Well, folks, here we are!… at the end of the road for my morning chore routine (unless you count feeding our dog, Michael… I do that after I’m done in the hoop houses 🙂 ). We’ve made it through the pullets and roosters of hoop house 3. Last week, we met the layers in the front of hoop 4 and, now, we’re headed to the back of hoop 4 to meet the hens’ backyard neighbors.
There are pigs everywhere at Polyface. Whether it’s the summer or the winter (but especially winter!), there seems to be pigs galore. Right now we have twelve groups of pigs on the farm. Some groups are currently pigerating, but one group lives in very close contact with chickens… the hoop 4 pigs! Making my way through the barred rock hens, I squeeze through the door dividing the two species. The pigs’ bedding is mainly hay, although we also use chips and peanut hulls. This bedding is spread out in an enclosed pen made of hog paneling.
So, going back to my routine, I simply crawl over the paneling in order to check on the hogs and to check their feed and water. We fill the feeder approximately once a week using a Grain-O-Vator feed buggy. As for their water, I just make sure that their drinkers are open, clean, and not frozen, and that there isn’t any leaks or other malfunctions. Pigs can be very mischievous, so you never know what you might come across any given morning! If it’s warm enough out, I’ll go ahead and open the back sliding door of the hoop house to get the animals fresh, flowing air. Otherwise, we’ll just do that later in the day when it warms up and the sun is shining. After making sure that all the pigs are okay and that everything is working as it should… I am done! Maintaining of one group of hogs isn’t a ton of daily work… but it’s still very important.
Well, that’s about it! Now you’ve had a sneak peek into the everyday, morning chores of a Polyface apprentice. Soon, my chores will change quite drastically as the pullets, roosters, layers and pigs move on to rental farms, the hoop houses are transformed into gardens, and (drum roll….) broiler season begins! That is definitely one thing I’ve learned about Polyface while being here…. things are alway changing! It sure does keep things fresh and exciting though 🙂
Until next time…