Weighing chickens (and pigs) and training pigs.
Our meat chickens are very sensitive to the weather. In hot weather they spend most of the afternoon resting in the shade instead of exploring the pasture and eating. So they grow much more slowly in the heat than mild weather. With the cooler weather and more afternoon shade our current chickens have been growing a little faster. But we are not sure if they will be large enough at 9 weeks of age (next week) or if they need to grow 10 weeks (September 14th) like the summer chickens. One way we can try to tell is to weigh them at age 8 weeks. So we head out tot the pasture with a scale and box. We set those up on a flat spot then catch a chicken! They aren’t too excited about getting scooped up. They are freedom chickens!
An even funnier sight was me (William) trying to weigh our piglets. We were trying to see how much they had grown since we purchased them. They don’t fit in a box on our small scale. So I brought a bathroom scale to the pasture. I weighed myself, then I had to grab the little squealing, thrashing piglets and weigh again. The scale is the kind you have to tap with your toe then wait for it to zero out. So I am holding a 50ish pound thrashing piglet while I try to reach out with the toe of my boot to tap the scale. Then once it zeros I have to try to balance on the scale and somehow look around the piglet at the numbers. Most of the time I moved too much and the scale read error. So I had to try the whole this over again.
A more fun piglet job is training them to an electric fence. Once they grow large enough we set up a double electric line and have supervised training sessions. At first the little piglets don’t really understand what the fence is. When they get shocked they run all the way back to their old, un-electrified fence. Once they figure it out though they are so excited to munch their way through our patch of millet and cowpeas cover crop.
Farm Day, Friday September 23rd 4-7pm
Farm Day is open to CSA members and the public. If you missed the CSA Open House, you can come on out to Bluebird Farm on September 23rd. Come out to the farm and tour the garden and pastures! Talk to the farmers (and the animals.) Let your kids dig and get dirty in a special kid area of the garden and enjoy petting layer hens and feeding pigs.
We’ll also have a special deal on pork, Pork Family Packs, and ½ hogs available at the Farm Day.
We encourage everyone to visit the farm and see your community farm! This is an opportunity for a full tour of the gardens and pasture with your farmers. See how we raise animals on pasture and organic vegetables at Bluebird Farm and hear about our sustainable farm management .