Drought and rain

Came home from a week away to find the farm dry, dry, dry. Thankfully Wednesday saw substantial and soaking rains. Even the ducks took pleasure in swimming in the serious puddles created in the driveway during the heaviest of rains.

Pigs out

Sigh. Spent a few hours last night emergency fixing the pig fence after finding Willa sauntering around the property and trashing the garage. There were some moments where it seemed like we’d never get her back in, but then she just followed her nose to the sweet taste of hog pellets.

Of course, the fence work was something I meant to do for the last week, so on the plus side, the emergency forced my hand and we’ve got a very nice swine containment unit now. Still need to separate the market pigs from the breeding stock …

Predators

Woke up at 4 this morning to flapping and shrieking coming from the chicken tractor. Got Finn outside, but too late. Lost two egg layers … which is sad because we don’t have a lot this year anyhow. Predator’s gotta eat, I suppose. I just wish they wouldn’t feast from the buffet of Timberwyck.

Time to move the chickens inside for a bit. By mid-summer the foxes, raccoons and fishers should hopefully have moved to more productive ground.

Overcast

After a spring of little rain, we’re settling nicely into a pattern of sun and rain here on Penobscot Bay. Put the sheep outside just in time for a down pour overnight. I was less than surprised to find they had grown tired of being in the rain and escaped their fence.

The pigs continue to be pigs.

Mates

By a stroke of luck I got the pigs sequestered to their preferred pairings. We have a sow we want bred, a boar who was dropped off a few weeks ago, a sow we do not want bred, and five market pigs. We wanted the sow and boar in the same pasture with the other sow and market pigs in the other. When I stepped outside to check the garden yesterday, I found the boar had slipped in with everyone else. Come dinner time, all I had to do was drop some food in the right places and watch everyone sort themselves out!

Otherwise, a wonderful time on the farm. A cool wind has come down from the North and, while it’s not cold today, it definitely has an air of fall weather to it.

More lost chickens

We lost another chicken and a guinea hen last night. At some point this is not just an opportunistic fox, our coop has some serious deficiencies, but there’s hardly enough time in the day to get done what needs to get done, let alone improving things.

The big part is that a pane of glass fell out during one of the many wind storms this winter and the guinea would just hope out whenever it felt like and then not be able to get back in. Guinea’s gonna guinea, I suppose.

Thunderstorms

Okay. First we need rain. Now we get a lot of it. There’s no complaining here. Personally I miss the thunderstorms from the Midwest, so a passing thunderstorm, even without rain, is welcome.

The ducks are growing so fast, and our first round of broiler chickens are almost big enough to eat already, which is crazy. Silas loves hanging out with the ducks in the front circle. He gets scolded when he lifts the top because it freaks the birds out. But it’s just because he loves watching them. Hard to scold a kid for loving live stock.

Rain!

Finally! I left a bucket out by the garage and rather than a gentle shower or mist, we genuinely got almost two inches of rain last night. You can almost hear the tomatoes sucking it up.

Of course, Asa doesn’t care. But when he starts eating canned tomatoes this fall he sure will!

We also lost our penultimate guinea hen over the weekend. Lots of squawking in the small morning hours. By the time I got the dog out it was too late.

Mosquitos

Animal chores have become a practice in avoiding standing still in the evenings. The emergence of the mosquito is in full form now.

Watering the garden takes place well before sunset and while there’s a stiff breeze too.

Asa already seems to love being outside and has gone out for a few garden tours now.