Sunday, November 28
Today Andy and I left to go to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee with my Mom and Dad for a couple of days.The boys took care of the morning feeding and they checked the sows and baby pigs. They scraped and spread lime for the sows due to have babies. Doug and Lindsay processed the baby pigs. They process pigs every morning. They dock the pig’s tail, (because as the pigs get older they like to chew on each other’s tails), clip needle teeth so the mama sow will let them nurse and give the piglet an iron shot. They also bred the sows.In the afternoon they all worked in the shop. There is always a piece of equipment or machinery here that needs repaired or some maintenance done on it.Evening chores of feeding the cattle and sows and checking the sows and baby pigs were then completed.
Monday, November 30
The morning feeding was taken care of for everything. Sows due to farrow were checked. Heat lamps were hung over the heat mats and turned on so the babies will be nice and warm when they are born. We can turn off the heat lamps after a day or so, but the mats stay at 80 – 85 degrees. The pigs like to lay on them and this also helps to keep them out from under the sow. The sow will lay on her pigs sometimes. The way the farrowing pens are designed also help so she does not crush any of her pigs. The pigs were processed and they bred the sows.The rest of the day they worked on digging a trench with the backhoe to bury a new electric line to one of the barns. The generator also kicked on to run a test. At both of the livestock farms we have big generators that will start automatically if the power goes off. The barns at both places depend on power to run all the fans to ventilate the barns. The generator starts each week to run a test to make sure it will start ok and keep the battery charged. When the hurricane came through a couple of years ago, the generator at the sow farm ran for 13 days! We also have a phone dialer set up at each farm to call our cell phones when the power goes down.They did the evening chores and checked the sows and baby pigs to make sure there were no problems.
Tuesday, November 30
Today we received some more much needed rain.The cattle and sows were fed. The sows in the gestation barn are checked daily. This barn has over 900 gestation pens in it. These pens make it possible to treat each sow as an individual. Each sow has her own pen so she can not fight with any other sows. If sows are mixed together, they will fight until they develop a pecking order. They will injure or cause death to each other. Each pen also has its own feeder. We adjust these feeders weekly so the sows stay in the correct condition. (Proper weight for her age and size) The temperature in the building is monitored by a computer controlled thermostat keeping the sows comfortable year round. They took care of the sows and baby pigs. The sows were bred.The boys also loaded some cull sows to sell to Producers Livestock.They checked the feed bins so they could get the feed ground for a couple days.This afternoon the boys worked in the shop on their equipment.Doug mixed cattle feed for the evening feeding. Usually in early September we “chop silage”.Silage is the whole corn stalk which is chopped by a piece of machinery called a chopper.. It chops the stalk and the ear of corn also and then it blows it into a silage wagon. This special wagon has an unloading area on the side of it. We unload the wagon into a machine called a bagger. The bagger then packs the silage in a big plastic tube. These tubes are 10 foot in diameter and 250 feet long. The plastic tube will keep the silage from spoiling..It keeps the silage very moist so the cattle will like it. When it is time to mix feed everyday we then use a skid loader and load the silage and the hay in a mixer cart. We add some DDGs (dried distiller grain) and supplement into the cart. The cart has big augers in the bottom which turn and mix all the ingredients together. The cart is then emptied into the cattle’s feed bunk. We mix fresh feed daily.The evening chores were done. The sows and baby pigs were checked for the evening.
We hope after keeping this diary for a month, that everyone realizes the care we provide for our land and livestock to help produce healthy, safe and bountiful food for our country..At this time of the year our family reflects on the many things we are thankful for.
The Beiser Family wishes everyone a very MERRY CHRISTMAS and HAPPY NEW YEAR!!