You Win Some, You Lose Some

Rewind the clock about a week to last Tuesday morning.  It started like any other Tuesday morning. Nope. Not true.

Ever had one of "those" days? You know the kind I'm talking about - where things just don't go how you envisioned them going?  That was my Tuesday. Casually getting ready for the day when sow goes into unexpected labor and has problems. I brought my son's glasses to an all day conference instead of mine. Forgot my cell phone. Didn't drink coffee until 10:45 a.m. Alright, so the latter of the three events weren't that big of a deal. I read off the power point instead of the notes in front of me (I need reading glasses....), I didn't really need my cell phone during the conference, and I did have some lovely pumpkin spice chai tea before my coffee (thanks, Mom!).

The first event, the sow in labor, was a bigger deal.  This was one of our older sows (one of our original ones), and she was not due for another week.  We had only moved her into her pen 2 days prior, thinking we had plenty of time. Kevin went out to do chores and heard squealing. Behold, a baby pig. Yikes. He came and got me, and said I needed to examine the sow because he thought there was one stuck in the birth canal. I was not prepared for this - I had put on nice clothes to go to the conference. I hastily changed, and prepared myself for the barn. Upon my attempt to examine the sow (this was a first time for me), I realized I wasn't quite qualified.... I didn't really know what I was "looking" for, and the sow pushed me out with a contraction. It was evident that something was wrong, but neither of us knew exactly what. Enter one of our heroes, a lady who raised hogs for decades, and only just got rid of her hogs a couple years ago. This lady is at least 40 years our senior. She offered her assistance any time we needed her, and so we took her up on it. When she arrived, our sow had delivered a couple more piglets, but one was stillborn. Our friend examined the sow, showed me what to do, and gave us some good tips and pointers during the whole process. I got a great lesson in farrowing, and we are so thankful for our friend. Our sow did not do as well as we had hoped.  She delivered 6 piglets, 2 of which were stillborn, and 2 more that have passed on in the past week. So, we are down to two piglets from this litter. While this is disheartening, two piglets are better than none.

The four piglets we started with.

In other news...... the soybeans and black beans are now harvested on the transitional acreage. The soybeans left last Wednesday on a truck from Zealand Farm Services.

Getting ready to load beans into the truck.

Beans getting loaded

My view from the cab of the tractor. I've always loved those Western Stars!
The kids got to experience some of the harvest this morning too.  They loved watching the beans get loaded into the truck.

On a walk along the fence row we discovered apple trees!  I am very excited about this.  I am a little sad that I missed most of them this year (should have taken that walk sooner!), but I did harvest enough for eating and making a couple pies.  :)

Since our sow got moved indoor to have her litter, Daisy and her brood got moved out onto pasture. These piglets are six weeks old and loving having access to some pasture.

Some pasture views of the "big pigs"

Hopefully we'll have news of a great farrowing in an upcoming post.  Our sow Penny is due to farrow sometime within the next month.

We do, however, have some exciting news!  We are going to be offering pork by the piece near the end of November, and we also have our Order Form available for download!  We are making progress in updating our book work and getting things settled and organized here on the farm. We are not quite there yet, but are excited about what the future holds.

Happy Harvest!