Food & Swine

the inconvenience of livestock

Engage your memory and take yourself back to the interesting pop-up blizzard we had on Thursday afternoon that lasted through the evening. (If you are from central Iowa).  If not, imagine Armageddon, only worse.  At least that is how most people I heard of responded to 3 inches of snow and lots of wind.  Most people wanted to be home, snuggled in, away from harm and certainly out of their vehicles and off the roads. When you have livestock that needs tended to, not every time you are required to give them attention is it convenient.  I consider these extreme times more of a pay-it-forward for these moments…


And it is completely worth the while.

So, this past Thursday my Mom happened to swing by before the roads got too out of hand.  My husband typically goes out and ‘chores’ in the morning and afternoon/evening.  I usually keep the kids at home for evening chores if it is going to be a 3 hour charade of getting them in snow outfits etc.  Plus, we have the baby pigs here in our garage that need the attention and are so much more fun for the kids instead of the big sows and boar we keep at the farm where my husband grew up.  The weather was horrible, yes, but the rule of the house is that we don’t eat until all of the animals have.  So, my Mom gladly agreed to stay with the kids while my husband and I bundled up and headed out in the worst weather we have in years to feed pigs.  I wanted to photograph the fun we had so I joined him.  It was a chore-date.  And it was bitter cold, somewhat dangerous and what some would consider, inconvenient.  But it was strangely fun, I promise!

Again, a pay-it-forward for the blissful summer months where we can enjoy the animals outdoors, maybe even at a show and teach the kids a thing or two…


We do have a few traditional barns where there are many pigs.  Those barns are tended to during the daytime by my husband and the people who work with us.  Most of what I show you is our little hobby project of a handful of pigs we picked out for our family to have, breed and raise.

Back to blizzard chores… getting ready to head out, coveralls and all.


Heading out the driveway we wondered what on Earth we were doing…


And yes I did ask my husband if we were doing the right thing… his remarks, always stoic.


Great idea!


We eventually made it, thank goodness!


Trying to keep the barn door from blowing off… and in to get some feed.


The young girls were excited to see me… I made my husband give them a shot of feed outside (the barn was blocking the wind a bit) so I could take a few pictures of them.


Here is Cinnamon (red gilt) and Diamond (white gilt), they love to eat, regardless of where the food is!


Time for a bit more bedding for them to play around and make nests in… (yes my husband does appear to be running, and that is because he was running.  It was COLD!)


I was pretty warm in my jogging tights, jeans 2 shirts, 2 sweatshirts, 1 fleece, 1 scarf, headband and my husbands mega warm vest.  See the trajectory of my hair?  I’m telling you it was windy!


This is my girl, Cinnamon.  She’s a fiery ginger gal… she’s due to pig on Valentine’s Day!  I wish this photo had turned out better, but she wouldn’t hold still.  Imagine that.


She likes a nice back scratching.


She also likes to pose for pictures with her head in a huge bucket.


One more round of scratching for the ‘girls’, then we fed the rest of the sows and boar.  Then it was time to head back home…


Frozen… yet glad for everyone to have nice bedding and plenty of feed and water.

Inconvenient, maybe a tiny bit.  Worth it… of course.


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  • Reply JoAnn Hansen January 18, 2014 at 10:08 pm

    Love the pics and the story!

    • Reply mikeandcristen January 20, 2014 at 2:49 am

      Thanks JoAnn! It is so nice of you to follow along with our craziness! Love you!

  • Reply robin January 20, 2014 at 3:31 am

    How true! It’s not convenient yet the babies always come first. Two legged and 4 legged!

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