Iam enjoying our long fall this year. It has allowed us to work on outside projects much easier than if we were knee deep in snow. It is also easier on the animals.
The laying hens continue to go out into their yard to scratch about and dust bathe. However, we no longer allow them out of their pen to range around the barnyard, because with the colder temperatures there is less on the menu for the family of foxes across the road and we would like to keep chicken off it completely.
The geese don’t seem to mind the colder weather and are outside constantly. Last winter they only came into the barn to honk at me and eat some feed.
They seem to see me as some threat to their territory and don’t like it when I arrive. Even with food and water. But they are happy enough to eat and drink.
Sienna doesn’t seem to mind being outside either. Her only complaint is there is no companion for her right now, as Kali is in the barn with her piglets.
The barn, being built mainly for chickens, hasn’t got a door Kali can fit through that opens into a pen. So she can’t go out at all, unfortunately. She will, however, put her head through one of the smaller doors just for a look around sometimes.
With the workload being lighter this time of year it is nice to just sit and watch the animals. And I love to watch the piglets.
A few weeks ago I opened one of the smaller doors, to help with air circulation and to allow the piglets to run outside. It didn’t take them long to go check it out, either.
Piglets are very curious, but at the first sign of any perceived danger, they bolt back into the barn where their mom is.
Anywhere they go they seem to need to go at top speed. So it really is quite entertaining to lean on the edge of their pen in the barn and just watch.
The piglets are also now exploring the different food in their mother’s trough. They are, however, a bit short to really reach anything without actually standing in it. So when the food is poured in, they jostle each other for prime positions in areas where the feed may have spilled out onto the ground that they can clean up.
So far, Kali hasn’t had much problem sharing with them. But as they grow and start to eat more and more, she will start to push them aside as well. They live by the rule “survival of the fittest” and she is the dominant pig in the pen.
As they start to eat more solid foods, and demand less from their mother, they will eventually wean themselves. At that point, Kali will go back out with Sienna and the piglets will have the barn to themselves for the winter.