Friday, October 19, 2012

Another Icelandic Ram Lamb Off to New Home

Stark Hollow Farm Icelandic ram lamb heads off to his new home in Potsdam, NY. Congratulations to Vanessa Bittner of Old Market Farm on this wonderful guy.. Drake is a handsome ram with great conformation, wide horns, nice broad chest, round, well form rump and an overall nice stature. His base color is moorit, though he appears white (he has a "hole" in his white pattern through which you can see the moorit color!). He may carry the badger face pattern.  Good luck, big boy! To see more of our gorgeous Icelandic rams for sale at Stark Hollow Farm,Vermont, go to www.starkhollowfarm.com.


Icelandic Ram "Drake"

Saturday, October 6, 2012

How to Move a Pig

Happy Tamworth Pig in Vermont
"Actually, the most difficult and time-consuming task on a great many farms with hogs is getting them from point A to point B while maintaining a modicum of dignity and your religion." Storey's Guide to Raising Pigs

During our first couple of years raising pigs, we experience many moments of losing our religion trying to move pigs from point A to point B. Especially since we employ rotational foraging practices which may require moving hogs across long distances. We finally discovered a method that seems to work and we would encourage all of you to try this method when moving your piggies.

Vanessa constructed a small cage, open at the top and bottom, out of a heavy duty welded wire hog panel. Fashioned in a horse-shoe shape with a straight sided opening. This can easily be placed down over the pigs. If there is separating of pigs required, we first coral them into a smaller paddock, then using a piece of ply wood, we push and direct the hogs we want to move into the cage.

Hogs corralled in moving pen
Making sure the hogs are sufficiently hungry helps. Throwing down handfuls of sweet potatoes or apples seems to keep various groups satisfied whilst the moving occurs. Our pigs are trained to a specific "call", which is delivered at each feeding so that, in the event a pig gets loose, the "call" can inspire a Pavlovian response in the pig! Two to three people can then move the pigs by dragging the cage along the ground as the piggies walk along wondering where they are going. We have moved pigs up to a 1/2 mile this way with no problem.

As always in farming, it takes patience and stamina.