Spring Babies Everywhere ...
Hello from this curious litter of piglets!
June has been full of babies here at 6S. Our sows started farrowing on the 3rd of June and now we have lots of groups of these little cuties running around. Piglets are super curious and super skittish. If you sit quietly for a few minutes they'll come right up to you in a chorus of grunts and sniff away at you and chew on your shoes or your clothes but make any movement and they'll take off into the bush as fast as their little legs can run. Our pigs live their whole lives out on the land where their instincts can rule. It is amazing to watch a labouring sow seek out a spot and build a nest for her littler. Most of our girls like to find a solitary, well sheltered, south facing area where they can take full advantage of the warmth of the sun but are still hidden from the view of aerial predators. In an amazingly short amount of time a mother will dig out a hollow and often line it with any available dry materials (spruce branches, dried leaves, etc.) then lay down and get after it.After about 1 1/2 to 2 weeks the sows will come out of their 'self isolation' and naturally come back together into a single herd and communally raise their piglets. The little guys will spend the next couple of months with their Mama's learning everything it takes to be the perfect pigs. They'll graze and root and romp to their hearts content then lay down in one giant piggy pile and snooze the sunny afternoons away. It is definitely a pig's life at 6S!
Calving Season at 6S ...
This calf almost looks too beautiful and serene to be real but she absolutely is! I went out for my morning walkabout through the cows and came across her sleeping peacefully in the grass. She didn't even stir as I snapped a few quick pics!
At 6S we try to mimic the wisdom we see in nature and the natural systems all around us. For example: The deer fawn in June so we also time our calving season for June. There are several reasons why:
1. Warmer days and nights: Baby calves are born with their spring haircoats on. Can you imagine being out in January's freezing temps with nothing but a hoodie? We never have to worry about frozen ears or tails on our calves and the babies are able to be up and running much quicker with less stress or sickness and minimal human interference.
2. Planning our calving dates for June also means that our breeding season occurs in the fall when it's a bit cooler. It's a lot of work for bulls to cover a whole herd of cows (I know, I know poor guys huh?!?! lol) but by timing the breeding season for fall we can take heat stress out of the equation and make the job a little easier on the guys.
3. The nutritional needs of a mother cow are the greatest just prior to and following birth and our natural flush of the most nutrient dense grass is in June so we time our calving season to have these two natural phenomenon work together for optimal health and performance of both our soils/grasses and our cow herd.
Check out some of our pastures in the pictures below. The grass is so heavy and thick in many places that it's lodging (laying down flat as it can't support it's own weight)! It's beautiful - so dense that it's hard to walk through and finding brand new baby calves in it is like going on a treasure hunt every morning! A beautiful sea of green!