Farm Life

Winter Pastured Hogs

I just got back in from feeding hogs.  It's windy and 18 degrees outside.  It's supposed to get into the single digits with high wind tonight.  When it's cold like this we haul warm water to all the hogs and poultry.  (I guess it's not too big of a deal in Kansas but in Wisconsin we had to worry about dehydration in livestock during prolonged periods of bitter cold weather.  Old habits die hard.)  The warm water enables them to get a big drink of water without getting chilled or develope a huge brain freeze.  The cattle have insulated waterers so we don't worry too much about them.        

The hogs are still out in their 6 acre pasture paddock.  We made a U shaped line of round bales for the hogs to burrow into for warmth and protection from the wind.  Pigs are herd animals and like to sleep in groups.  20 big hogs can generate quite a bit of heat.  Hogs are also masters at composting.  They will pee in their nest of hay.  This sounds gross but the combination of moisture and organic matter will start up the composting process.  This generates a lot of additional heat in the pig nest.

Since the pasture is dead and brown right now, we'll feed the hogs alfalfa until things green up again.  This is fed in addition to a grain based hog feed and any extra/skimmed milk from the dairy.  


What's Up?

Whoahhh!  What happened to September?  It sure was a busy month for us here at the farm.  I spent my time finishing up the farmer's market season and getting our new sales area ready here on the farm.  Mark has been busy with work at Joe Self in Wichita.  In his spare time, he has been working on painting the milk house, a.k.a, our new sales area.  It's looking really nice now.  While it's nothing fancy, we are happy with the results.  We have moved our fridge and freezer from the garage into the milk house.  It is much more accessible for customers and is easier for me to keep clean and tidy. The biggest reason for the move across the driveway is that I did not want to be carrying jars of raw milk across the yard.  Now I can just jar up the milk and quickly pop it in the fridge without a hassle.

I have one more farmer's market to do before I am totally done for the season.  This is the VA Hospital market in Wichita.  It is on Thursday October 22 from 2:00-5:00.  I certainly hope this wet drizzly weather is done by then!  I would like to remind our customers that just because the farmer's market season is over does not mean that you cannot keep on purchasing soap, eggs, and meat from us.  If you are in the area just drop on by.  If you are making a special trip out to the farm you may want to give us a call or drop us an email to make sure we have available what you want.