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.
You can see that Penny has found the one section of fence we have insulators on and is taking a nap.
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!
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!
After you say, “SHEEP, SHEEP, SHEEP!”
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!
Blitz on the other hand was too busy eating oak leaves to be bothered by the boy!