I was left “in charge” of the farm last Friday and Saturday while the tribe went to a Virginia Biological Farmers conference in Richmond. My brother was asked to speak on “Harmonious Herd Management” so we spent all week reviewing, editing, and finalizing this slideshow. I was pretty excited for him to show it - speaking about the everyday passion of his comes so naturally to him so I knew he had it in the bag. I stayed back with my youngest niece, who is two, and we had our fun feeding pigs, checking a new mama milk cow & her calf, and just being ready for anything the day threw at us.
I used to work on the farm, not really tending animals, but I did occasionally have a run at it. None of it was new to me, but it has definitely been a while since I carried water and feed buckets. All of our farm animals are free-roamers, but the predominately grass-fed pigs need some supplemental food that is carefully curated by my brother and local feed company, not to mention the occasional kitchen scraps we throw at ‘em every now and then. The pigs were all nested in the hay barn when we got there and came running out as soon as they saw those buckets being emptied. I just love watching their ears flop when they run and I can’t help but imagine their feet as high heels. They are quite comical to watch. I mean, look at big mama just laid back in the middle of them all…you can’t help but smile at her.
The herd was beside us on the hillside eating and lounging about so we had to go and say hi to them and see Hippie. We only have one like him, but we all know he is just happy as a lark with this cold weather. And yes, he actually does know his name. :)
Next up was feeding some neighbor’s pigs we have in the barn and checking on a mama and her calf who was rescued from the freezing weather. The calf seems to be doing great all huddled in the hay pile and even stood up to greet me when I went closer to visit. So sweet.
My copilot all bundled up and snuggly.
We went over to my brothers to check on everybody and it was my first time seeing the newest member of the milk cow family, Blackbird. He had them huddled up in the barn with a ton of hay for comfort and eating, so we just needed to check on her water, feed hay, and make sure the calf was nursing good. Oh yeah, and I had to shovel out manure into the compost pile to keep the barn clean for them…so you know that was fun. That little thing was jumping all around the barn, feet flying in the air, hopping up and over hay bales with no trouble at all…so darn cute. Her mama, Piedra, wasn’t tooooooo keen on me being so close to her new baby, but she soon got more concerned with her delicious hay than me.
It was fun to throw on my newly-purchased and much-anticipated coveralls over all the layers and head out early to tend everyone. I’d say we made a pretty good team.