Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Doodle's Piglets

Yes, it may seem as if we are only pig farmers if you read this blog lately. We promise to share other farm stories, but it is true that with 3 sows farrowing in November and December, the pigs are quite prominent. Santa came early and Doodle delivered her piglets on Monday, Dec 21st, right on schedule. The birthing hours are exciting and a bit nerve-racking. Laura was home with the crew while the Omland's celebrated an early Christmas, leading to recommendations of skipping the game theme for names and going right to Santa's reindeer.

She had 8 strong piglets by 11 pm, but one didn't survive the night. A misstep by Doodle seemed to have been the cause. Those 4 lb piglets have to be careful and lucky to not get stepped on by their 750 lb mama. Another, since named Tiny Tim, had his leg broken and cut probably by her hoof. He, however, is growing nicely, in his bathroom suite in the house, though still not using his leg.

Now they are nursing and growing and exploring their surroundings. After just one week, they no longer seem so fragile. And as we glance over at the older piglets, only 5 & 7 weeks old, we can hardly believe that soon they will be that big. [Photo is piglets at 1 -4 hours old; video is them at 1 week old]

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Winter has Arrived!

It was slow in coming (lucky for us 'just in time' farmers), but winter has arrived in full force. In the span of 10 days we will have 10 inches of snow, wind, sleet and sub-zero temperatures.

When it first arrived 10 days ago, we weren't really ready, but now Winter can come. All of the animals staying with us for the winter are in the barn or hoop house, the outside fencing is finished, and most of the tools and such have been rescued from the snow. Phew! Now we can breathe a sigh of relief, start enjoying the snow and holiday season and wait for the arrival of Doodle's piglets. We think Santa will come a bit early with them, but hopefully after this cold snap.

Winter's arrival also means, a new slideshow! Do note fall, summer and spring photos are always available in the albums at our picasa site: http://picasaweb.google.com/greenmtngirls

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Piglet Update

We have 11 happy piglets from 2 litters (Fife Nov 9 & Madison Nov 22). Most notable characteristics -- their rapid growth and fast speed. They all are getting to be quite substantial. No more worries about them being too cold as they are growing well, have moved into the hoop house, and now sleep in an 11 piglet pile. When the run and play, they are fast. They also love to dig in the dirt, wrestle with each other, and imitate the sows. Overall, they bring much joy. Here are some photos and videos for the curious.