I’m not sure how the better part of a year has passed without attention to this blog – all I can say is it’s been a jam-packed bunch of months. We moved this summer to a much larger homestead and have been scrambling to get everything set up … just in time for snow to fly. This winter has reminded us that we live in Maine! Before we were all buried under snow and ice, we expanded our farm family … rather considerably!
We now have American Guinea hogs. I’m so excited about this – I wanted hogs for a long time, but the usual heritage breeds were just too big for me to handle. And then I found out about AGHs and fell in love. We purchased two baby gilts in the summer and they were joined by a baby boar late this autumn. Here’s a baby picture of Fish, our boar:
It’s hard to believe how much they’ve all grown. The girls were scarcely bigger than cats when we brought them home. As you can see, they’re not much smaller than the Nigerian Dwarf does now:
Fish and the girls have been honeymooning for about a week now, and we are looking forward to baby AGHs by late May. While we will be holding some back for ourselves, there will also be purebred, pedigreed piglets for purchase.
We also have sheep now – a stunning group of Shetlands. We have 2 hogs (unbred females under 1 year old), 7 ewes, and our ram, Hammer. Here’s Blossom, the prettiest of the bunch:
And here are a few of the other ewes. Hammer does not like having his picture taken, LOL.
There are a few turkeys – intended for Christmas dinner, but they were still so small that it didn’t seem worth the effort of butchering them. And now … I’m kind of in love with them. I had no idea that turkeys made such wonderful sounds.
Sadly, it was a bad year for guinea fowl. Two of our young hens hatched out a whopping big brood of keets but true to their reputation for poor parenting, they lost one after another. It was especially sad because the colors were magnificent – lavenders, pieds, whites, and so on. The hens themselves were also taken by predators. Here is the last keet:
The Muscovy ducks enjoyed a great deal more success and honestly I’m feeling a bit overrun by Muscovy ducks by now!
We attempted to replace Sprocket as our herdsire for the Nigerian Dwarf goats, but his replacement remained stubbornly small month after month, and when breeding time came, he had absolutely no interest. He’s been happily placed in a pet home (after being wethered).
We lost our big buck, Spartacus, to bloat, but only after he’d spent some time with the ladies. I fervently hope that the two Angoras he was with have gorgeous kids. Here are several of the does:
Our Silver Fox breeding program is finally taking off, too, after too many failures to count. Sometimes, even when you pay for the best stock available, Mother Nature just doesn’t play along. We now have three black does and one black buck, and a blue buck and a blue doe. Our blue buck had some unapproved time with one of young black does (because sometimes Mother Nature has her own plans altogether!) and we are thrilled with the seven kits she has had – five blues and two blacks. These adorable babies will be for sale in approximately six weeks.
We also have two does, a fainter and a Nigerian Dwarf, due to kid within the next couple of weeks. They were bred to Sprocket, the wonderful ND buck we’ve had for years now. I’m so curious to see what they look like. Lambing season will also be taking place soon. Our garden plot has been lovingly amended since we moved here and I’m dreaming these last winter days away with visions of garden bounty.
Hoping you and yours are well – thank you for visiting! If you would like to place an order for chicks, ducklings, hogs, goats, sheep, or rabbits, please let me know.