Monday, December 15, 2008

Turkeys and pigs in snow

Sometimes you have to wonder if the turkeys can feel their feet at all. These heritage birds are standing in the snow -- there's bare earth all around, but the snow is apparently where it's at for a turkey. The center bird facing us is a bourbon red hen; the grey birds to the right and left are blue slate hens, and the bird in the center behind the bourbon red is a narragansett hen.

The turkeys at this time of year have split into two main flocks -- the toms and the hens. They spend a little time together, but for the biggest part of the day they're hanging out with their own gender.

The birds in the front here are narragansett, the rear birds are either black spanish or eastern wild. I keep a breeding flock of each type.
This is big mamma, she's one of my oldest sows and is currently pregnant; shes due around february. She's out for a stroll in the pasture.

This is her sister, Tank. She's still not farrowing, but any minute. Here she's moved the portable shelter we put out for her and is building a nest in the dry hay we provided. This means that we'll have to wait until she starts giving birth and then move the shelter on top of her, and give her another 4 or 6 bales of hay.

This is shorty; she's decided that she likes this shelter, and is making a nest of her own. My farm is bordered by a freeway -- that's the raised road you can see in the background. I have the most inspected farm in Snohomish county, Washington. 55,000 cars a day pass by, and during traffic jams, people spend a lot of time looking at my animals and operations. The most frequent question I get is how I get the pigs to respect the minimal electric fences I maintain.

No comments: