Hopefully everyone had a happy and healthy 2016! Here at the farm we’ve had a few challenges, but we are trying to keep a positive attitude and take care of the issues the best we can.
Unfortunately we lost several bee colonies… We are now down to just 3 colonies that we are hoping make it through the winter. We have already ordered spring replacement Nuc’s from Kevin Hale @ Hales Honey, but this will slow down our planned honey production for 2017. I’m still hoping for 200 – 300 lbs of honey but it’s really going to come down to the bees at this point and how well they do coming into spring.
We have also lost several of our new hens due to local predators. I have several live traps setup trying to catch the red fox that is continually harassing our girls, but so far I haven’t had any luck in catching him.
On to the good news.. We have 3 bred SOW’s that should start farrowing next week! We’re excited and nervous to get an early start on the spring piglet season. This will be the first year that we’ve taken the risk of colder weather and raising piglets. The first SOW is due 2/6, she’s already been moved to our large farrowing stalls to get acclimated. We do not use the traditional farrowing crates but instead a 6×12 stall with a specially designed run-in for the piglets with a heat lamp. This gives the SOW plenty of room to get up and stretch her legs, and provide a more natural environment for the piglets. To date we’ve had great success in doing this and hopefully it continues to provide the same positive results.
Once the piglets are born I’ll be posting pictures and taking orders. Piglets this year are $75 each, and will be castrated, have their first vaccinations, and worming done prior to pickup at the farm.
More updates to come soon!