Monday, 22 April 2013

Piggy watch and grwoing your own discussions

Well 'Christmas ham' has not come back into season; following her first season post piglets in December. As I said 3 week ago, we did see interest from Smokey (our bore). So we are hopeful that this means we have another litter due. If we are right, it should be the end of August! So fingers crossed, guess we shouldn't get too carried away, as they say about counting your chickens before they've hatched- guess the same caution should be applied to piglets too.
This news did stir some interesting conversations at the weekend... along with mixed feelings about eating some of our home grown produce. Funnily enough the veg and herbs used had a far less divisive response than the knowledge that our guests were enjoying our home raised chickens and pork. I wish we had taken the time to take photo's as it was an impressive spread- Matt is an awesome cook, and the weekend was no exception.
Yet again we had requests for the recipes to many of his dishes... something I may share soon. (If he lets me!) In other discussions one of the largest issues seemed to be either having looked into the animals eyes (having met them previously), or that we name our animals.
Now whilst we do not find the culling process easy, we do enjoy our animals both in life and death. And once you take that action, you cannot take it back... just do them justice. And whilst we name and interact with our animals, even if they are to be for the plate (eventually), we know they have had a happy and healthy life... and everyone had to agree that you could taste the difference.
Other than our feast and the associated preparations (grass cutting and strimming, house cleaning etc)  things remained reasonably quiet at Maes-y-Delyn this week. We did receive (and have since put together) our meat bandsaw and mincer- for future porkers (and other livestock). So just the cold room to get sorted (nothing too big!).
I am eagerly awaiting the delivery of my rotary hoe; birthday gift from the Matt... Cannot wait to give it a run!

And I'm afraid, a few more losses. Even though we raise poultry and livestock (as I'm told poultry is not livestock?) for food, it is still always sad to lose one without reason. Thursday our female poult passed. She had gasped randomly over the last few days. We thought it may have been that she was too warm (as she had plenty of water etc) and I tried treating her for any potential respiratory infections (using a chlorine based spray). So we're not sure, maybe she was never going to be strong enough after all she was one of the survivors of our firs incubator disaster (power went out, more than once and stopped development of almost all our eggs).
Then Sunday, following 36 hours of observation we made the decision to put down one of or female geese. As she had lost weight and was losing control and power in her limbs. It was not an easy decision, but having tried (in vein) to save our drake, who appeared to have had similar symptoms early this year. We felt it was kinder in the long run.
That and we are planning a short camping trip this week. So it would be unfair to leave our house sitter with a sick goose.