Pigs, Ducks and Donkeys

Luke On The Farm

 

Cows are our primary focus on Hacienda Chan Chan and we are currently producing around 300 liters of milk per day. Most of that milk gets picked up and sold to the local milk plant, while a portion of it gets turned into cheese, yogurt and butter here on the farm.

But like any good diversified farm there are plenty of other animal distractions.  We had a pair of pigs. One, featured above, was capable of escaping the best planned fence. After several visits with the neighbor’s boar she would not become pregnant and was destined for bacon, ham and sausage. (Upon butchering her, we realized she had been sterilized as a piglet…..lesson learned.) The other one has just given birth to her first litter. We built her a movable pen so she can be on grass. These first few pictures are her first night in her new house, several days before giving birth. The A frame shape is designed to allow the babies a safe spot to the sides of the house, preventing the mother from laying down and accidentally crushing them.

At around nine at night on a Sunday she began to go into labor and gave birth to the first of the litter. We brought each pig into the house to be dried off and warmed up by the fire. They were well guarded and cared for, while waiting to be returned to their mother.

The second pig came almost an hour later and was the runt of the liter. She then proceeded to give birth to 7 more babies, each one spaced between 10 and 20 minutes apart.

Mother and babies (including the runt) are doing well. After some initial hesitation and aggressiveness towards the piglets, the mother is now showing signs of being a stellar mother. She takes her time laying down and is very aware of where her children are, preventing them from being inadvertently crushed.

We also have a growing duck population. Beauty and Bossy the two ducks below, have now begun making a nest and will hopefully be laying eggs in the near future.

And finally we have our donkeys. The baby donkey, Patsy, is now a year and a half old and Gwen, our 7 year old has decided she is going to train the donkey to ride. So with a rope for a bridle and a twig for motivation, Gwen hopped on the donkey and very successfully began to walk her around the pasture. Apart from one donkey bite, training is going well.