The softest spot

Have you ever rubbed the deep hidden spot behind a pigs ear?  Emma and I spent about twenty minutes cuddling Abba today. Emma rubbed her tummy, I rubbed that spot.  Pigs have so many coarse bristly spots but oh that ear spot is so, so soft.  Abba closed her eyes and moaned.  Per stepped right over her to demand some attention but he can’t stay still long enough to find any soft spots.  

The pigs wandered independently for about five hours today.  Never going far from the barn, they are thoroughly enjoying rummaging through the pile of poop near the barn door. A couple more days of their attention and I’ll have a fine-grind compost to dress my peonies.  The pigs won’t be so lucky the next couple of days as we are gone.  The following is the list left for my backup farmer.  I usually visit the barn four or five times a day – but here are the chores condensed into two visits.


6 am and 6 pm or Bonnie yells!!!  (won’t kill her if you are off a bit though!!)  Chores are basically the same morning and night except I don’t feed the chickens at night.  And instead of putting Dizzy out after milking I bring her in before milking.

Clip Stormy up.  Give him a bit of hay with a handful of grain on it. 

Give Dizzy a flake of hay with a handful of grain on it.

Throw a handful of corn down for little bantams.

Put a flake of hay in stanchion for Bonnie.  Put two cups of grain and about four cups of chopped alfalfa into her bowl in stanchion. 

Bring her over to milk her.

Milk and then give half of the milk to Stormy.  (Keep half for yourself or if you don’t want it you can leave it in fridge.)

Put half a bale of hay into Bonnie’s half of the barn/field.  Put Dizzy on field.  Clean and water cows and horse.  Then unclip Bonnie and put her back on her side of the barn.   

***She was in heat today (friday) and what chaos trying to get her in field and Stormy to have all of the barn.  It won’t hurt him to be in barn for the weekend.  Then they can lay near each other and eat hay together.  Soon enough he’ll be on 19 acres with a whole herd of cows.  In the meantime I don’t want to upset the neighbors with their bellowing.  Though as I said if she gives you a hard time he can go back on her to nurse.

Rabbits pellets and water and scooped out as needed.  Metal pail near barn door has their pellets.  White pail near barn for their poop. 

Chickens in three spots need pellets and water.  (free-range water near feed room, their pellets on barn floor – not more than handful, bantams in lean-to as needed, chickens and turkeys in coop need quite a bit – put some outside for the shunned buffs, the others still won’t let them into coop while they are eating.)

Pigs – there are two jars of milk on counter – they can have roughly a quart at each feeding.  Mix it with two cups pig pellets, two cups corn, and two cups chopped alfalfa.  And they love weeds, so I pick an armful of plantain, and weedy grass from the pasture and give that to them.  (gloves in barn for this job) If you are moving fast you can throw a pumpkin in there and just stomp on it once or twice.  That’ll keep them busy.  As will an armful of hay.  I give them the hay at night usually so they can nest in it and then eat it.  But maybe you want to weed them Saturday night and they’ll be fine Sunday morning with a pumpkin and some hay.  And fill their water.

Cats are still getting their food in garden shed in carport.  Best done in the morning as a skunk was in there one recent night when I went in.

Red flashlight in carport.  Jars in pantry by fridge.  Lids in second drawer near dishwasher.  Call if you need us!




2 thoughts on “The softest spot

  1. Boy do I remember all the instructions we had to give when we went to Hawaii! We hired 4 people to do all the chores. Pick up garbage, cook garbage, then feed the pigs. Feed and water all the bantams, geese, peacocks, tumbler pigeons, milk cow, feed and let in and out the ponies. Oh, and feed and water Malcom X (the racoon) We were gone for 12 days—and boy were those fellows glad to see us back. Life on a farm is one experience after another–some good, and some not so good. Keeps you on your toes all the time.

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