Last Friday, our bacon got a taste of free-ranging. Their pen has a 4' high welded wire fence around it, but we never fixed up or turned on the electric wire strands that run inside that fence. However, the fence wasn't the problem - we either left the gate open, or they grew thumbs and opened it themselves. Either way, Dave came home to find the pigs wallowing in the creek bed a few yards away from their pen.
We don't particularly mind that the bacon is free-ranging, except that the road is only a few feet away, and we don't want squished bacon (or wandering into neighbors' flower beds bacon). So Dave spent about 6 hours chasing them, sneaking up on them, bribing them... even feeding them beer in the hopes of subduing them! But turns out bacon is smart and fast and elusive.
When I got home from work, we teamed up, and we finally caught them. Dave drove up to them on the four-wheeler, dove off like a crazy person, tackled the lady bacon, and wrestled her to the ground. I ran up and put a noose around her neck, and we dragged the bacon, kicking and (VERY LOUDLY) screaming all the way back through the gate to their pen. Boy bacon calmly followed behind, not a care in the world. Freaking bacon.
We also have accidentally free-ranging turkeys. The Broad-Breasted White turkeys have gotten really big, really quickly, and one day they escaped from their (flimsily wrapped in plastic fencing) hoop house. They looked so happy running around on the pasture, eating bugs, playing and being "real" turkeys that we just haven't had the heart to cage them up again.
They hadn't wandered out of the pasture yet, until this morning. They followed the layer flock right up to the front lawn, which was quite the sight:
Turkeys wandering up the front path to our door, chickens hanging out in the driveway... does this happen at anyone else's house, or just mine?
Perrin was having a great time this morning watching Turkey TV:
I was actually worried he was going to jump through the screen to have turkey for breakfast, but thankfully, he just whined and stared and paced and panting and licked his chops ;)
Julep and her puppies are all doing really well! The chubby little pups are starting to open their eyes and are wiggling their way all around the puppy pen. So cute!
(That's Cosmo - don't you just want to smoosh him?!)
The laying hens are all loving the beautiful weather we've been having - dust bathing, eating bugs and *gasp* mice, and giving me about a dozen eggs every day. The meat chickens are happy being outside, and I'm happy to have the barn back! The little replacement layers are growing up... I'm a little worried that all of the Easter Egger chicks are boys, but we'll see in a few more weeks. The baby turkeys are getting huge, and there's still one turkey poult with an identity crisis who keeps trying to join the chicks:
The bacon is doing fantastic! Yesterday they managed to tip over the barrel reservoir for their water and catch their waterer nipple so that it was stuck open - they created a wallow for themselves! They had a grand ole time in a giant mud puddle during the 90 degree heat :)
The gardens are also going well so far. We're getting a crap-ton of asparagus, and I finally made home-made pesto from our basil - dear god. I don't really like pesto, generally speaking, but I ate approximately all of the pasta with pesto and LURVED it! Mmmm. Most of the garden is planted, but we still have to put in pumpkins, various squash, watermelons, corn, a couple more varieties of beans, and some miscellaneous things (2nd round of salad greens, kale, kohlrabi, cabbage...). The tomatoes are absolutely beautiful:
That's a row of them about a week ago right after transplanting - they've perked up and gotten about a foot taller each. Cannot wait for fresh tomatoes and salsa and sauce!!
And in other news, Perrin and Tia are still looking for their forever families! We're REALLY hoping they can find homes before the puppies get much bigger - soooo much work, I really don't have time for the farming stuff plus that many fosters plus my full-time job. So please spread the word that 2 awesome pibbles need homes!
Jen & Dave Paul, owners & operators of Old Post Farm