Build This: Hoop Tractor v3.0

When you have poultry or waterfowl grow-outs (but especially waterfowl, since they make such a mess with water), a tractor is invaluable. It keeps them safe from predators but allows the growing birds to scratch, bathe, find bugs, eat greens, and enjoy fresh air and sunshine – creating a “controlled” free range (more precisely, pastured) environment. Buying a well-made hoop tractor can be expensive, so we make our own.

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On Celebrating The “Pigness Of The Pig”

It’s been rainy lately, which means the ground is muddy…which is how pigs prefer it. And they don’t want stinky, feces-filled mud – they like “clean” dirt (oxymoron?) that’s been carefully mixed with water into a perfectly-pastelike consistency. The mud also helps keep them cool, and protects their skin from the ample biting insects out here. All hail mud!

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Musings: Farming As Both Struggle And Inspiration

At times I wonder about the future of small-scale farming: with large farming operations buying up small farms and effectively putting smaller farmers out to pasture, why would someone voluntarily choose what is, at best, a hardscrabble lifestyle? It’s certainly not for the prestige, the ease, or the security (or the healthcare coverage)…but now that I’ve been a full-time farmer, I better understand why certain individuals still choose to farm.

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Porcine Adventures: Playing Dead Perfectly

This is not what you want to see: a pig proned out, seemingly dead. Castor gave me a start the other day when I happened upon him like this. After the initial shock, I realized that he was really just taking a long siesta in the sun.

See – he’s fine! But he can’t be bothered to get up right now.

This reminds me of the first time I saw a chick sunbathing – she was all awkwardly sprawled out, and I thought she was dead (!). Was I ever relieved to see her finally wiggle around a bit into a more comfortable position!

The pigs are happy in their mud wallows, but when the sun’s out, sunbathing is apparently in order. The next time I see one of them stretched out, limp, on a sunny day, I won’t feel my heart clutch in my chest because I’ll know they’re just relaxing.

Thanks for the coronary! 🙄