Tag Archives: Pigs

Volunteer Stories

Andrew has been volunteering on the farm twice a week for 8 years!  He loves coming, and turns up whatever the weather, rain or shine.

His favourite jobs are collecting the eggs, refilling the poultry drinkers and giving the chickens their corn.

Today Andrew was collecting windfalls for the pigs.  We have Gloucester Old Spot pigs – another name for them is Orchard Pigs as they used to be kept in the apple orchards that were once very common in the west country.

Andrew is also branching out and volunteering in our Community Cafe at weekends. He likes working there as it is very different from the farm – he has to dress smartly and stay nice and clean.

Andrew used the farm’s tablet to take some pictures of his favourite animals.

 

Livestock Update

We are in the middle of our breeding plan for next spring at the moment. The Jacob sheep are pregnant and we have another ram with the other sheep at the farm, so we hope to have lambs being born over a few weeks from the end of February onwards.

Rufus the Gloucester Old Spot boar on loan from Bath City Farm arrived here at the weekend and is due to be introduced to Jasmine and Blossom later on this afternoon. Although it is very muddy the pigs are still able to enjoy going outdoors occasionally.

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Handsome Rufus the Boar – let’s hope Jasmine and Blossom like him!

Rufus getting to know the girls

Between me, Ian and the volunteers we have managed to remember to look after the eggs in our incubator and were thrilled that 3/4s of them hatched. We now have the eight female chicks under a heat lamp in the stable block quickly turning from balls of fluff into little birds.

Welsummer Chicks

The goats are due to go off to visit a billy in a month or so. The goats are growing rapidly and touch wood have got their heads stuck in the fence less and less every week.

 
We have been doing some spinning at the weekend, especially during the wet weather. The Saturday Farm Hands have been able to have a go after the workshop and have learned to spin a little on a drop spindle.

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We now have our freezers well stocked with pork joints, chops, slices, plenty of lamb including a few legs left and a new batch of sausages. Current flavours are chilli and garlic, Cumberland and traditional plain sausages.

Juley Community Farmer

Livestock Update

In the farm yard there have been a few changes over the last weeks.  Most startlingly we have brought in some new pigs – the three little pigs will be with us until they are big enough for slaughtering.  The current plan is to take the young boar (AKA piggy) and the biggest of the three little pigs to the abattoir together in around 6 weeks.  At around 16 weeks the white pig weighs approx 40kg.  Piggy is currently a bit over 70 kgs.  The four male pigs have recently been introduced to each other and seem to be getting on very well.  We had been concerned that the boar was a bit fed up – the company should cheer him up!

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Right now our new three Jacob sheep have gone to visit the ram over at Windmill Hill City Farm for the next six weeks.  This way we hope to have pure Jacob lambs in the spring.  We will find a different ram for the other three ewes and two lambing periods.  Three lambs have recently been slaughtered, so although we have temporarily run out of sausages there is plenty of lamb and a little mutton left in the freezers.

 

The goats seem pretty much okay with the sheep during the daytime.  We will move them in to the main stable block soon to make moving the flock backwards and forwards.  So at the moment we only have three ewes, five lambs and the two goats on site.

 

Two of the main flock of hens are visiting the welsummers at the moment – most specifically as this way their eggs will be fertilised.  By using a gold or red cockerel (welsummer) with a silver breed (the visiting Light Sussex) we will be able to hatch out hybrid chickens that apart from laying more, browner eggs can be sex-linked at day old.  Anyone with a pet snake please get in touch!

 

Juley Howard

Community Farmer, 25th September 2014

Livestock News 3

The ducklings are now 11 weeks old. In the end 9 hatched and lived – one with a bent leg is now being cared for by one of our volunteers at home, four sold to a local farmer for her duck pond and the last four will be for sale once they get to point of lay in about 8 weeks time.
In July the long awaited goats arrived. They obviously missed their mother to start with but now seem to be rather enjoying life! The goats we have bought are Boer / Saanan so a cross between the best meat and milking goats. Bambi and Snowy are twins and get on extremely well. With the help of the volunteers we are starting to halter train them, not just to be able to move them around the farm easily but perhaps with a view to taking them to shows in the future. They like climbing, eating hedges and other typical goat activities!

We also have three new Jacob Sheep. These newcomers from across the bridge arrived in the pouring rain first thing on Saturday morning and are now acclimatising to their new home. All three are 2013 ewe lambs, white with brown spots they look the same at a glance but after a while it isn’t difficult to tell the difference.
Blossom and Piggy, Jasmine’s piglets are growing a bit slowly but this is probably due to their breed as much as their mother gobbling up their food. We feel sorry for Piggy the young boar who is now segregated from the others. If you are in the vegetable garden please don’t forget to take him some windfall apples as well as the other pigs. And stop for a chat as he is a bit lonely. However, he has to be seperated or he would try to mate with Blossom and Jasmine.