Blog Archives

Sunday Morning Goat Lessons

Elly and I are getting ready to move next month to our new “farmlet” on Engle-Molers Road, so now she is starting to research the two things she wants to do there: raise goats and raise chickens.

Elly with chickens

As part of the research we went to a farm owned by some local folks, Sally and Jimmy, to learn about maintaining the goats and chickens (plus…unexpected surprise… to see how Jimmy raises pigs).

Now we know more about the expenses of feeding and maintaining the critters, about milking and egging, about dealing with animals in bad weather, about unexpected costs, etc. etc. etc.

Sally is a retired teacher, and Elly sees

Miniature Nubian Goats

herself getting heavily into this in another four years when she retires from teaching… from what I see, it’s like giving yourself another full-time job. The rewards, of course, are dozens of eggs every week, goats milk for cheese (and soap!) and all the exercise you get taking care of these guys.

Jimmy has 11 1/2 acres (we have, as of now, 4 1/3 acres) so we are going to be doing a much smaller operation than they are… but still it’s enough for the two

Just born last week!

of us to handle (maybe even more than we can handle… I want a tractor!). Just walking around their farm for an hour and my knees were killing me. I could ride around much more easily.

Jimmy’s pigs were great to look at (the piglets are cute little devils, but I don’t think the work and space needed for pigs is something I can deal with. Where goats have 1 or 2 kids a year, a mother pig will drop 17 or 18 piglets without thinking about it.)  Jimmy raises and butchers them himself… not something I even want to think about doing. The chickens are enough for me to start with. I don’t know when we’ll be starting a goatery.

Graphic Design Humor…

… or “What do you expect when you get cheap design?” In Vermont they apparently use convicts for their design work.

Spot the PIG

Payback is a PIG. Vermont inmates cleverly hid a pig on the cow. Vermont State Police have been using the logo for over a year. Photo/Vermont State Police

Thanks to All Hat, No Cattle.

Why you might want to avoid McDonald’s McRib Sandwich

The Humane Society has filed a complaint alleging that Smithfield Foods, McDonald’s pork supplier, crams its pigs in tiny gestation crates.

It has been stated that the McRib appears at McDonald’s when the price of pork goes down enough for the fast food monster.

The Humane Society has published the offenses by Smithfield, the pig raisers:

• Breeding sows were crammed inside “gestation crates” so small the animals could barely move for virtually their entire lives. Frustrated by this extreme confinement, sows engaged in “stereotypic” behaviors, which indicate poor welfare, like bar biting and head swaying. Some sows had bitten their bars so incessantly that blood from their mouths coated the fronts of their crates.

• Sows suffered from open pressure sores and other ulcers and wounds that developed from their unmitigated confinement and their inability to change
positions in the crate.

Abscesses sometimes formed from simple scratches due to ever-present bacteria.

• The investigator never saw a veterinarian at the operation.

• A barn manager told the investigator to ignore a sow with a basketball-sized abscess on her neck, and then cut the abscess open with an unsterilized razor.

• Employees jabbed a lame sow’s neck and back with gate rods to force her to move.

• Three times, the investigator informed employees that a pig was thrown into a dumpster alive. The animal had been shot in the forehead with a captive bolt gun, which is designed to render an animal unconscious, and was thrown in the dumpster still alive and breathing.

• Employees mishandled piglets and tossed them into carts. Some piglets born prematurely in gestation crates fell through the slats and died in manure pits.

What this all means is that if you eat McRib sandwiches, you are financing Smithfield to carry out their disgusting practices.