It is getting colder at night, and we are scraping thicker frost off windshields in the mornings – that means we are well into November in New England. Our chickens are continuing to be pretty impressively productive in the egg laying department when provided with supplemental light and a high protein feed. Since it is so cold out, and we have been having such destructive predation problems this late summer/fall, the layers are now in the barn in a humongous pen where they have a choice of two areas to dust bathe in our deep litter system. We add (recycled old) wooden ladders, sawed in half or thirds, for roosts for the birds to exercise their natural instinct to “fly into the trees” like if they were still outside at night. Natural instincts and defense systems are great protectors, usually. I do know that routines and doing the usual thing does provide a certain amount of comfort, and that is why we keep the ladies in a stable environment where there aren’t death threats from coyotes on a nightly basis.
The spring 2010 piglets are growing larger. Here they are in a picture from late Winter-early Spring 2010, at about eight-ten weeks old. We have a processing appointment for our four in late February or March, because we really do stick to our “one year old” policy for pork. We will not have any pork slaughtered for sale until it is one year old. In our humble opinion, that is when flavor has developed and there is a tasty covering of fat. Last Spring we sold a couple of litter mates to our pigs to a neighbor, who really pushed the feed on hers. She had hers butchered a few days ago and they hung at 218 and 224, or something like that. She said long bodied, beautiful looking pigs. The funny part is that she raised them side-by-side with some Yorkshire piglets, the very same age, who finished about fifty pounds lighter each. She said that she can see the difference in the meat between the two breeds (hers were our Tamworth piglets) even though they were fed the same, raised the same, and slaughtered and cut by the same butcher. I am very pleased that she had such praise for the piglets. Like I have said before, we are awfully happy with the product that they make, and they are a very pleasant farm animal to keep, as long as your fences are adequate.
We currently have 2010 Fall Tamworth (full sisters and brothers to these) piglets for sale. Send an email along or call if you are interested. Choice piglets are still available.