Sunday, February 9, 2014

Farm and Feed

Sometimes bringing in the feed isn't as easy as it sounds! We have a small silo that holds 4,000 pounds of feed. Just two tons. Last week we needed to purchase only 1,500 pounds of feed and that is not deliverable by Grange truck, so the next best thing is a good friend's truck! Our truck has a canopy on it and while that can be removed, it was easier and more efficient to swap trucks for a day. Thank you Charlie and Jeri! Once the exchange was complete, we were off to the local feed store to pick up our feed order.

The first challenge was navigating between raindrops! We have had such a dry start to our winter in Southern Oregon, and suddenly rain, rain, rain, just as soon as we needed to pick up the grain, it started pouring!

Out tote of grain is in there among the massive amounts of other feed. The guys in the feed store couldn't be nicer and even though they had to move about three tons of feed, it was all done with a smile and a story!

Forklifts always make things look so easy! Raise it up high and set down gently. After two readjustments, the 1,500 pound tote was centered right over the tires.

The tote had a drawstring for the inside layer to twist, tighten and tie down, like a giant twisty tie!                                                           

We covered our giant tote with a tarp and secured it with a rope and drove home through the pouring down rain.  

It was really coming down and we so desperately need the rain, that we welcomed it! However, all that moisture had to be kept off of the grain.  

It rained hard and so we waited, unwrapped the tarp tie, started filling five gallon buckets with the grain, waited some more and hoped for a short clearing in the rain.

Organic Hog Grower, with the perfect balance of healthy grains to see our pigs growing. The pig preference is still to dig and forage and root, then they subsidize the pasture nutrients with the grain that is freely offered.

Farmer Man hauled 5 gallon buckets full of just under 27 pounds of grain. We kept lids on them so the sprinkling rain would't get the feed wet.

We made a good team! I filled and the buckets with a scoop...there are 7 scoops per bucket and Tim hauled them to the final destination.  First was the feed bin in the pasture with the pigs. The little bin holds 360 pounds of grain.  Right now the pigs are eating about 70 pounds of grain per week. That will increase as the pigs get older.

Next stop was the barn to fill a couple of metal garbage cans to capacity. 

Finally, we backed the truck up to the little silo and began to fill it. You can see the small feeder at the end of the tailgate and this is where the pigs have unlimited access to eat grain. They are such smart animals that they learned in just a day how to lift the lid with their snouts to eat. These flaps keep the rain off of the grain.

We kept filling and dumping bucket after bucket and the sky continued to clear and even gave us the most beautiful puffy cloud blue sky combination!

At last the Farm work was done and 57 buckets full later, it started to sprinkle, then rain, then enormous winds blew. We were so lucky to have a little pocket of time to store the grain out of the rain! And the pigs are just as happy as ever!

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