Mother's Day on the Farm
May 13, 2021
We sure have baby fever here around the farm and how fitting it is with Mother's Day on the horizon! The baby chickens arrived first, and are enjoying their time among the pastures. We were a bit nervous to welcome them to the farm during a misty, cold, rainy day. Whenever an animal changes their environment, you want it to match as much as possible to the previous location to prevent shock and disruption in their quality of life. The baby chicks were used to a warm and dry barn. Luckily, our new chicken tractors kept the grasses below the tarps dry, and trapped in the warm air from the ground and sun to promote a warm, dry climate for them. We did lose a couple chicks to hawks throughout their first days, but our farm dog Tig will help chase the predators away sporadically.
Our mama sows are busy birthing some pretty healthy litters in the fields. A good group of piglets born would average between 12-15 per mamma. The best sows are the ones who have given birth 1-2 times prior, and tend to keep a nice consistent weight in the fields. Another promising attribute for a mama sow is their protective instincts. If they grunt at us, chase, or give us problems within the first week of giving birth whenever we are around their young, it is a good sign that they will protect the piglets at all costs from predators like coyotes, raccoons and foxes. Here is a video showing you a 15 piglet litter, and a mamma sow's grunt: https://youtu.be/AZF9ImCKYls
The final group of mamma's to showcase this week is our cows. This group of cattle have been enjoying the new Spring pastures since last week, and found them to be the perfect place to give birth. The first was one of our pure-bred Scottish Highlands. This is the second calf she has birthed, and she is doing a great job feeding and protecting it. The second was an Angus-cross. Do you notice her horns? One was injured when she was young, which caused it to grow differently than normal. It causes her no harm, and she's adapted to it. Her little calf is thriving as well.
Happy Mother's Day from all of us at the farm!