Thursday, February 22, 2007

Pig Latin


City Boy and I often have a discussion as to whether or not this is a farm. He says no, as he clearly does not want to be a farmer. I say yes, as I do want to be a farmer. To help us settle this debate, I have looked up the definition of 'farm'; these are a few of the definitions that were given:


1. a tract of land, usually with a house, barn, silo, etc., on which crops and often livestock are raised for livelihood.
2. land or water devoted to the raising of animals, fish, plants, etc.: a pig farm; an oyster farm; a tree farm.
3. a similar, usually commercial, site where a product is manufactured or cultivated: a cheese farm; a honey farm.
4. to cultivate (land).


With these four meanings, I can be pretty sure that I live on a farm (minus the silo.) I may not make my sole living from it, however, I do raise livestock and have provided a bit of vegetables over the years. The land has been cultivated, even if just minimally. And I produce sheep milk soaps, thanks to the sheep out there in the pasture.


Hence, I can consider myself a farmer.


Why is it, then, that I still have farm envy? Is it because I've so many friends with bigger farms?


Today I went to visit some farming friends of mine. They've got a large tract of land where they raise calves, and most definitely make their living from it. The calves come to them as day olds, they live in these cozy little hutches which I call Calf Loos (kinda like the dogloos, you know? Only for calves. Unless they happen to have one of those buffalo-calf crosses there, in which case I call them calfabufaloos...) In the summer, when it gets a bit too cozy (also known as bloody hot), there is a shade screen stretched above the hutches to help keep the calves cool..
The hutches are lined up in rows; there's a vent at the top of the dome to help control the temperature and of course the door in the front for those most adorably little calfie faces to hang out!

The hutches actually have plenty of room for these babies to move about it; no need for you to worry and think about those poor little veal calves who have no space. I've even seen them kick up their heels a bit! The hutch keeps them safe from predators as well as isolating them should there be any form of illness. Once they grow up a bit, they get to go into the big barn (pictured at the top of the page.)


The calves get fed a special formula; the bottles get pulled along in this cart and dropped into the opening in the hutch. The calves know the routine, let me tell you! By the time the last calf has it's milk bottle, the first ones have already emptied theirs and they need to be picked up.

While we were there, H (I've debated...do I use real names? Or just initials?) asked me if I'd liked the snow this winter. Um...no...not really. I told him snow was a four letter word. He said yeah, kinda like Tracey. I looked at him with a puzzled look. Um, no, couldn't he count? Tracey had six letters...unless...hey! Watch what you're saying there, buddy! Call me a four letter word... Why are you laughing like that, H?


Darling and I had really come over to see the more recent addition to the farm, though; piglets! Now I ask you, is there anything cuter than a baby pig? I mean, really? They're so cute and smiley and pink...and cute!

Okay, not that one. He was big and ugly, and had freaky blue eyes....

Oh, yeah! Now that's what I'm talking about!
Major cuteness going on here!


Take me home with you...I can do tricks!

Who needs a dog? I'd make the perfect house pet!

I don't eat much...

Such a good mamma, letting Junior play piggie back.

Do you speak Pig Latin?

Wait a minute...what have we here? Ahhh...there's H, trying to hide from the camera! Silly H...

You'll need to do better than that...

Okay, I admit it. I left there a bit envious. My friend D tells me I ought not be. "Yeah," I said, "it's a sin. I'll ask forgiveness later, but for now I'll be envious." I promise, D, I'm over my farm envy for tonight. I'm going to head off to bed with visions of pink piggies dancing in my head! (I wonder if City Boy will let us get one?)

15 comments:

Sue said...

I love the cows the best!! Have raised a few cows and a few pigs, and the cows are easier!! I just love those shacks, never seen such a thing, but they are neat and make alot of sense!

Anonymous said...

Fantastic pictures E!! I want to live on a farm. I want a baby pig. I want to live your life! :0)
E-less

Blueridgegirl said...

