We thought that Sweetie had mastitis and she stopped nursing the triplets, so I had to milk her and bottle feed the babies. Luckily, it wasn't mastitis, but only a bruised udder and she's letting them get their milk straight from the source again. They are growing like weeds and are at the ridiculously cute stage where they bounce around the yard all day.
|This may have been the only time they were still all day|
Coco is still pregnant, but is starting to show signs that the baby (babies?) might come soon. Of course, I thought Sweetie was going to deliver weeks before she actually did, so what do I know? She's as standoffish as always, so it's hard to tell if her tail ligaments have softened yet. She is starting to hollow out a little, but not nearly as much as Sweetie had before she delivered. It could be today, or it could be in another month. Next time I won't field breed them, so I have a better idea of when to expect the babies.
|She is camera shy, but I finally managed to get a decent picture|
Daddy brought home a big pile of pallets, which is great, because they can be used for so many things. He also got some long pieces of rain gutter that we'll use to plant strawberries in, some, 2x4s, and a bunch of scrap plywood.
|16 masonry pallets, some of which were used to give Bacon a raised floor in the pig pen|
The first big project that we (actually he) tackled was getting the main part of the garden fenced. After the umpteenth time that the goats ate my sprouting artichoke plants, there was no choice. We didn't have quite enough fencing to go around the whole area, but that's where the pallets come in. We used five of them in the northwest corner and a gate off of the old chicken run to finish it off. It was just in time too, because the peas, asparagus, and lettuce had started sprouting. The goats did manage to wipe out most of the Brussels sprouts and broccoli seedlings though.
|Welded wire fencing and pallets|
|Lily collects the pieces of rhizome so we can toss them in the pig pen|
The next project was getting a permanent pig shelter built. I wasn't able to help with that either, because Bacon had managed to head butt me on Friday evening while we were trying to get her back in her pen and I had a terrible headache. I am also missing a bit of skin from my temple where her rough hair rubbed it off. It felt like getting hit with a baseball bat covered in Brillo pad. Let me just tell you, a pig REALLY dislikes being picked up and has no problem letting you know it!
|She looks so innocent, but it's all an act|
Anyway, the kids helped Daddy, by fetching pieces of roofing and wood. Lily likes to be in charge of handing out the screws. By the time the ibuprofen had kicked in and I was able to handle being out in the sunshine they had the supports up and the roof in place. The floor is a couple of pallets and it will have a plywood back and side walls to make sure there is enough shade come summertime.
|The shelter backs up to the compost bin|
|Her favorite thing is to be told she's a big helper|
After getting a good start on the pig house, Daddy and the twins went to pick up our new addition! Hamlet had been castrated and was ready to join Bacon. He's from the same litter, but he's slightly smaller than her. Between the two, we should have about 350 pounds of pork in the freezer come July. I'm also planning on rendering the lard and making some homemade sausage. If we manage to get a smokehouse built before then we will smoke our own hams and bacon.
|Bacon and her buddy Hamlet|
The last big thing that happened was that I finally got my Lovage seeds to sprout. I had some growing when we lived in California, but have had lousy luck with it here. I put the seeds in the back corner of the herb bed and covered them with a hot cap made from a 2-liter bottle so that the soil would warm up a bit and the animals wouldn't bother them and, after 10 days I had six sprouts. For anyone who hasn't had Lovage, it tastes like slightly spicy celery and it grows six feet tall. I'm looking forward to adding it to soups and gravy. It's a perennial, so once it's established I won't have to worry about it ever again.
|A couple of Lovage seedlings inside their tiny greenhouse|