With the snow blowing around and the temperatures dropping, most people and animals prefer to be indoors. This isn’t the case for the geese and one of our pigs, Kali.
The geese are in a yard attached to a small building and they have the option of going inside. In fact, their water is in there under a heat light so that they can “swim” all they like. But I don’t think they even go near it.
Whenever I go out to the barn they are out in their pen, squawking at me. When I put grain down for them, it’s the only time they aren’t hissing in my general direction. But they don’t seem to have any desire for shelter from the elements.
At the start of the winter we would chase them into their house for the night. But lately we have just left them to decide where they want to be. They know where the door is, and it’s always open.
Geese have a very thick layer of fat on them and their feathers also insulate well. This is probably why they don’t really worry too much about the weather.
They are also lower to the ground and the bottom part of their fencing will block the wind a little. So they aren’t bothered by strong winds either.
But after years of raising chickens that prefer to not get their feet wet and cold with snow, the geese that revel in it do seem a bit strange.
Our mother pig Kali also would like to go outside. Right now she is still in the barn with her piglets. But as they are almost totally on solid foods, they aren’t nursing so much.
They are also getting quite big and are providing some serious completion for her at the feed trough – or troughs – we have added another one for them to share.
When I go out to feed Sienna, the other adult pig who has been outside in a pen by herself, Kali will often stick her head out of the chicken door to grunt at us. I think she’s asking to be let out of the barn.
And who can blame her? With six growing piglets now to get into her trough, it takes more work for her to eat. She removes them when they get too close to “her” food by picking them up with her snout and giving them a toss.
To add to the chaos, the chickens aren’t keen to go out into their pen but have decided to use the pig’s pen as their yard. They scratch in the straw and bedding to find grains that the pigs have missed and they can dust bathe in the areas that the pigs have excavated.
For the most part, they do get along. But there is still a lot of squealing and squawking going on when I first put out their feed.
Kali still wants to go back outside, where it’s quieter this time of year. Considering how busy and chaotic our lives can get this time of year, she might be onto something.
Hope you all have a very Merry Christmas but don’t forget to have some Peace on Earth as well.