Thursday, November 29, 2012

2012 is coming to a close.

Ahhh life on the farm.

We've been so busy on and off the farm since the last entry on our blog. Can't believe it's been two months since we last wrote anything, apologies  for our slackness on the writing front. We've had a break from calving for a while with the last one having been born on the 8th of October. Our eight calves are doing very well and are growing in leaps and bounds. We only lost two out of a total of ten, they were very big calves and both had to be pulled. We don't like seeing any of our animals die and this was not a nice experience. There are five more cows left to calve, these are the younger ones out of the herd so we left them awhile before they romanced with our bull Monty. Our poddy calf Belle, the breech baby, is still getting fed twice a day. She is doing marvellously well and when she sees me coming down the paddock with the bottle she bellows and races up to get her milk. She's been running with the herd for awhile now and enjoys being a cow which is good because sometimes poddy calves don't realise they are from the cow family. Our milking cow Genevieve looks like she might be in calf also. Can't wait for that birth, she should have a very pretty calf with her colour and markings and Monty's in there as well. Genevieve's original calf Angus has been weaned a fair few months ago now and about time too as he was quite big. He's been keeping Monty company over in the other paddock. 

Our calving is over for the moment.

So on to our pigs. Well we've been busy ripping out the old sleeping accommodation pens which are made of wood and replacing them with steel. The pigs have been wrecking it wall by wall by rubbing and scratching themselves on the walls. Pigs are so strong and heavy they just trash things that aren't solid. As soon as we finish getting that done it will make life a bit easier by making it much more pleasant to feed them. At the moment it's bedlam in there at feeding time. We had some surprise farrowings  recently from our ten month old red and white and dark red sows. We came in one morning to feed the masses and there was Cherie, one of the red and white sows with nine piglets. We were not expecting that as we were used to the Saddlebacks and Tamworths not being in pig until they were around eighteen months old. They sort of caught us on the hop. So we immediately took a closer look at the other three sows of the same age and yep they were also in pig and they gave birth within days of each other. The maternity ward was full to the brim with new little piglets. They are coming up a month old now and there's a heinz variety of colours in this lot, they are oh so pretty. I counted up the number of pigs running around the paddocks here the other day and it totalled at eighty three. No wonder it takes me a while to feed them in the mornings and afternoons.  

Our latest bundles of joy.

All of the geese have finished hatching their goslings now. Last year we fussed around with them by giving them nesting boxes etc but this year we just let them do what comes naturally in the nesting situation and they found perfect spots in the paddock to build nests. They have all successfully hatched their eggs and now we have lots and lots of geese in the paddock. I was a bit worried at first with the little ones being that far away from the house area but the whole gaggle protects everyone's goslings so there's no problem. November has been a dry month here on the farm with only 56 mm in total. We are hoping for a good lot of rain before Christmas just to freshen everything up and wet down the paddocks again. At least it's still green here in the valley but if we don't get good rain soon it will start to brown and dry off a bit. I've just started to water the garden again so that just shows you how dry it is. I haven't watered the garden since last summer. That's the beauty of Tassie you usually get enough rain through the year so you don't have to drag that hose around. It's fruit season coming up too and I can't wait. Our trees have their fruit on and all the berries have their little plump fruits happening. One of my favourite times of the year is when I'm walking through the garden grabbing handfuls of fruit as I go. Christmas is nearly upon us also. We have our girls Fiona and Jess flying down in two and a half weeks for their Christmas break at home. They are lucky enough to get a couple of weeks off work each. We are really looking forward to that and hopefully the weather will be nice for their visit. We want to do a bit of exploring around the place while they are down. If we don't get to write any more bits and pieces before Christmas we'd both like to wish one and all a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy 2013.


Some of our 2012 goslings.