A Homemade Pig Pool and Dust Bath Kind of Day

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Tomorrow is my Monday, but my attempts to rest today were unsuccessful.  Surprising, I know!  This morning started out with picking up 4 straight run Black Copper Marans.  They are very docile and don’t mind being held.  They are around 2 weeks old and I sure hope all of them are ladies!  I know it is 6 months away, but I am already dreaming about those dark chocolate eggs.

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Once I got home and got them settled in a brooder box, I picked up my niece and we headed off to a neighboring town to pick up the organic, soy-free chicken feed.  It was quite a haul out to the farm.

Once I got the feed home and opened it, the first thing I noticed was a strong seafood type odor.  After double checking the ingredients I saw it has crab meal in it.  Since this feed was the price of gold, I set up a special feed station in the roost so it would be protected from the weather.  Right away it got the girls’ attention and they began to munch on it.  I am going to use this bag and see if I it is worth the added expense.  If it significantly increases egg production, I might be able to justify the higher price to myself.  We will see!

We then headed to the local farm supply store to pick up a few other supplies.  It was great to spend an afternoon hanging out with my hilariously unique and beautiful niece.

We also picked up two baby pools today.  One was to be a pig pool and the other a dust bath station for the girls.  In the pig pen, there is not much of a dry area where the girls can set up a dust bath.  The pigs root in the ground so much, they constantly turn up the wet earth.

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There is a reason the county I live in is called Orange County.  Simply grab a shovel, attempt to dig a hole and you will see clearly how this county got its name.  Despite the large amount of ground I have at my homestead, most everything right below the surface is bright orange clay-another reason I do raised beds here!  After some hunting, my niece and I gathered up enough dirt to fill the dust bath.  It will take a few days to actually dry out enough to be a dust bath, but the girls enjoyed the new ground to scratch at and hunt for bugs.

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We also put together a pig pool for the upcoming hot days of summer.  Since pigs cannot sweat, it is important to give them ways to keep cool.  I wanted to make it shallow enough that if a chicken accidently got in, they wouldn’t drown.  I also put rocks in the pool to provide an area to climb up on out of the water for the girls.

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Another project from all leftover, scrap wood.  I covered the gaps in the pallet and made a small set of stairs for the pigs to get in and out.

We have had an odd cold snap this week so the pigs didn’t test it out yet, but they did take an interest.

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After I returned my niece home, I finished feeding everyone and gathering the rest of the eggs.  This is what happens when you turn your back for a minute around here:

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The girls got into the chick feed and devoured what they could before I made them get out of the bin.

With the cooler weather at night, my mealworms went dormant last night.  I brought them inside and they slowly returned to wiggly, munching worms.  They are now residing in the guest bedroom with the new chicks.

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Most of them are covered by the cardboard or under the bedding.  You can see what they did to that carrot on the left on the cardboard  in about 2 days!

Tomorrow is the farm tour which I am really looking forward to.  I have chosen several farms very close to us to tour with my parents and husband.  It will be a long day since I will be up all day and work all night, but hopefully I can get some sleep Sunday.  There is still laundry and cleaning to do here, but I don’t think I have the energy to get it done tonight!

Until next time…

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