As summer closes I’m overwhelmed by how fast it went. Like most people I have a few of those often cliché regrets of not getting everything done I wanted to, but that’s just a fact of life. On the other hand a lot of things have happened on the farm, here’s a rundown:
Good thing: I found someone with a registered Nigerian Buck, and the girls are going to see him next month. I’m going to use a estrous synchronization program on them to have them all be ready at once. I heard good things about this particular system, however it seems that in trials it had around a 75% success rate so the jury’s still out. I’ll report on it’s efficiency when I start.
Bad thing: Blondie may not be going with the others. She developed a sore on the skin between her anus and her vulva and though I’ve been treating it, the recovery is going very slowly. It seems to be rather painful to her and I don’t want to breed her if it continues to be stubborn.
Good thing: I added a new goose to the flock. She’s a brown Chinese (I think) and a little skittish. She hasn’t offered to bite anyone yet and seems to have a gentle disposition (which I find rare in adult geese purchased from another owner). She’s adjusting well though and even dares to eat from our hands occasionally.
Bad thing: we lost two geese ( three ducks, and four chickens). Our little Tufted Roman goose started wasting away suddenly, despite treatment (extra food, nutrient drench, etc.) she passed away. My sister’s Runner Drake developed extremely bad corns on his feet and could no longer walk. We discovered his feet were being attacked by ants due to him being immobile for so long. He declined from there. The others were grabbed by a nighttime predator and pulled through the wire of their pens. This method is an indicator of raccoon or possum activity both of which will do this. (Bonus good news: We caught a possum near the coop, so one down, many to go)
Good thing(s): piggies! Around June we had trapped some domestic pigs that had gone feral, we ended up with three (one female and two males). They look to be a small pinewoods x potbelly, the female (who’s the oldest) only weighed 54 lbs when we got her. Now these are not pets, these are mean little suckers that have run wild for most of their lives. Only the youngest male is interested in even approaching us and that’s only when there’s feed to be had. We suspect since they are a Potbelly cross that they were older than we thought (Pots can apparently conceive as young as 3 months). After confirming our suspicions as to the heritage of the hogs I began to wonder if the female was pregnant. The herd she came from had several intact adult males running with it and 1 1/2 months after we got her she weighed 75 lbs. Now I would love to attribute that to our feeding program but I highly doubted it. More than 20 lbs in a month and a half? Something was up. Then yesterday when my sister went to feed up she found a surprise waiting, actually five surprises.
Bad thing: The sow (momma pig) is mean as all get out. She tried to eat my brother the last time we weighed her and absolutely refuses to come near her food bowl until all humans have cleared the area. She will probably end up as bacon unfortunately, but we sure aren’t going to let her go feral again.
All in all it’s been an ok summer. I passed my summer course at UF with an “A”, my little brother starts college this fall, and I’m expanding my farm slowly but surely. Lots of posts soon!