So last evening I rushed home from my weekly gig in the city so I could milk and feed the animals with oldest son while the rest of the family road up to St. Catherine's for a Holy Hour and Benediction.
As I am cutting some greens to feed the pigs, I notice that our latest sow is practically climbing over her fencing, in this case a log barricade. I go over to give her some greens and see that her farrowing area is empty ... no piglets! None!
I look in the adjoining pens, all but one of which has members of the herd. No piglets! Did they get out and get eaten by the older hogs? I am calling for my son "Where are the piglets?" I am just imagining another disaster.
Ah, but God was with us. As I continue to call, all 15 come running out of the woods on the other side of the pens. A few make their way through the empty pen and squeeze through a hole they've managed to make back into their own pen. Momentarily their momma sow calls them, and they all return.
We feed the pigs. Son patches the hole while I milk Mabel. Whew!
Notice that I mentioned feeding greens to the pigs in the story above. That's right. Just a few good rains (it is raining again today-which reminds me, we need to finish the milking barn, including finishing the roof!) and my fall garden is coming alive. This morning half the pigs' rations were made up of kale, Swiss chard, turnip greens, collard greens, and radishes.
If my 40 white leghorns and Comets would just start laying, we could practically eliminate most of the commercial grain. Milk, boiled table scraps, greens, eggs, hay and nuts make a pretty well-rounded diet.
Oremus pro invicem!