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Spring on the Farm 2016

Blog

The sisters crossed nursed and raised their piglets: I couldn't even begin to tell you which piglet came from which mother from the very first 5 seconds of life. They all spent the next couple of months nursing (lots of that), sleeping (lots of that), rolling in mud puddles, and playing in the tall grass. At one point they were with the sheep, cattle, and goats all in the same field and what a beautiful sight to see all species napping together under the shade. 

Spring on the Farm 2016

MollyMike Peterson

Spring has sprung on the farm: 25 piglets and 16 lambs (videos below) born within a week with 2 more sows, several more ewes, and about 50 cows or so to go. The grass is growing rapidly (yay!) after a mild and very damp winter, the birds are singing, and the bees are starting to buzz around. Spring is definitely our favorite time of the year. 

Harriet and Virginia, our Mangalitsa sows, gave birth, again, on the same day: March 8. Last year they were the same hour but this year they were just a few hours apart. 15 of the 18 piglets born between them clearly have our Tamworth boar, Walter, as their daddy and the other 3 we suspect were from our Mangalista boar, Halas. Yes, pigs can have simultaneous pregnancies by different fathers. What I think is most fascinating about the miracle of life is that Halas went in a few weeks after Walter so if they are both, in fact, fathers to the same litter then the sow produced the 3 later conception piglets faster.... so, well, if that's the case, that's pretty amazing. Video below of some of the piglets including a piglet birth.

How do we know Walter is the Daddy? Well, for starters, the 15 little ones came out with a nice red coat and several of them have blue-colored eyes like Tamworth piglets do that will change as they grow. The other 3 are black/silver like the purebreds we had last year. Both sows had all live, healthy piglets and both are cross-nursing again like they did with their last litters. They're truly a joy to watch.

Lucy - one of our newest sows - a red Tamworth/Old Spot cross had her first litter yesterday morning a week after the other two: 10 piglets, 7 live. They're tiny, spotted, fat and healthy. She brought our piglet count in one week to 25. Her sister, Gertie, and another older sow, Dori, are also due any time now. 

The lambs have all been born in the field on these perfect Spring days. Several sets of twins, one single, and even a set of triplets! All are well and we're very grateful for how smooth lambing season has gone so far. As much as I wouldn't mind a bottle baby (for a short time), my heart is so happy that each mother has been able to care for her own healthy lambs out under the stars. 

I'm offering photography workshops this Spring so you can gain some practice before summer arrives, tips and guidance, and, well, I'm sure you wouldn't mind time with the new arrivals, too. Dates are March 19, April 16, June 11. They are morning classes because that is when the lighting is best and it's quite possibly the most therapeutic way to start a weekend: fresh mountain morning air on the farm with the songs of nature surrounding you. Sign up here: http://www.mollympeterson.com/classes/

Below are some (amateur) videos I took from the past week. 

And, as always, if you're on Instagram you can find both Mike and my personal accounts when we post behind-the-scenes farm photos and videos using #heritagehollowfarms -- feel free to post your own, too, when visiting so we can see. 

-Molly