Saturday, October 29, 2011

Piglet escape artists caught, turkeys adore their new space, goats wonder what they are.

Poppie and I went out first thing yesterday to finish the turkey pen, we decided to run a row or goat wire around the bottom of the pen, not to keep the turkeys in, but to keep the goats out.  Cleo feels the need to steal food from any animal that might have something she doesn't and she might want.  We ran the wire around the pen and sure enough Cleo had to see what we were doing.  Poppie then cut out the hole from the turkey shed to the pen.  None of the 4 turkeys were brave enough to venture out so Poppie pushed the tom and one of the hens out into the pen.  we watered them in the outer pen, but not food, so as not to entice Cleo and company in.  They were apprehensive at first but soon took to the pen, one of the last two turkeys soon joined them and I finally pushed the last hen out the hole so they all got to see the world.  They had never actually been out in the outdoors so it was a big change for them.  We hope we made the pen secure enough as we have flock of wild turkeys, that once had 21 in it but it is down to about 17 now, that come through our yard daily.  We don't want ours to get out and join them and not come back. The turkeys tried out their wings a little and from all the chirping and attempts at gobbling we could hear they love the new digs.  Curious, Cartoons, Cubbie and Boy got to see them from the outside of the pen and were totally enchanted with the birds.  The turkeys are Booboo's, and as they have always been hand feed are very friendly, they came right up to the kids for pets.

While we were fixing the turkey pen we found two of the little piglets out making the journey back and forth between their pen and momma's.  We cornered them and put them back in with their siblings, then looked to see where they could have possibly gotten out.  We found it soon enough, one of them, the big male, we suspect, had torn a hole in the chicken wire and tunneled all the way across the pen to a large hole in the outer wire.  He had a scratch on his side and you could see the tunnel he and his cohort had left between the wires.  I took baling twine and laced the tunnel wire tight and all the additional low wire as well.  They tried wholeheartedly the rest of the day to get out, but no luck, so with any luck this morning they will have come to terms with being on their own pen and more accepting of their new digs one and all.  Most of the piglets like the new pen as they get more food, momma doesn't pig it all from them.  They for the most part will come to the wire when you call them for pets, the most brave is the little one I call Ham, she is always the first to come forward and will bite at your finger to get your attention if you quit petting her before she wants you to.  We get to look at them more in the open and we are try to decide which one we will keep as a second momma sow.  I think, for the most part, we will keep 3 or 4 sows and a couple males as the six we are going to raise up to market pigs and make the final decision when they are grown, my guess is the Miss Ham or Miss Charlotte will win out, Blackie is not as long as they are so will probably not be as good a candidate for being a momma but time will tell. Sometimes our kids sentimental ties to an animal wins out over which one would be the technical better option. 

Raining today and it is hunting season so probably won't be going out in the woods, it is more dangerous now and all the orange is just a bother to put on just to go in the woods.  Poppie will be hunting this year for the first time in about 15 years, he just got his disabled conservation license.  He has access to a gun that is small enough that he can shoot without it hurting him so we will see if he has any luck, whether he does or not he will have gotten to participate in an event he used to enjoy alot. The hunt is more important than the results I am thinking..... tomorrow.

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