People often ask us if we get a break from the hustle and bustle of farming now that winter is upon us and with 18 Belted Galloways, 75 chickens and 100 plus pigs we are quite busy tending to the animals every month of the year. The different seasons do bring different chores. Livestock winter chores are more time consuming because of two things –
water and snow. Access to fresh water is crucial for healthy and happy animals and freezing temperatures can make it a challenge. Because ouranimals are outside year-round snow can make it difficult getting around and keeping electric fence lines clear.
One hundred pigs eat quite a bit of grain and hay during the winter, so a large part of our chores is getting the food to the pigs in the pasture. We feed out almost 6 tons of grain per month to our winter swine herd. We feed out about four round bales a week — they weigh 600-800 lbs each — to the cattle. We make all our own hay during the summer months and store it away to feed to all the animals during the 210 days of winter. Last summerʼs hot and dry weather made for excellent hay-making and we made close to 200 round bales and 1500 square bales. We make and feed only dry hay to our herds. The dry hay has to be stored under cover a opposed to the ubiquitous marshmellows that you often see in area fields.
In addition to the daily grind we are in the midst of ordering chicks & turkeys and planning field crop rotations for the coming season, tackling winter mechanical projects, processing animals, preparing taxes, farrowing piglets, working on our website, repairing and cleaning waterers and feeders for next summer, maintaining perimeter fence lines, and much, much more….
Winter activities at Hogwash Farm