Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Life on the Farm

I'm home this week - have taken a few days leave. I've taken over the Pig Jobs so that Kim can focus on more fencing (I help when two people are needed). I love being a Pig Farmer! They are characters - some good and some bad!!! The pigs are breeding faster than we can keep paddocks up to them, and we are really getting anxious to move them onto fresh pasture. It's been very surprising just how much grass the pigs eat and as we're just finishing (hopefully) our dry season, there's not much feed left. We've started feeding the pigs hay, which they seem to enjoy.

We've got two litters of weaners at the moment - the coloured ones are the Large Black/Berkshire Cross over a Berkshire Boar and the white ones are straight Large White out of the Sow and Boar we recently purchased. The redish one is a ring-in. We bought some weaners to make up for some small litters we had.

We haven't had any rain for a couple of months and didn't really have much of a wet season this year. However, we have green pick coming through in all the paddocks. This is one reason that we want to move some of the pigs, as we don't want them hammering the young grass.

The cattle paddocks are going really well, as we rest them a bit more. Cell grazing is really the way to go, as the grass has time to recover between grazings and even without rain, the soil moisture that has been retained will encourage grass growth. We still have plenty of soil moisture. We had a grader her the other day and he said that it was nearly wet enough to get bogged!

I've put some more photos on the photo page..................


  1. all very interesting! I am looking fwd to getting some pigs one day. The other day I ended up talking to a lady who owned a conventional confinement piggery, and she told me all about the necessity of sow stalls, I was horrified! Just had to nod and smile. I told her we were thinking about keeping them free-range and she was horrified :) she said they are horrible to each other, which I thought was to be expected when they are locked up on concrete floors. Anyway, your comment about their personalities reminded me of that very strange conversation.

    Cell grazing is a great idea, and works so well once you've done the initial work to set it up, lots of fencing and water infrastructure. We will get there eventually too!

  2. We had a Vet Work Experience Student here a few months ago. Her lecturer had told her that it was good to go to a free range piggery because she would see a lot of diseases! Needless to say, she was dissappointed. The opposite is true! TRUE free range pigs are really healthy. They don't get bored because they can run around, chew things, roll in the mud.....and while they might be a bit nasty to each other, I think it is all in fun!!!
    And, it does take a lot of time to get cells up and running if you work full time, but once it's done, it's done! The time spent moving the cattle is not a lot either, when you consider that it's so easy once they get used to it!