Monday, 29 April 2013

What a weekend ! ! !

Well it's Monday night and I still can't believe all the things we got accomplished this weekend.

As you guys know from my previous post, the babies were picked up by their new owners on Saturday. Next piece to that puzzle is to get mumma pig back to the farm we bought her from to get re-bred. Can you believe we may end up with like 10 of these little babies around end of August? Stay tuned! haha.

So along came Sunday and I had to get mumma pig loaded onto the trailer and off to have a romantic couple weeks with Henry the Boar. Well, just so happens my lovely fiance was out golfing so I had to figure out how to get this done solo. I didn't feed anybody so that mumma would be nice and hungry and I may be able to lure her onto the trailer. Well it worked to an extent, I had two sheets of plywood on either side of the trailer to force her up into it. Somehow she figure out she could get through it and pushed it, where it came and hit me and I flew about 5 feet into the wood pile. FUNNN! Now mumma pig is running around our front lawn. Great. Long story short. I ended up getting her in the trailer (although Steve may have gotten a few questionably insane text messages during the process) and we were on our way.

When I made it home Steve was just getting home with his cousin Caitlin who I have really started to look forward to having over every weekend. She's such a great help. So we started working on the garden. I'm going to share a picture of the area before we started and then the one bed that we finished. When I make more progress on the whole garden I'll post a picture from the same angle.

This is our peas garden. We probably used a third of the peas I bought...anybody need peas??
OH RIGHT! Steve pulled vines down from the apple trees!

Saturday, 27 April 2013

Bye Bye Babies!

Well the little piglets got picked up today by their new owners.

I feel a great comfort knowing that they will go on to live a great life at a great new home. It's so nice to meet people that have the same ideals and the same respect for animals that you do. My biggest worries have been about where my livestock will end up and if they will end up with people that treat them well. I am lucky that these two baby girl piglets have ended up in a home that intend to use them as breeding sows and hence keep them for an indefinite time. Although I am not naive enough to think that this will happen all the time I do hope that even if they end up heading towards a life destined for the slaughter house that their life leading up to that will be respected. I wish I could keep them for myself but to be able to live a sustainable lifestyle we need to create somewhat of a business out of our farm. This gives us the ability to be able to take a small stand against the commercial industry. We need more people on this band wagon to make an impact but knowing I am not contributing to the abuse of animals that sustain us is enough for me right now.

The babies heading to their new home

Double Yolker!

That giant egg we had this week ended up being a double yolker! Wonder if this will be a regular occurrence!?

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Do NOT be controlled!!

I want everybody to take a look at this link AND PLEASE SHARE

In short, if you don't have time to check out the link: This is exactly what we have to fight back against. This may be in the states but any law being passed that can contribute to animal cruelty should be fought back against. There is a law trying to get passed that makes it ILLEGAL, a criminal action for somebody to take pictures of animal cruelty within commercial farms, stables, puppy mills etc.. The commercial industries will do whatever it takes to make the consumer completely blind to what they are doing. If you are not doing anything wrong then WHY would you not want your companies practices being pictured or video taped????

Our system is so messed up. As the guy in the video says, our disconnect with animals is absolutely unacceptable. I challenge anybody to come spend a few days with my animals here and then tell me that they think it is okay to treat these animals with disrespect and cruelty. The people that go into these factory farms, puppy mills, stables are amazing people for putting their safety on the line for nothing else but the welfare of those animals and should not ever in any circumstance be considered criminals. 

If you are not part of the solution you are contributing directly to the problem - look into where you can shop local, it's not only taking a stand against the commercial industry but it's healthier for you. Feel authentically good about your decisions.

Would you rather support this??
Or this?

Do you think this is acceptable??
Or make an impact on a small farm and SHOP LOCAL!

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Somebody had a busy day

The carton can't even close with that one in the back!


Monday, 22 April 2013

Many Hands Make Light Work

Steve's two cousins wanted to come have a relaxing Sunday on the farm this weekend. We always welcome visitors; for many reasons. It's obviously nice to have company at any time and to hang out with loved ones but another key reason it so show people a different way of living. Getting other people involved in our tasks and getting close and personal with our livestock helps them to start to build a respect for day to day living as well as starting to think about the decisions the make on a day to day basis.

Our task for the weekend was to get a second paddock up for the pigs. When I have been getting home from work each day I let mumma pig and her babies out to roam free and thankfully I have built a good enough relationship with them that they come when they are called and don't wander too far (most of the time!). Although this is a great way for them to get a few hours outside each day, my goal is for all of my animals to have as much freedom as they want (within keeping them safe). So onto the building!

TEAMWORK! :) - Yes the beer is included

 First full day outside! They are exhausted. Today I went into the barn when I got back from work and riding they had already put themselves to bed!

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Pimp My Coop

Steve and I bought a coop from North York s couple of weeks ago so that our chickens would be safe from all of the predators around our place. They aren't too happy with not being able to roam around outside all day but at least they have a small run to get some sun. When the ground gets a bit more manageable we will be putting a big run with both coop in it. As well, I am trying to get a hold of an old fish hut to turn into a coop.

The coop that we bought in North York - although it was what we immediately needed, it isn't exactly fancy. I'm sure if we had put forth a bit of thought and effort we could have easily built something just as good if not better. Anyways, I wanted to spruce it up a bit as well as make it a bit more water protected.

