Hobby Farming · Pigs

Sam the Boar from Moo-Nay Farms

So this post is looong overdue, as I got distracted with the incubation posts, but almost 2 weeks ago we introduced another new pig into our farm!  After what seemed like a long search for a in-tact male pig (boar) that was unrelated to our sow, Rosie (+ was approximately the same age) we finally found one 2 1/2 hours away, near Shubenacadie.  He is a few weeks younger then Rosie, but they are getting along nicely.  Ryan named him “Sam” after “Shubenacadie Sam” Canada’s shadow-seeing groundhog.

Because we plan to breed pure-bred Berkshire’s here on our farm, we want to be sure they are from good, healthy lines, even though they aren’t registered.  In Nova Scotia there are only a few lines it seems, and I spoke to several people, and found out a lot of new information about breeding lines.  One boar I looked at getting was first thought to be unrelated, but the breeder was able to check the lines and see that indeed they had the same grandparents… so the search continued…

Luckily after getting a lead on Kijiji, I finally found someone who had an unrelated litter, and a few intact boars, so off we went to Moo Nay Farms near Shubenacadie.  I will tell you that one of my favorite things so far on this journey has been when we get new animals! We have found so many friendly, informative people that are open to showing us around their farms, and Moo Nay Farms was no different.  You can learn a lot by just spending a couple of hours with people who breed a certain type of animal, have full farms, or even people who are just a few steps ahead of you.  We have met all types while picking up animals and not only does it teach you, but it also shows you what is normal on a farm!  Sometimes you feel like everything has to be perfect, and there are those farms, trust me, but for the most part, people are getting by with what they can find, build, scavenge or has been given to them.  At Moo Nay we found common practices, the feeding of produce left overs from local grocery stores and farm stands, Christmas trees in with their goats, and mud (which you just can’t seem to get away from!).  We also found pigs and cows on pasture together, as well as chickens, turkeys and ducks free-ranging together, and a friendly (not stinky) buck goat in with some 15 or so ladies.  Most of all someone who clearly loves his animals.  In fact he comically wrestled with his buck goat in the hay, a practice the goat named “Bucky” clearly enjoys, we were surprised to see the goat laying stretched out, on his back over his owner, completely relaxed.  I wish I had my camera! Just shows you how personable goats can be! I had no idea, and I was so incredibly encouraged seeing this farm.

So we brought Sam home, and after checking him over we put him in with Rosie, and allowed them to meet, in no time, literally hours Rosie appeared to be protecting Sam who was very nervous. By morning they were curled up sleeping together ❤

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Sam and Rosie (behind)

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So hopefully if all goes as planned we will have some little piglets by the end of summer/early fall.  We will be trusting nature to take care of that!

 

We were so happy to have our breeding pair, and then… I went out the next afternoon to find that poor Rosie had the runs…bad (ugh, seriously!?)  She wasn’t eating, and hardly drinking.  I felt so bad for her and was worried that Sam would get whatever it was she had, and we would end up losing both. I had heard of Scours, and knew you could lose your pig if it got bad. Not knowing what to do, and with the co-op closed (because everything happens on Sunday of a long weekend) I contacted the fellow at Moo Nay Farms and he said to give her some electrolytes. So 24 hrs of a quick homemade electrolyte mix (1 gallon water, 3 Tbsp corn syrup and 2 Tbsp sea salt) made up about 4-5 times and she was doing better, eating and drinking, phew.  The next day she was already showing improvement.  So thankful for that little tid bit of information from a fellow farmer!  I had also put out some probiotic yogurt, which Sam ate, and hopefully helped his tummy not turn sour.  Two weeks later and everyone is fine with no sign of illness, and no sign of the culprit. It’s always something! Just gotta keep on moving forward…

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