Vela Creations is an in-depth resource for off grid living. The site documents our research and experiences, hoping that they might help others interested in pursuing this lifestyle. This blog is designed to document our day to day experiences as we build our new, sustainable homestead. If you are interested in seeing more photos and videos, we have a flickr account at the following url: http://flickr.com/photos/35090117@N05/collections/
Saturday, June 18, 2011
It is getting time to wean Wanda's first litter, and thus time to breed her again. So we started looking for a boar. We found a couple of people who will rent their boars out in exchange for a piglet born of each sow bred. However neither of the boars were that great. Seeing as we have two sows that we will be breeding twice a year, we figured we should buy a boar and keep him permanently. We started looking around.
There was very little locally, but we eventually found one for sale. He looks like a Spotted Poland China and Tamworth mix and his name is now Macho. He is not very big - 10 months old and only 80 kilos - but he is beautiful, calm, and very hardy. He has been free-ranging over the mountains here and obviously knows what he is doing, as he is very healthy. We put him in a pen on his own until he and the girls get used to each other, but he already escaped and went to find them in their pasture. Luckily, they all seem to get on well and he is very gentle with the babies. But the girls did not appreciate him trying to mount them, so we separated him again (with a few amendments to his pen). Once the babies are weaned and the girls go into heat, they will all be able to run together, although we haven't decided yet if we will keep him for very long.
In the city, Abe also found a beautiful little boar, but he is only two months old and thus not able to do the job yet. He is a Landrace and Blue Butt mix. He is very intelligent and long in body. He will make the kind of babies that will sell well locally (while our older boar will make better pasture pigs). He is Leo's pig and Leo named him Amigo. He feeds and plays with him each day (several times a day!) and the little guy is getting real tame and tolerant.
[Please note that Macho is the only one of our pigs that looks clean. That is only because he is not yet hooked up to the water system, as we only brought him home yesterday (Abe is hooking him up as I write). As soon as the pigs have water, they make themselves a mud pool and roll around in it!]
We have also been looking into buying a milk cow, to give us and the pigs milk and cheese. We've found a couple of options so far, but haven't settled on anything. Will keep you posted.
Next major project on the property is a proper barn (with its own water catchment and tank of course).
For photos of our boys, click here.
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