Looks like cow suburbia! Tiny little tract housing for calves. Eek. I've never seen those things before (not the calves, but the house things). How long do they live there? Do they make them for two year olds? What about seven year olds? If I could put the girls in one each, life could be easier.

Slick said...

Well, even I'll admit the baby pigs are cute. Just don't tell anyone I said that.

And by those definitions...yeah, Id say you were a farmer.

PEA said...

I'm still giggling at your "Booger Date"! lol You've got such terrific pictures on this post...I've never wanted to be a farmer but I do so enjoy visiting farms:-) I had never seen these little housing units for calves...how very fascinating! As for the piggies...awwww so adorable! xox

Tracey said...

Oh, Slick...your secret's safe with me...heh heh...

Pea...get over it! No one is allowed to remember the booger date. You must forget it immediately...it never happened...

E-less...what are you talking about? You've got llamas and goaties and...well, I see what you mean now. Why on earth anyone would want a goat is beyond me.

Blueridge; you could try putting your children in them. No guarantees in regards to what the neighbors may think of your parenting style =)

Sue...calves over piggies? No way! This little calfie went to market this little calfie stayed home...just doesn't play out as well on my toes!

RoseMary said...

The piglets are adorable! Now I want one!!! I've never seen those little calf hutches before. I loved their farm, but it looks like a lot of work.

FarmgirlCyn said...

Well, according to your descriptions, I also have a farm. Or farmette, maybe. We have 1 1/2 acres, with a small pond housing 17 of our own ducks, and 100 winter insurgents. We have a small hen house with 9 hens and 1 rooster. 2 house cats, 1 house golden retriever, and a partridge in a pear tree. Well, not really the partridge. But plenty of wild birds at the feeders. And a mini potager in the summer, with just enough veggies to take care of our family. So yup, I got me a farm!

Gail said...

Baby pigs are cute, untill they grow into the 400lb.stage. Here in north Fl. we have little houses for the calves but they sure are not as fancy as the ones in these pictures..I love a farm, especially the barn,"HAY" what happen to your idea about the barn again site thingie?

Leann said...

OOOOOOO those little piggys are soooo cute.we raised pigs for a while.had some one winter night that we had to bring in.the mom had her litter and then one other mom did.we had two boxes full of baby pigs by the wood stove to stay warm.we held some as we watched TV.they would snoggle up to your neck and put their little noses on your cheek.

kansasrose said...

Ok don't take this wrong...that is the freakinest strangest thing I have ever seen...calf loos? The calves have to have shade? Are they air conditioned too? Come on now...next thing they will be putting in a water park for the calves to play in and offering them flavored cold mineral water with a slice of lemon? It gets hotter than hell in the midwest and cows and calves go under trees for shade or stand in ponds ( unless they are confined in a feedlot)...it just seems like a huge waste of "moo-la". The pigs are sure cute.

kansasrose said...

I don't mean to be critizing this it just struck me odd...never saw this before...but the calves look healthy and happy. That is what counts. It looks like a very nice and well run farm.

Tracey said...

LOL, KR! Yes, it's a well run farm, and the calfies are happy (as they can be, I suppose, for leaving their mummies at a day old.) The calves come from the larger dairies that don't allow the cows to nurse their calves. Instead of killing the calves like so many of them used to, there's now a big business in raising the day olds. So...no pasture or shady trees for these little ones.

But you're probably right about the heat in the midwest. They don't do so well here, either, when it gets hot. Fortunately, we rarely get more than a few weeks of hot weather here, and H & D have a new shade cloth to help with that issue.

ikkinlala said...

Piggies!

We raised pigs (just a couple of sows, not a barn full) for years, but the "awww..." effect hasn't worn off yet. And I still think some of them are cute when they're older.

PALocalvore said...

Those piggies are cute- my husband likes red ones. When we go to the Farm Show, we always have to scratch pigs.

They use the calf huts around here because of the great many dairy farms. But I have also heard over in Lancaster COunty they are heavily used by the puppy mill people.