“Sleep, creep, and leap,” is a common saying about growing things, and it really seems to be true. The annual pollinator/ oat mix is leaping now, 8 weeks after planting. I’ve started grazing it with the feeder cattle and the sows with spring litters. All are loving it, but the cattle really seem to be blooming on this mixture. The sows are eating so much their manure could pass for cow pies.
I’m not really sure which components are contributing the most to the mixture, but I’m assuming the oats, which is probably near its nutritional peak, and the rape, which there seems to be a lot of and is reputed to be high in protein. The sunflower is not being eaten by either species and as of 9 weeks has started to outgrow everything else. The oats are starting to head out. The Buckwheat is the only plant that is flowering at 9 weeks.
Below is a photo of a sow farrowing in one of the “hillbilly” farrowing caves I made using old round bales of hay and some used tin for a roof. They really like farrowing in these spots, but it doesn’t offer enough protection from the elements. I had to move a two-day-old litter into one of the farrowing huts I’ve written of previously as they were getting wet from rain. Remarkably I’ve farrowed 13 sows in the spring group and the last time I counted they had an average of 10 pigs per litter. I’m amazed at how well they are doing. It seems they continue to improve with each succeeding generation farrowed on pasture.