While spring might have been long sprung, love is in the air, everywhere you look around. Well not everywhere but in at least a few spots around the farm. It started a few weeks ago with the pigs going through their first heat cycles with the new boar around. It looked like he did a good job sending out an order of piglets to the stork or cabbage patch. Pigs have a convenient gestation period of 3 months, 3 weeks and 3 days. Our pig sow goes slightly longer but it is almost on the nose every time. This will be our first group of fall piglets and we will have a whole lot of them.
Suki (our not at the moment milking diary cow) and her steer Ajax have a new friend at my aunt and uncle’s house. We are borrowing a bull from Meadow’s cousin for a few weeks. He was a pretty easy move and our cows accepted him right away. At first the bull seemed pretty interested in Suki. But after a little courting and being rejected he moved on to Ajax. For most of last week he was far more interested in Ajax then his lady to be. But the word on the street is Suki has been able to lure his attention away. With luck he will do his business and we will have a new calf and another milking cow.
Brandy who we are milking now went into heat or what we thought was heat a few days ago. It is really hard to tell with just one cow. They show only the slightest of signs. We had an AI tech come and give it a try. Her bull’s name was called “Hired Gun”. And with a name like that how could it now work? We will have to wait for her next cycle to see if it worked. If not we will give it another go with the AI. We are going to try and move her calf back in next week. If he doesn’t try to take milk from her we will leave them together for a little while. With two cows Brandy’s heat cycle should be a bit more pronounced if she didn’t get knocked up this go around.
We finally got a taste of real summer weather this week, 90 degrees and high humidity. Lucky for us we had an excuse on Tuesday to take a break for the USA Belgium game. Growing up in Delaware high 80s low 90 was just a normal summer day. I guess when you live in it all the time you just get use to it. A while ago I read that it takes the body 2 weeks of really hot weather to adapt. And since we swing from cool to warm to hot so often we can never really build up the heat endurance. Or maybe when I moved north I traded my heat endurance for cold tolerance.
Most of the plants don’t seem to be minding the warm sunny days. We’ve still been getting enough rain to meet their needs. We are in a major explosion of growth, both the vegetables and the weeds unfortunately. With most of the long-term crops in the ground we shift from a heavy planting and seeding schedule to a more maintenance and weeding schedule. We also have a lot more drip tape out this year then last year. There is a lot less time moving around hoses and setting up sprinklers. The drip is also better for the plants. When we use overhead sprinklers the chance for fungal infection goes up. The moisture on the leaves creates a perfect habitat for diseases to take hold. All they need is the right temperature and they are off to the races. But with drip the plants stay drier and more water reaches the roots of the plants. Now all I have to do is turn on the hose and select the area that I want watered with a valve.