Anh and I don’t need to tell everyone what a crazy year this has been – we are all doing our best to muddle through it. It’s been hard on the restaurant, hospitality, and healthcare businesses across the board. We know that we are fortunate to be healthy and safe, but our hearts go out to those who are not quite so lucky.
2021 can only be an improvement. We look forward to reopening the Inn and welcoming guests to our lovely little spot on the farm soon. Until then, be thankful for what you have and don’t forget to offer a helping hand to the many that could us it.
On Saturday, I welcomed a special guest who’s going to be staying with us for a few weeks:
That’s Bailey in the back, an four year-old American Guinea Hog, a fairly rare breed. He’s going to hang out with Big Mama, our sow (on the right), and hopefully Mother Nature will take her course. We are all set up for some baby piglets and if all goes well, she’ll be ready to give birth in early March.
Watching their courtship has been fun – he was clearly very excited to meet her, and she doesn’t seem to mind all of the attention either!
Bailey is a super mellow and very friendly boar – none of the aggression that you see in some older males.
If you are staying on the farm, feel free to stroll over and give them a “hello”. You can toss them some breakfast leftovers (bread or veggies) – just no bacon, please. They will be quite happy for any scraps!
OK, we’re going to move on from fowl of various type to animals of a more porcine nature.
We generally raise twelve pigs on farm to provide pork products for the farm store. This year one of our sows is going to stick around through the winter and will be joined by a gentleman from another farm down the road so we can have our own piglets in the spring!
For now, though – we just moved them to our vegetable garden to take care of rototilling everything for me:
Those pigs each weight about 250 pounds, and will take care of turning over everything remaining in the garden in about week, at which point they will move to their winter home.
While it’s hard to imagine, Meatloaf (the smaller male) started out a little bit smaller in the spring:
He arrived quite sickly, but with a lot of hand-feeding, love, and attention he grew up to be quite the scrappy pig! He got named Meatloaf because for much of his early childhood he was just lying around…like a meatloaf.
Seems like I’m focusing on poultry and fowl – but I just wanted to share that we got our next set of layer babies in so they can be laying in spring:
We generally get two seasons out of our layers before they head for the soup pot. And unfortunately we lose some to hawks and other predators. To keep a healthy flock of active layers, we get 25-30 every six months.
For whatever reason, most hens on the east coast are expected to lay brown eggs, so we get Rhode Island Reds and Australorps. We also love the Easter Eggers that lay blue and green eggs. Occasionally we will get some Leghorns for white shells or more exotic chickens just for fun! No matter what the breed, they lay delicious technicolor eggs for your breakfast delight:
Our ducks finally made it over the pond after spending the summer moving through the hop yard:
We move animals regularly on the farm – our meat chickens get moved daily, while the egg layers, turkeys, ducks, goats, and pigs move less often depending on their pasture and how much rain we get.
So far, they haven’t figured out that the pond is water yet! They were used to swimming in their little pool, but I expect that one of them will take the plunge soon.
Feel free to stroll around the farm when you come for a visit and say “hi” to the animals – just don’t feed them or touch them, and beware the electric fence! Our meat chickens and turkeys are done for the year, but we still have layers, ducks, goats, and pigs.