Ryan & Ally Gerken
GROWING & GROWING
One month ago Ryan brought us to Murdoch’s to “get chicken food”. What he was really trying to do was show the girls and I that the new baby chicks had arrived. Mind you, we have 36 hens and 4 roosters to deal with already AND we have had plans since the middle of December to acquire two of Petunia’s sisters and an additional KuneKune pig from here in Montrose. Well I guess none of that matters because there we were leaving Murdoch’s with an additional 20 baby chicks. Ryan’s argument: we have no blue egg layers! So yes, all the chicks we got lay blue or green eggs to help with the rainbow of eggs we currently have here at the farm!
Two weeks after that however, we go back. This time seems easy enough, we have chicks at home so the girls will want to look but surely they can just be told, we already have chicks! No. There were NEW chicks, of the same breed as our precious Samantha.
For those of you who don’t know who Samantha the chicken is…. Samantha is “off her rocker” as our neighbor likes to say, from the day we brought her home. She was adventurous, not afraid of the girls or the dogs, and always taking herself on adventures. Once the hens moved outside Samantha was the only one who hopped the fence to come home (literally in our house) and visit the girls, Petunia, and I. She will even try to greet the “boxman” (ups/fedex delivery driver) and go visit the dogs when they are out front. I worry because she will probably be the first chicken we lose due to her adventurous and reckless nature, but she is so much fun!!! As you can imagine, when the baby chicks that were the same breed as Samantha showed up at Murdochs trip #2, we had no choice but to add 10 more. Bringing us to 70 chickens!!
All this new life and we were still set to get three more pigs!
About that, after a grueling car ride of 12 hours with four dogs and three kids…. we arrived at the family’s house we got Petunia from. Many red flags: 1. they moved and 2. they had gotten more pigs 3. when we met the piglets there were no wattles! Part of the reason Petunia is so well natured is because her parents were the only pigs and so they got lots of human attention. The other reason is because she is a KuneKune, a very well natured piglet whose signature feature is being double wattled (two danglers on the chin). Which neither of our two new piglets have. This really upset me but I was so in awe that none of this had been communicated that I sort of checked out. The final kicker, these were not Petunia’s sisters. They were her nieces. Somehow two of the siblings from Petunia’s litter had been returned to them and they bred the female.
Regardless, we leave with two girl piglets for the 7 hour car ride home. We now have three kids, four dogs, two piglets, and two us’ in our Toyota Sienna (writing this I am beginning to see similarities in the 12 days of Christmas song and my family and it’s not so pleasant).
Back to the story: I sit aggravated and upset for the remainder of our awful car ride home. The original plan was to have these as outdoor pigs from day one. But because they had zero socialization and were all of five pounds, we had to change that plan and bring them inside or we would risk losing them because they would run away.
When we got home we put them in our backyard temporarily, BAD IDEA! The plan was to make the necessary changes to get the mud room ready for them and then bring them in. Well those piglets didn’t know or trust Ryan or I and the worst part was a windstorm was on its way in… There Ryan and I stood in our backyard pitch black outside trying to catch two baby piglets. It was the hardest thing I have had to do, in terms of the farm, to date. It took probably an hour to catch the second one who was surprisingly bigger. And after, I was ready to sell them - kidding! I was furious, mad at myself for not asking more questions, and now mad at the piglets for skinning-up me and my husband!
Alas we get these two nuggets in the house! Petunia literally walks over, sniffs them and walks away and that is about all the attention they have gotten from her since coming home. This adds to my theory that Petunia has no idea she is a pig!! Within a day they both were used to my going in there and cleaning up after them. Which is actually easy peasy. I had saved Petunia’s potty pads from training her and I put one down and they have not had a single accident! They miss every once in a while, but it’s still super easy to clean up. Day two they got acquainted with the house and the girls and by day three I knew everything was going to be ok. I also knew even though I wanted to figuratively sell them - that would never happen. Regardless of how vain and materialistic I acted those first 24 hours, I'm not heartless especially with kids and animals.
Now that Paonia and Pernilla have been with us for some time, they have become even more sociable! I think they may surpass Petunia simply because Petunia didn’t have the girls like Paonia and Pernilla do - the girls were too little to care when we got her. Life is crazy busy and beautiful right now!
As you can imagine, I am trying to figure out how to continue the blog in a reliable way. I had skipped a few weeks here with all the businesses of mom life, farm life, and work life but I think moving forward we will try to do bi-monthly blog updates and try to bring in more video/vlog updates!
Be Kind. Be Positive.