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The Living Without Series

This is a series of posts that I wrote back in 2006 on living with less stuff. Check them out: liv011Living #2liv031liv04

Coal Creek Farm on Facebook

The Chicken Doctor

April

The Architect

Clay

Pigs on Coal Creek Farm, and I’m not referring to my children.

Chores

Good morning sleepy heads, time for breakfast!

Coal Creek Farm has four pigs this year.  They’re all females, so maybe I should call them sows, but they aren’t bred, so maybe they’re hogs.

Chores

Hog, sow, boar, pig, swine.  Why are there so many names for these animals?  I think I need to read up on this a bit more.

This is our second year with pigs.  We loved raising them last year.  We buy them when they weigh approximately fifty pounds and are around ten weeks old.  In these photos they have nearly doubled their weight.

Chores

This morning we’ll be having corn and soybean meal.

Last year I went to the local feed store and bought all the pigs food.  By month three I was spending $60 a week feeding them, it was horribly expensive.  This year we have cut our feed cost down by buying bulk feed direct from a mill.  We have the mill mix clean feed, which means we don’t feed any antibiotics or hormones to these pigs.  They eat what is called 16% feed, which means they are getting a ratio of 16% protein consisting of corn, soybean and minerals.  I’m almost certain I’m saying something wrong here, so please correct me, I’m still new to the pig farming.

Chores

These pigs are gaining weight much faster than our pigs from last year.  Because we have four of them they are more competitive with their food and don’t waste one drop of it.

Chores

How do you like our feed trough?  It’s some sort of tank that was cut in half and left on our farm for us to find and say, “Hey, that’ll work great to feed the pigs!”  Except the pigs like to move it around and occasionally bury half of it in the mud, so maybe it’s not the greatest feed trough, especially in the morning when it’s pouring rain and I’m trying to figure out how I’m going to get the trough out of the mud and feed the pigs and not have to take another shower.  Please don’t tell me how stupid I am for taking a shower before I feed the pigs.  I know this.  I just can’t seem to stop.

Chores

This is part of the ton of grain we hauled home.  When I say we hauled home a ton of grain….I mean we hauled ONE TON of grain home in our truck.  The hitch was nearly dragging on the road and we thought for sure we were going to bend an axle or pop a tire or destroy something, because we are very good at breaking things.  Especially when we get over zealous on our farm projects.

I’m using this grain to feed our chickens too.  We use one 50lb bag of feed a day and we’ll keep using more and more grain each day until, um, well, I’ll get to that in a second.

Chores

I like to feed the animals, but I HATE to water them.  We don’t have a convenient watering system and it drives me crazy.

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This is my watering system.  Yes, it’s cute, but not convenient.  I have to say…every…single….day, “Okay, I’ll holler when I get back to the pig pen for you to turn on the water and then I’ll holler again for you to shut it off…don’t leave…stay right there.  Okay?  Okay?  Are you listening?  Stay right there.  Don’t move…okay?  Please?  Please?  Stay there honey, okay?”  Then I run and pray that just this one time he’ll not get distracted and stay by the hydrant until I get back to the pig pen.

ChoresIt never fails, the water system screws up every time.  “CLOSE THAT LINK!  NO!  NO!  DON’T RUN AWAY FROM IT!  NO!  SHUT IT OFF!  SHUT IT OFF!”  I make a lot of trips back and forth from the hydrant to the pig pen to ‘fix’ the watering system.

Chores

This is the reason we will be using a bit less grain.  It’s time to um, well, say goodbye to these birds.  You know I’ll fill you in on all the details when the day comes, because I like to share every detail of this farm life with you.

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