Saturday, May 18, 2013

More Piggies Soon!

My goodness how time flies when you're busy busy busy!

Big Mama is almost ready to burst! Only two weeks to go until her third litter is due.  After a short break, Spot will have her piglets in mid-June.  I, for one, am very glad that there will be a three week break between litters this time.

We have been working hard to get lots more planted: sugarcane, mulberries, cassava, moringa, sunn hemp, and sweet potatoes--all food plants for the animals.  We are currently feeding the pigs a third of their daily feed with these plants that we're growing.  Considering how quickly things are becoming well-established, it shouldn't be too much longer until we can produce all our own feed--a day we are greatly looking forward to!

Speaking of feeding, Mike rigged up an automatic feeder of sorts, just using bits and pieces we had lying about the farm: a rotisserie, a timer, scrap wood, metal strapping, a rope, and pulleys.  The timer has a battery back-up.  Basically, he loads up the feed pans with greens, pellets, a split coconut, sugar cane... whatever is on the menu for the day... and then sets each pan on its own shelf above each sow's pen.  At the appropriate time, the timer kicks in and starts the rotisserie which winds up the rope until - voila! crash bang! - the shelves dump the feed into the pens, and it's dinnertime for piggies!  The sows have learned to listen for the click of the motor switching on.  They then move away and wait a couple minutes for their food to drop so they can chow down.  We now can be away from the farm all afternoon, for whatever reason, and not have to worry that our girls are hungry.

The book about our farm (the pigs, chickens, tropical feed crops, and Natural Farming) is coming along.  It's being edited now, and we are looking at a mid-summer publishing date.  I'll keep you posted.

All the photos for this post were taken by our daughter, Kerry Hubbell, and used with permission.  Mahalo!