Also there is two areas up in the roof that the chickens can go up into and there was an access point to one of them but not to the other so if they ever layed an egg up there you actually had to crawl into the coop and reach your hand up into the roof and feel around - not nice.

Here is a before picture. You can see the access area to the one part of the roof and you can see that he started cutting into the other end but never finished it. Well when Steve was cleaning out the back shed he found an old window (several actually) and I found a bunch of shingles previously. So - I got to work.

First I wanted to get it shingled - the shingled are pretty old and curled up but oh well, better then nothing.

Next I wanted to figure out a way to access the other part of the roof.

We have also started to let mumma pig and babies out to roam around when we are home and she actually comes back into the barn when I call her. It was definitely risky letting her out without an enclosure for them but they stick around the barn so it's nice for them to get some time outside. So now they get a few hours everyday and they love it!

Monday, 15 April 2013


Unfortunately one of our little red cap chicks didn't make it through the night.

It always sucks to lose a baby chick but the trip yesterday was hard on even the strongest chicks, from the states to picton to ashburn is quite a long trip.

If I was thinking at all I would have mixed up some of that high protein bird food that we were feeding (syringing) the quail when they were born. I mixed some up this morning and fed it to the other red cap chick as it still doesn't look as peppy as the other one. Weird that my two weakest birds were the same breed.

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Chick Obsessed?


Awhile ago I posted that we had ordered some chicks from Mcmurray Hatchery.

The list we ended up with is

2 Golden Polish
2 White Crested Black Polish
2 Blue Silkie
2 Blue Cochin
2 Barred Rocks
2 Light Brahma
2 Red Caps
1 Golden Laced Wyandotte
6 Meat Chicks

Now let me tell you, it is NOT easy to tell some of the chicks apart when you are sorting out of a bin of 150 chicks. I guess some people that order from McMurray weren`t as lucky as us - they showed up to find half of their order had passed away on the trip into Canada. Our two Red Caps are not doing well, especially one of them. We will keep a close eye on them and go out a bit later to make sure it has a drink and trys to eat some food - but you can only do so much.

White Crested Black Polish
Golden Polish

The whole lot

 We are finally using that chicken coop we bought months ago since these guys won`t be needing a run to go outside until they are fully feathered. Their coop has to stay at a nice and balmy 35c for a few weeks.

Thursday, 11 April 2013

We are now introduced to Fisher Cats

Steve and I were up all last night listening to this blood curdling scream over and over. It started about 1am and then died off and then at 4:30am it was so insanely loud we both went out to the porch to listen. It just kept screaming and screaming so then we started to get worried that something was in our barn and the screaming was coming from the pigs. It was like nothing I had ever heard before.
Every time something like this happens at night in the morning I am kicking myself for not recording it. If it comes back I will definitely record it. But here is something slightly similar - but not even close to as loud or as frequent. At our place it was just scream after scream, no pauses in between. - this is just the sound - this is an attack on a fox by a fisher which sounds a lot more like what happened last night so maybe it was attacking something?

This guy may look cute but he is about the size of a small fox or cat and so so much more dangerous to have hanging around your farm. I'm already debating blaming the coyote for our chicken being taken the other day. This guy is a much more likely candidate. Generally fishers diet is rabbits or porcupines but they will happily take down an entire chicken coop. They are extremely vicious and will attack without a doubt if cornered. Usually fisher cats scream if they are trying to attract a mate, during or before a kill which is definitely what I think I heard last night as there were some underlying grunting sounds that could have been its meal.

Steve and I did end up going out to the barn as we were convinced at one point that the screaming was a piglet being killed and the low grunting was the mumma pig trying to protect. We went out and everybody was snug and sound looking at us like "ummm excuse me we were sleeping".

Moral of the story - Steve is looking into a gun course in Uxbridge end of April.......

Friday, 5 April 2013

What's the difference!?

I use to do these games as a kid.

So - can somebody tell me the differences between the first and second picture.

Whoever gets it right - except Danny Parrack - gets a dozen eggs!

Thursday, 4 April 2013

My babies are SOLD

I put an add up on kijiji to sell the two baby piglets that we had born unexpectedly earlier in the year.

I didn't really need to sell them yet as they can't leave until May 1st at the earliest but I really wanted to make sure I had time to select where there were going. Although I am not naïve and I know that likely one or both of these girls will eventually go to slaughter my main concern is making sure that they have a great life. I want to make sure all my animals go to people that carry the same practises and values that I do, if not I feel I am not impacting anybodys life outside of our own. The point of the blog and of talking about how we do things is to inspire other people to change their ways, whether it even be something as small as buying their Christmas turkey from a local farmer. Thankfully I found to wonderful ladies that own a farm not far from here that are as sweet to even put their baby sheep in coats when they're first born and it's cold out! We spent lots of time talking on the phone and I am happy to help them start their venture into raising pigs.

So now I have to start researching how to wean baby pigs in the least stressful way possible!

Monday, 1 April 2013

Dirty Dozen - Clean 15

I am posting this because I have seen the dirty dozen but have never seen the Clean 15. My friend Alex Bicanic, an avid clean lifestyle supporter posted this on her facebook wall and I just couldn't resist. Eating Organic can be expensive and sometimes hard to do but if you can at least try and buy organic for the dirty dozen then you will be making the biggest impact on your diet.

Buying from local small farms is usually organic and helps support your community so always look for farmers markets in your home town!