Woolly Pigs

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Each year, God seems to send us a new and exciting breed of pigs. Alexander always searches for breeds that will do well on pasture as well as produce tasty meat. Watching this year’s Mangalitsa/ Red Wattle crosses develop has been fun. Some have fur which resembles wool. Some are red. Some are blond. Some have wattles. Whatever the look, they all have been active and friendly. Since all 4 pigs come bounding over to see Alexander when they hear him coming, he stated, “If you’re going to fall into the pig pen, always have feed with you!” They are rambunctious; and they are growing well. Thankfully, they have respected the electric fencing such that they stay put when they are supposed to and they cross to their new paddock as directed. Now that they are bigger, they require a paddock change every two weeks.

If you have signed up for a half or whole hog, processing is expected in December. We will be contacting you as the time approaches. If you would still like to sign up, it is not too late as we still have hogs available. Contact us with any questions.

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Our pigs are growing and into their 4th pasture now

We finally got a chance to upload some video of the pigs moving to their 3rd paddock a few weeks ago; although, now they are bigger and in their 4th paddock. It has been a good season with these pigs. We bought more pig QuikFence from Premier 1 which has enabled us to easily transition the pigs from one paddock to the next. If you’d like to watch a 9 minute video of a move, head on over to Alexander’s YouTube Channel. Surprisingly, we still have pigs left for purchase. Reserve your 1/2 or whole now on our pastured pork page. The winter will be here soon, and you’ll be wanting what others have called the-best-sausage-they’ve-ever-tasted.DSC06153

Spreading their wings

After spending three weeks in the brooder in the barn, the chicks were ready to head out to the pasture. One of the first things they like to do is test out their wings and enjoy the glory of outdoors. What wonderful temperatures God has given us this week, too! It’s a bit cool on the chicks at night, so we have heat lamps on the chicken tractor allowing the chicks to snuggle at night with comfort. It is our intention to process these broilers the first weekend in November. If you haven’t ordered but would like to, some are still available on our pastured broilers page. Just let us know how many you would like.

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New chicks came in August

DSC06127 Alexander wanted to try a new breed of chicks this time, so we got two types of broilers from Myer’s Poultry Farm. The breeds he chose were Kosher King and Red Cornish. Both of these breeds take longer to finish, but should do well on pasture living healthy happy lives. Here you see him unboxing the chicks and teaching them where to find the feed and water. Below, you’ll see them enjoying their nice new home which Alexander maintains with care. If you look at this picture and think, “Alexander doesn’t look so good,” that’s because the poor guy dealt with poison ivy for a month and a half this summer! He was a true champ during this summer trial through which we discovered the marvelous healing ability of the jewelweed plant.DSC06135

The pigs are growing

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The pigs are now in their fourth paddock out in the pasture and happily doing their favorite thing–eating! As you can see, they are growing. What you can’t see are their happy frolicking antics. If life on the farm allows, we’ll pull out the video camera and film some more live action for you. Alexander has been determined to keep their growth slow and steady, so that they learn to forage as well as put on a good muscle to fat ratio.

Moving the pigs out to pasture

After chicken processing was taken care of, we were ready to move the pigs out to the pasture. The boys have had the pasture ready for a while, but the pigs just weren’t ready to face the dangers of the outdoors. At the end of June, they were ready. In fact, they were just moved again. Time is flying this summer! Here’s a video of the first move. We’ll get some more pictures posted soon to show you how much they’ve grown in their plush outdoor home.DSC09611DSC09614DSC09626DSC09634

Don’t let these cute faces fool you. These guys and gals have rambunctious personalities! They are very active–romping in the pasture and always ready for any tasty morsels brought their way. One of them plowed through my legs and knocked over my water bucket giving this city-girl-gone-country-girl quite a fright! Let’s just say I won’t be too sad to see processing day come for this rambunctious batch of pigs. On a very positive side, we are incredibly thankful that they have been respecting the electric fencing and not running away every day like the pigs we had 2 years ago. Now that was a year! We are glad they are having a good time in the pasture. Would you like to become a pork customer? It’s not too late to order! If you wait too long though, we may be sold out. Contact us through the pastured pork page and let us know if you’d like a half or whole. The pork should be ready in January.

