Pigs, turks, and baby chicks!

Well, things are about back to normal around here, at least as “normal” as they ever get.

Thursday morning we moved the pigs, no mean feat, from the ram pen, where they’d run out of green stuff and fresh earth to turn over, out to the woods behind the house, where they are in hog heaven.  Jill was only maybe 65 pounds, so it wasn’t too difficult to lift her. (I tricked them: put a bowl of milk into the dog crate, one pig went in, pushed rump in with my knees, closed the crate, and John and I hefted the crate onto the wheelbarrow; he wheeled it to the new pen, put the crate inside, turned the power on, opened the crate, out she came!)  But Jack, I’ll bet he’s more than 100 pounds. In any case, just lifting didn’t work, once he was in the crate.  We had to tilt the wheelbarrow, and jimmie the crate onto it, and then, slowly lower the wheelbarrow handles, simultaneously pushing the crate a bit further into the barrow.  It was hard work.  But he’s there now, too.  They have been running around, sniffing plants, rooting around for whatever they root around for, and generally, having a great time.

Yesterday, Joyce took me with her to Black River Produce, a local place with high quality produce.  Every day, their trucks return with stuff beyond sell-by date, most of it NOT beyond use-by date…We filled Joyce’s truck with cabbage, lettuce, strawberries, corn, assorted root veggies…came back here and divided it. Joyce said she was advised to go between 4:15 and 4:45, for that’s when the trucks come back in with stuff, so it’s quite fresh.  So, Dottie and I went back, and came home with a truck filled with flats of California strawberries (who wants them when the local, plant-ripe berries are in season?), corn on the cob and two big bags of onions. Stopped at Joyce’s to give her l/3; on the way home, we still had so much, that we stopped at Julie’s around the block to give her some strawberries for her chickens and corn for her cows.  Then, back here to unload.  Last night I went through eight flats of strawberries, picking out the moldy ones, setting the rest aside, to take out for the animals.  This morning, I discovered pigs and chickens love strawberries; turkeys and sheep won’t eat them.  Now, for the corn!  It is too bad, really, that they can’t give a lot of this stuff, not past its “use-by” date, to soup kitchens around.  But at least local animals are feasting on it…with grain and hay costing what it does, it is a big help to get free “kitchen scraps” (can you call 30 flats of strawberries kitchen scraps???) for the animals.

I found one of the dozen turkeys dead this morning.  No idea why…turkeys do that.  So, into the compost s/he went.  The baby chicks are growing like weeds. I’m almost ready to put mama and babies out into the general populace.  The trick is, Mama is very protective of her chicks, so going in there and getting them out will not be fun, I’d imagine…and it is too high up off the ground for me to just let them go out on their own…ah, wait, what if I put a ramp up to the cage. I wonder if they’ll all follow her down the ramp?  It’s worth a try. Later today, I’ll do that…then, I have to put their “bed” under said cage, so they can get out of the weather.  I think it’s time they saw the world and became part of it.

Today is Independence Day.  My prayer for this day is that every person on earth can know freedom and independence, but also recognize we live in a global village, and so interdependence may be the better watchword for us all.  Once we learn we are all interdependent, perhaps we can also learn that sharing is a better model than greed and hoarding…though I have my doubts we can ever truly learn that.  How different the world would be if we could, huh?


One Response to “Pigs, turks, and baby chicks!”

  1. Eulalia (Lali) Benejam Cobb Says:

    Good job using stuff that would otherwise go to waste to feed your animals. If we all got organized, we could do a lot more of this, and the world would be a better, and cleaner, place.

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