Tuesday, September 21, 2010

captain jack and ianto say good bye to ginger and pepper

The boys as I call them are growing like weeds. They have been on a raw diet for quite a while. It suits them. Chicken has been their staple. They ate all of our "flatties"* during broiler raising season. We lost quite a few of this time around. They began their journey heat stressed and were overly susceptible to it from then on.

This gate is one of their boundaries they are not supposed to cross. They are pretty good about following that rule.
This is Ianto about half grown. He reminds me of Henry. I still miss Henry.

Ianto is my favorite, I admit it. I can't help it. Here they are waiting for dinner.

Once Ianto is full grown he'll stand like that but only on the top bar.

Ginger and Pepper are going to the slaughter house tomorrow.

I know I professed last time that I would never do that again. Luckily I'm allowed to change my mind. The job that they did on smoking the meat and making sausage was so great that they have won me over for at least another time.

We will save every little scrap of bone and usual waste from both pigs to freeze for the dogs. They eat less on this diet and are much healthier. Tabitha really appreciates the fact that their waste is small and turns ashen white and benign within a day or so. Our large dung beetle population makes short work of three large dogs feces this way too.

So, goodbye to Ginger and Pepper but hello to them all winter long.

They are such friendly creatures we love them on so many levels.

I don't think that I will ever put pigs in the garden again.

Their smell is a little too close to the house. But, the main reason is they only tore up certain areas of the garden a little too deeply while left other areas completely untouched. Huge craters in the garden are not what I was hoping for.

I still have a little more tear down of the butcher area. The big-top worked perfectly this time.

I am trying to complete some compost for when my parents arrive with Kassi's Daylily starts. Two of these bins were full of nitrogen rich waste bedding and cow manure.

This is how far it has composted.

It is about a third of it's original volume. I have turned it twice in the past few weeks in attempt to get high compost temperatures. The feed stock was full of weed seeds and I wanted to be sure to kill of them. My moisture content was a little high and I lost some nutrients.

Composting is easy and difficult at the same time. Predictable results are the elusive factor. Last season my compost, although complete, contained far too many weed seeds. I hope for much better this time around.

*flatties are what we call chickens that have died and are laying there extremely flat when we come to check on them.
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