Sunday Recap: Fencing, Watering, Finn Sheep and Breeding

It really doesn’t feel like winter around here. Usually we have a foot of snow, the animals rarely come out of their shelters and we rarely go out of the house. Not this year! I have been enjoying the days we have sun and getting some work done around the ranch.

I wanted to share with you the way fence in our hog pastures. We raise American Guinea Hogs, a heritage breed of hog that is pasture raised and smaller than commercial hogs.

We use field fencing with a strand of hotwire along the bottom to keep them from rubbing against the fence. Yes, you heard right….field fencing with a strand of hot wire. This holds in our boars, sows, weaners and piglets.

 

3-2012-12-30_13-34-15_973

 

You can see that Penny has found the one section of fence we have insulators on and is taking a nap.

 

1-2012-12-30_13-54-25_464

 

I have found that water bowls do not work with hogs. They like to tip them over, lay in them or push them around the pasture.

We use a Hog Nipple that is attached to a 50 gallon barrel. It works great and the water stays clean! My hogs use it and even my Livestock Guardian Dogs use it!

4-2012-12-30_13-33-14_6278-2012-12-30_13-49-42_446

 

We have been researching fiber sheep over the last few months. I really love raising heritage breed animals and wanted to find a breed of sheep that were considered a heritage breed. We came across a breed called  Finnsheep.

Finnsheep are a multi-purpose sheep that are well known for their ability to have multiple births (most often 3-4 lambs).  They are a heritage breed that has high quality soft wool, prolific out of season breeding ability, strong maternal instincts and premium lean tender meat.  Their are social, friendly, easy to handle attitude.  All this  makes them a well suited choice to any size farm.  Finnsheep are exceptional milkers, really good mothers, naturally polled (no horns) and are born with short tails that do not require docking. Their soft wool is highly sought after by both spinners and felters for it’s unique qualities.  Their lean tender meat is sought after by restaurants and food lovers alike.

We went to visit a farm that raises these amazing sheep. I loved how personable they were. You would scratch under the chin and they would sit like a dog and shake their tails!! I also was able to bring home a few bags of raw fiber to process and spin!

 

5-2012-12-29_16-39-55_644

 

After you say, “SHEEP, SHEEP, SHEEP!”

6-2012-12-29_16-39-58_929

 

I am on the home stretch of breeding season this year. All of my Nigerian Dwarves have been bred however, my oberhaslis were a little behind.

So this week I have my boys in two different pastures with their selections of ladies.

Smokey looks happy to have two girls to himself!

 

2-2012-12-30_13-34-23_638

 

Blitz on the other hand was too busy eating oak leaves to be bothered by the boy!

 

7-2012-12-30_13-35-55_419

Advertisements

3 thoughts on “Sunday Recap: Fencing, Watering, Finn Sheep and Breeding

  1. How does that barrel/hog nipple combo hold up in the freeze thaw cycle we get around her in the winter? Our pasture has season water and a year round spring, but the chickens are confined and so is any animal in the barn or orchard. Thanks! ~Amy

    • I go in and wiggle it a bit and it will unfreeze. I think when it is freezing for a long period of time I will need to put water pans out. I like doing that anyways with a little warm water to heat their insides up.

  2. My grandson’s are getting their 4H pigs this weekend. I was wanting to feed them some fodder. They will range from 40 to 60 pounds and was wondering how much fodder we would start them on. The fodder will just be an extra treat each day. All of the chickens love it and thought well why not try it. I saw that you were feeding it to your hogs. When our friends chickens see me coming they line up at the fence. They follow me around to each of there fenced in areas. Waiting for their 1/2 lb. squares to be set down. So funney to watch. Our son’s chickens run loose in the barn and are outside on good days. They like it too, but not as much as the other girls.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s