It’s been a busy few weeks here at the farm, and for once, I’m writing two posts in one month. Goodness!
As you might be able to guess from the title of this post, the most exciting new developments here are that we got a donkey, have started renovating a barn for our January lambing, AND (drumroll please) we’ve got pork!!
Our donkey is the last animal we expect to buy for the farm. She’ll have the all important task of protecting our flock of sheep from any predators. While we haven’t had any predator issues yet (knock on wood), it’s only a matter of time and having a guard animal for defenseless sheep is simply a good idea. We chose to get a donkey rather than a guard dog, because they’re just as effective and we’re not as comfortable having a dog that has to be more socialized with our sheep than it is with humans. We like having farm animals for the farm and dogs as companions. We may very well get a dog to work our sheep in the future, but that one would live with us, not with the sheep. Our donkey is also one of the most creative wedding presents we’ve received! We got her from friends who have a donkey they breed. Our little Donkey Hotey is our friends’ donkey’s baby. And man, is she CUTE!! (despite having a little briar problem) See for yourself!
They have arrived!! We had our first gilt become a sow this morning, with her first litter! Graham even had his first experience watching momma in action, since she’d had four when he went to feed her this morning, and now seems to be done with a grand total of ten piglets born (for the majority of you who have no idea about such things, ten is excellent for a first time momma). Two of the wee ones were born in bad shape, and didn’t make it, but we’ve got 8 right now, and Mom is doing an amazing job caring for them… responding to squeals, easing herself slowly down as she readjusts to feed them.
Enough chatter… here are pictures. Hands down the most exciting day on the farm yet! (Lambs were exciting too, but man, these little guys are adorable). Meet our five new boys and three new girl piglets.