Archive for the ‘pigs’ Category

It has been cold, terribly cold.  The snow squeaks under foot.  Your nostrils freeze together. It is booger freezing cold.

Anyone who has entered the goat barn and left the door open longer than it takes to get their butt through has heard me scream at them to shut the damn thing.  But, the girls are warm with their layers of hay.  James is snuggly in his little barn.  The pigs have grown very thick hairy coats and their house is filled to the brim with hay.  Their area actually steams when they are all pig piled in, ready for bed.  The eggs are freezing in the nests, so middle son (home for holiday break from college) is gathering frequently during the day.

Coffee is not cutting it when temps are 30° with the wind chill.  I am thinking this might be what I need before heading out to the barn…

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     Just kidding!

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And since I have not posted words in a long time here a few pictures to show you around, maybe make you smile.  Our farm in pictures:

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Please do not use these photos without permission, they are the property of the photographer and Butting Heads Farm. Thank you very much!

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A Maine Adventure

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Winter farming is usually not too bad.  It is cold. There is snow. However,  Maine this year has been very short on snow. Until this storm, the BLIZZARD. the storm that has shut everything down.   Yesterday you couldn’t even take a Maine adventure and shop at Reny’s.  They closed at 2 p.m. It seems the only ones working are plow guys and farmers.   Snow, no snow. BLIZZARD or not; chores must be done.

A Maine adventure BHF style.

Carrying pails and slop across the road was easier with the use of a sled, but the stuff kept tipping over, not sure how many stale slices of bread are in the road.  Water was frozen, more pails to sled across. Every barn door needed to shoveled before entering.  Getting into the pig pasture was interesting, there is usually a very definable  line.   The smells like bacon when a pig touches it don’t get anywhere near electric fence.  The fence  is now under a shit ton of snow so one must grope along the side of the pig house with a 5 gallon pail of slop and find the end and step over.  Then there was the search for the feed tub.  It is a good size tub.  You could bathe a small child in it.  Nowhere to be seen, no lump in the snow either.  It was dark though.  So the shuffle began in snow up to the farmer’s steam hole, tripped on it the second time around and almost landed on the aforementioned very hot electric fence.  Never did find the water tub, just waited and filled the feed tub with water when the pigs were done eating their few slices short of a full slop pail breakfast.  Anastasia and Drizella made a very brief trip out to do their business, grab some slop and water and then back to bed for them. IMG_0135
While Miss Olive was being milked, snow was blowing in under a section of the eaves. just a little and with classical music playing, the girls munching quietly and those bits of snow sparkling like fairy dust it was almost magical.  Now if only the farmer could bippity bop the snow away.

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People often ask, “How long does it take you to do chores?”, “Is it hard?”, and the famous “Don’t you hate doing chores?”.  Answers to the first two are what this post is about, the third one well, hello if the farmer hated it she wouldn’t be doing it.

This afternoon the farmer took pictures to document chore time.  Mind you, she has her hands full and photography is not her strong suit annnddd the pigs were done and all water was already hauled, thanks to the FH and sons.

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Teat wipes

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Teat dip

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Milk Pail

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Egg Basket

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Bogg Boots (It’s Maine and it is snowy and cold)

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Hat and gloves (sharpied with Mom so the Farmer can claim them when borrowed by others)

Trek across the road is complete:

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Hay and grain for the bucks, Skippy Jon and JamesImage.

Drizzy and Anna happy as two pigs in…well, in snow, with full bellies.

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Gather eggs, feed and water chickens.

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Grain and hay for Olive, Junie B., Amelia, Fern, Willy, and Lilly

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A very close picture of cleaning a teat before milking.

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Milking

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A bad picture of teat dipping, a bad picture because Miss Olive abhors having her teats dipped even though the Farmer spoils her and keeps the dip in the warm house.

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Animal crackers, treats, oh, beloved treats.

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The fruits of afternoon chores.

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Miss Olive is all done and so is the Farmer.

Chores a tutorial in pictures.  Brought to you today in 15 degree weather, light snow and bright sunshine. When the stars are all in alignment and the water is not frozen and everybody decides to stay in their designated areas chores take about a half of an hour.  That is with one milking doe.  Chores are not difficult.  There is water to be carried 15 gallons morning and afternoon,  the hardest part may be climbing out of a very warm bed and heading out of doors in the winter.  Though winter chores have their advantages, there are no flies, the farmer hates flies more than Miss Olive hates teat dipping.

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Welcome to Butting Heads Farm blog.  Most have suggested that the farmer start out with telling you a bit about the family, the farm and why she wanted to blog.  So the farmer pondered and that went nowhere, fast. The farmer will start this way, her way.

We are a small dairy goat farm in Maine.  We also raise and can our own vegetables, raise pigs and chickens (egg kind and good eating with stuffing inside kind), cut our own wood and live in a very old farmhouse that has been handed down through the farmer’s family for the past 80 years.

Butting Heads Farm, the name lends itself to many aspects of daily farming around here anyway.   The farmer is a middle aged, strong willed woman and the FH is just as stubborn.  We work really well together or not so well.

Although we raise goats and they are the farmer’s real passion; as she said before pigs are also raised here.  Well, keeping up with demand it was decided that this year we would raise our two freezer pigs with butchering occurring in the late fall and then a second set of pigs for sale to our farm customers.  These two girls joined the farm in mid September.  (Check out the story here. )

The girls were put into the pasture on the house side of the property.  Our pigs have always gone to be processed in late October, early November, before really cold temperatures or deep snow.  These girls will be wintering over; wintering over means that the farmer et al will be hauling water and feed through snow and keeping plenty of straw in the house. These chores would be easier done if the pigs were on the barn side of the road.  Read about the adventure here.

This is just a beginning to the adventures that occur here at Butting Heads Farm.  ~The Farmer

p.s. The Farmer is new to the blog stuff please be patient with her…..

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