Animals on the Farm
                         Page 2


In 2008 the layers were the surviving hens from the last 2 batches
of broilers. They started to lay and all the sudden we were going to have layers over the winter. Our supervisor, Ernie, came from these hens.
The hens were kept a year and a half, or sometimes longer, then go to freezer camp as ground chicken. The 2013 layer flock consisted of Ernie, a Barred Rock from 2008, 6 Australorps, 4
Cuckoo Marans, 3 Blue Laced Red Wyandottes, 2 Buff Orpingtons, and 2 Dominiques. This was the first flock where they were all the same age, except Ernie. The birds are hatched around May 1, start laying between September and December and go to freezer camp
the following September.


The pigs were added in 2010. They came from Sugar Mountain Farm and were bred to do well on pasture and whey. The first ones were a gilt and a boar. They were weaner pigs for fall butchering. In 2011 we got 3 boars. One died in June from stomach problems. The biggest boar was 390 lbs. live weight and the other one was 250 lbs. live weight by butchering time in mid November.

In 2012 we got a gilt again and a boar. We kept the gilt and sold the boar in October when they'd reached butchering weight. In 2013 we again got a gilt and a boar. These 2 were the most active and playful pigs of all we'd had. They were a lot of fun to watch, and we wished we could keep the gilt for breeding.

For 2014 we found organically raised pigs at Westendlock Farm
in NY. These were the friendliest pigs of all. There was no pushing for food and they loved being scratched. Our pigs for 2015 will come from this farm.


We have always kept barn cats so rats could not get established. They keep the chipmunks and mice in check also. Our current barn cat, Hercules aka Herkie or The Dude, does a pretty good job.


And last, but not least, our bats. Little brown bats are in a serious decline due to White Nose Syndrome. Our bat colony survived the winter of 2011 (when they are most susceptible to it) and we counted 30 of them that summer. As the entire north side of our property borders a swamp, we'd be in serious trouble if we didn't have our bats return each year. They have been in the barn as long as we have owned it. They keep the mosquitoes down and the other bugs in check.



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