Tuesday, 26 March 2013

New arrivals, more losses

Where to start with this weekend, yet another weekend of highs and lows, losses and gains; and not all of them planned or at our own hand. Others were, and we have a stocked freezer as a result.
 I do feel as if all I post recently is lost livestock and purchases of replacements. I understand that a turn over is required in some circumstances to introduce new bloodlines, however I do not feel we will be needing to do that for quite some time!
2 new turkeys and Indian game roosters
Firstly we lost the young poult, that had had its leg caught in the incubator tray. To be entirely honest I am not sure that was all that was wrong with it; it was unsteady on its feet and although we had seen it eat and drink, I am not sure it was getting enough, and was weak.
Saturday we also lost Ronnie; our prize Indian Game rooster. We had quarantined him for a few days, following his run in with the car- we don't think he was run over, but he definitely gave himself a fright being underneath it. Though I do think he had become increasingly unsteady on his feet, prior to this. But it may have finished him off.
So we returned to the breeder of our last batch of Indian Games to purchase another dark rooster, only to come away with 2! We also picked up 2 young turkeys- one male, one female. So we have various stages, to grow out for Christmas; though I hope the female has at least one season laying prior to that.
On the piggy front, Friday we travelled back to the free range piggery to purchase a young gilt, in the hope of breeding pure Berkshires. So we made the 250km (approx 156 miles) round trip to see Christina at Berkshire Gold and picked out our girl- Sage.


Sage ready to meet her new mob

Sage settling into her new surroundings

Berkshire Gold supply the local area with high quality free range meat. Though we have noticed how timid she is (in comparision to our other). As a free ranger piggery, they have a huge amount of space on about 110 hectre (I wish!). But it does mean that they are not as used to human contact as our guys... So this is something I will be working on! 

Sage remained in the transport cage overnight, as it was late when we returned and she was dry and comfy. So the introduction to the herd (or mob) came on Saturday morning... but there was one thing we had to do first.
Introducing a new member to our herd was bound to cause excitement and probably a bit of tension. So there was one thing that required our attention first.
Berky our 1st piglet born and raised
The purchase of Sage (that's the new gilts name), did seal Streaky's fate (our original gilt, purhcased- unsuccessfully as a breeder). So before introducing the new girl, we needed to deal with Streaky.

Smokey- our Berkshire bore

















This was not a task, either of us was looking forward to, or a decision we took lightly. We had already persevered for months, with no success. And as we rear our pigs for pork, that was the decision that needed to be made. But I have blogged this event separately, in the previous post. So for those who do not wish to read, or see some of the images (as they may be upsetting).

In the middle of this however Sage decided that the cows paddock looked far more inviting, so made a break through the fence (as we had knocked the electric fence off  to allow us to use the ramps- to pu ther in, and forgotten to pu tit back on). So had to herd her back through, without letting the others out... not the best timing.

So we sectioned part of the pen off with electric fencing, to allow for the pasture (and probably various veg that will propergate from thier dropping) to regrow. Then we will rotate and separate another bit.