Learning to live with the four seasons is an integral part of homesteading and it takes a few years to know the dance and nuances of each season. Spring, summer, and fall are the busy months, while winter allows a chance for relaxation and reflection. The long nights induce a feeling of semi-hibernation for farmers and their animals, alike.
I’m often asked if our pigs live outdoors during the cold months? Sure, they love to be outdoors, and they’d soon have the barn door open if I tried to close them in. Like us, they suffer from cabin fever and when the sun shines, they play. The rest of the time they sleep!
At this time of year we just have our breeding pigs to care for, and each day John heads out before breakfast to feed our boar and two sows. Once bred, Morris the boar, can stay with the sows, keeping warm together in the barn, until the sows farrow in the spring.
But for reasons unknown, they have chosen to camp out at night in the small field shelter that serves as a summer residence for Morris. The shelter was originally built to house our three young pigs when we first brought them to the farm. Morris was 6 months old, while the sows were 8 weeks old and we carried them in dog crates in the back of the car.
The shelter was a mansion for our three little pigs. Today, with the pigs fully grown and each weighing between 500 and 700 lbs, it’s a bit of squeeze! Matters not, they manoeuvre themselves into position and sleep the long nights in cozy harmony. From their sleeping quarters, they can easily hear the kitchen door open in the morning and are at their respective feeding stations in the barn before we can pull our boots on.
After the blue skies yesterday, this morning was dark and grey, tempting us to ignore the alarm clock. However, animals must be fed so out we must go, but no pigs! John rattled the feed buckets and waited, but still no sightings. Tucked up snug in their bed, we found our three pigs snoring the day away.
Not until midday did they stir from their nest! I’m not sure if it was breakfast or lunch that they ate, but tomorrow I might just ignore that alarm clock and sink back into my semi-hibernation!
This post has been shared with FaithfulHomestead