Summer started late here at our farm in Western Montana. We had lots of rain to contend with throughout the spring and well into early summer. Some days I wondered if in fact we were in Seattle vs Bigfork …
Rain is not a fun thing for a hog farmer operating outdoors like we do. The animals seem to take it mostly in stride and will lay out in their huts when itʼs coming down, and then make good use of all the new wet earth to work on their rooting techniques when it stops. Our ʻdry lotsʼ look like theyʼve gone through a blender!
Weʼve had a few hotter spells which present their own problems … when this happens itʼs a challenge keeping enough water in front of them. You really need to go out on hot days and water them down. Pigs donʼt sweat like we do, which helps us stay cool, so they really need water/mud to wallow in to cool themselves off (along with a good shelter). Our Berks are very handsome animals – until they exit the ʻhog wallowʼ … then the mud dries out and hangs off them like little ʻmud sicklesʼ. It can be hard to recognize who is who!
The work load for the old guy was increased drastically when our son Zack took off to play baseball up and down the west coast. It was a great opportunity for him to get exposure with college coaches/scouts/etc. He did really well and will be back this weekend!! So, heʼll be ʻput in chargeʼ immediately while I head for some water somewhere myself …
New Berkshire litters have arrived this summer from Sweetness (11) Babe (8), and Emily (9). There are some great looking pigs in these litters. Weʼll be keeping a few gilts for breeding stock and will sell a few as well. Iʼm already having discussions with my Iowa friends regarding getting a little boar to work with the gilts we keep this year. If we can get another as great as Broadway (our herd boar and the father of all these rascals), weʼll be in ʻhog heavenʼ.
Broadway is such a cool hog. A couple of the gilts we got from Tom Conover in Iowa are a bit ornery with some of the others. So theyʼll ʻgo at itʼ at the fence line with their rivals. Broadway will commonly go over and break these events up … just wanting some darn peace and quiet I assume … also, he and Babe were sharing a pen temporarily when Babe farrowed a few days earlier than the date I had on the calendar.
Broadway graciously gave Babe and her babies all the space they needed and stayed out of the hut with them completely! What a great boar! Some boars have been known to harm piglets … but not our Broadway!