2014 June Chicken Processing

Hello! We apologize for the fact that it has been a long time since we’ve posted anything. Life is busy on the farm in the summer! On June 21st, we processed our first batch of broilers for the year. This first batch was for our freezer; the next batch can be for yours. All you have to do is place an order on our pastured broilers page. We expect to process the second batch in early October. If you’d like to watch a 5 minute video of our first processing day this year, head on over to YouTube.DSC09545DSC09565DSC09590DSC09598

This was our first time saving the chicken feet to use for broth. We washed them well then froze them on cookie sheets. After they were frozen, we bagged them in freezer bags. It has been nice being able to pull out a couple at a time to add when we make broth. If you order chickens from us and would like the feet saved, let us know when you place your order. The feet add gelatin to the broth which aid digestion and can even help heal digestive disorders.

What are the girls doing?

Aileigh, Caroline, and Julianne

Alexander, Julianne, and Duncan begin chores each day by moving the broilers. Then while Alexander and Duncan are taking care of the hens and pigs, you can often find us girls in the garden. Weeding and planting has required most of our attention; however, we have been sweetly rewarded by a bountiful harvest of strawberries. So far we’ve eaten plenty of berries, frozen some, canned some jam, and crowned the harvest by making pie and shortcake. We aren’t done with berries yet and would love to try some new recipes, so please comment with your favorite ways to use strawberries. Sharing recipes would be fabulous!

Our new arrivals

This past Saturday, we drove to Clark County to pick up 4 piglets. I am thrilled to be able to raise a new breed of pigs this year. These piglets are a cross between Mangalitsa and Red Wattle pigs. They are expected to grow well out on the pasture and produce tasty well-marbled meat. To our surprise, these piglets are still very small and need to get larger before being trained in the electric fencing we have; therefore, we have been getting them extra milk with our herd share. They really love our fruit and veggie scraps, too. It’s humorous the way they tumble on top of each other to greet me when I bring them scraps. We are charmed by their antics and look forward to the months we’ll have them here on the farm. We are affectionately referring to them as “Woolly Wattles” hoping they will have the woolly trait of the Mangalitsa and the wattle trait of the Red Wattle. Though we expect it to take 6 months to raise the pigs, we’d like to know for whom we are raising them. Please contact us soon to order a whole or half hog; don’t miss out on tasty pastured pork from these heritage breeds. Orders are due by June 15th.

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(Dad, me, Grandpa)

Preparing the pig training paddock

As Providence has it, we are having a rainy day outside which is good news for you all. Since we can’t work outside, we can update you on all that has been going on here at Jonah’s Run Farm. Last week, we secured a deal on heritage pigs. It’s interesting how our breed of pigs has changed each year which makes raising them exciting and new. This year we’ll have a cross between Mangalitsa & Red Wattle pigs.  Mangalitsas are praised for their hardiness and meat flavor and Red Wattles are known for being quick growers and very tasty. Both are good breeds on pasture. Setting up their paddock began as soon as we secured the deal. To begin, Duncan and I cleared a path for our fencing. DSC09316 (2) DSC09317DSC09350 DSC09328

Kirk collected the grass we cut. He’s a hard worker even though in his cute 2 year old way he says he’s not going to be a hard worker.

 

Measuring and ramming T posts followed. These little guys are a lot of help & fun, too!

DSC09330  DSC09335   DSC09354 (2)Next we got 100 feet of welded wire. We fastened the welded wire to the T-posts. This is being used temporarily to train the piglets to our electric fencing. Inside this paddock, we’ll make another one using the electric fencing.

DSC09358 DSC09364DSC09373 As we finished up the wire training paddock, Kirk wandered off to love on our Border Collie/ Pyrenees super social guard dog.

 

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