be great mothers and produce a ton of piglets, so eventually I want a sow out of Niles in hopes that she will produce as well as her female ancestor.
Anyways, last night I sat in with Bianca and her crew to pick out breeders. I sat with Sandy’s piglets as well, but they are a week younger and still forming their own personalities. I did it mostly for fun, but also just incase someone wants to buy a breeder and asks for my impute.
Overall Sandy’s piglets are less shy and more likely to come up to me and let me scratch their backs, where Bianca’s tend to run away until I’m sitting there awhile. Both of these behaviours are similar to how their mothers were as piglets. Sandy has always been more friendly and Bianca more standoffish.
Jeff’s favorite out of Bianca’s litter is the only black and white one. He’s very cute, but after spending some time with him I discovered he is also the most aggressive of the bunch. He is definitely out of the running for a breeding boar, as aggression is never something you want in a breeder.
There is another boar with spots whose hair lightens as it reaches his belly. He is one of the braver of the piglets and the first that came to sniff my fingers. He’s a sweetheart with very impressive muscular shoulders and hind end, with a long straight back and sturdy legs. A fine breeder in both temperament and body structure. He reminds me of Niles and is going to be my top choice for a breeding boar should someone ask.
For the gilts there is a female with a mostly black tail who is quite long in the body with a good temperament (I've not had a chance to count teats -- you want them to have plenty so they can feed a large litter). She isn’t the biggest of the litter but is still one of the largest. The largest of the litter I’m not sure of whether its a boar or gilt, but I would also point out that one as a breeder as well as its muscles are very impressive, it’s very long, and it’s one of the sweeter piglets.
Overall I’m very happy with all the piglets. There are only a few in each litter I would dismiss completely for breeders, due to temperament or body structure
Chicks, Pork, Piglets, and Hatching eggs!
I just wanted to take a moment to wish everyone Happy Holidays from our family to yours and to give a bit of an update on all that's been happening around here.
Things have been a bit crazy here on the farm and I've not had a great deal of time to post anything here on the website. So a very quick update and then some words of wisdome.
We've had some losses with the death of Flower the sheep and Ollie the goat, but also a great deal of gain. Sophie and Faye both had twins, we purchased a few more goats, a couple more pigs, some ducks, turkeys, guineafowl, rabbits and one cow - oh yeah and my mother bought my daughter a mini horse.... We also have A LOT more chickens! We are probably close to 200 chickens at this point. Our bantams started laying early this summer and have already hatched out more. Our first batch of cross breed meat birds are going to slaughter in early September - we are just taking them to the Amish because no one had expressed any intrest in buying any.
We also had to take Toony to slaughter due to her injured leg getting worse. She lived a good life and made excellent bacon. I'm not impressed with the place we brought her to for butcher. Next time we were planning on using a different place anyways, so we can sell some of the meat.
Niles is out in the pasture with the girls and is hopefully doing his duty. I've noticed that his leg seems to be giving him some trouble as well. Hopefully he improves. If not one of his sons may have to take up his position and Niles and the mother of our replacment boar will be sent to auction.
Our gardens are doing horribly. They didn't get planted until late due to a late spring and it taking quite awhile to get the soil ready for planting. The weeds are the only thing really flourishing at this point. The soil need to be heavily limed this fall and fertilized with some manure. Hopefully next year the gardens will do better.
That's my update, now for some words of wisdom or "10 things I wish someone had told me when I first started farming".
I've had a few people contact me lately asking for advice on starting to farm. I really don't have much advice to give as I'm still working on setting up our business and getting out tax exempt status. But there are a few things I would have liked someone to tell me when I was first starting out.
I hope some future farmer out there find this helpful and as always if you want to chat contact me! I'm always willing to talk farm.
It's Winter Time here in Western NY and while it may not get nearly as cold here as it did back in Plattsburgh, it's still cold enough to make staying indoors enjoyable. So as I sit cooped up in my home, staying warm by the fire, I have plenty of time for planning. Once spring comes and thaws the ground we have quite a bit of work to be done.