Final Pork Costs

Well folks, the numbers are in…

The initial cost of purchasing two piglets was $90.00. We incurred $89.61 in fees for bedding and medical supplies. Total feed costs were $261.63 for 1250# of feed. Total processing fees were $267.10. The grand total for raising these pigs was $708.34 Total weight for the four halves was 306 lbs. So the total cost per pound was $2.31 lb.

This cost does not take in to account the $175.17 that Ryan spent to revamp the pig/calf shed. That would make the cost about $2.88 lb (less if we assign a bit of that to the calves).

The costs could have been a bit lower if we would have found the wood chip guy sooner. (I did not include the few bucks Dad was giving him or the gas to haul the chips). Not much we could do about the feed costs because we were just about on target with the 600# necessary to raise an animal. The wormer and antibiotic was a bit spendy also, but again, another necessary evil of raising animals.

This morning the animals’ water was frozen…another thing we’ll have to deal with.

4 wheeler gets a new drive gear.

The 4 wheeler striped a drive sprocket from all the firewood hauling we have been doing. It was $17 for a new one and only took me about an hour to change it. Good as new now. Or at least good as it was before.

The old Chevy blew up.

Well another bummer in my great saga of vehicle troubles.

As I posted over on my blog , I was on my way to a job in New Jersey when I threw a rod. The odometer was at 226660.4 when it blew. Almost perfect start for a horror movie. In the middle of nowhere in the dark and the truck blowing up.

So now we have to figure out how to get it home. And I really don’t feel it’s time to get a new truck yet. So we will be down to the old worn out minivan for now. Thankfully there is already a farm truck so it’s not like we are stuck with no way to haul feed and what not.

Well, it’s in Gods hands now.

Snow, pigs

Snowed last night, roads were a little slippery coming home from Franklin.

We’re going to have to be more committed to getting up early in the morning – the mornings just aren’t long enough right now.

Going to fetch the pork from the butcher this afternoon. Yum.

Monday November 17 2008

I’m back dating this just because I am supposed to be posting every day here and I want to try to make that commitment.

Not much happened at the farm Monday, though.


Vermiculture is another composting technique – using worms instead of (or in addition to) bacteria and heat. We’ll be working with this, I hope in the coming year here at Big Oak Ridge.


Cows are being wintered over.

We were going to try to a) move the steer to the lawn on the west side of the house and b) plow the existing pasture to prepare for re-seeding. We were going to try to get this done this year however it’s already too wet in the pasture to plow and it will soon freeze. SO …

Plan B is to get some hay, leave the steer where they are at (for now) and do a frost planting in the spring (frost planting does not require plowing).

In the meantime Tara is going to analyze the feed needs and I am going to check with JR Byers on getting a custom feed mix for the remainder of winter; hopefully that will get some weight on these critters and get them ready to butcher.

… And you can’t say I didn’t warn you …

OK, so here’s the view this morning. Was I right or was I right? Granted, it’s not a “blizzard”. But I’m sure there’s more on the way.

The next four projects for the farm (and they are related) are:

  1. Move the cows to the west lawn (I’m not looking forward to having the lawn all beat up, but we don’t have a choice right now)
  2. Get the “old” pasture plowed (part of Tara’s pasture recovery project)
  3. Get some more hay for the cows (probably from cousin Terry)
  4. MUST get chicken nest boxes done. The chickens are getting ready to lay!

I need to get the garage cleaned too; I’m going to need the workspace.

P.S.: Here’s a pic of the flock. They’re getting big, but not quite ready to butcher, so we’re probably going to have to do that ourselves. We may just start doing one at a time, have “fresh” chicken for Sunday dinner!

Evening Update:
After talking to Tara I’ve decided we’re not going to be able to plow and seed the pasture this year.
Plan B is to do a frost planting of the pasture next spring. We would know by early June if that was going to work; if it doesn’t we could go ahead and plow the pasture then.

Ready or not, here comes winter …

The picture is from last year, but it’s a foretaste of what’s coming.

Today is actually very mild temperature wise, just wet.

The pigs are at the butcher; the cows are still here, and are likely to be here through the winter. That means feeding, watering and sheltering the critters through the bad weather. Bummer.

The chickens are doing well, but aren’t going to make it to the butcher, either, which means I will have to butcher them myself most likely.

Plans for community meetings

Now that winter is coming we’re planning on getting the “home group” back up and running in some form.

My plan right now is to gather some interesting videos that we could use as points of discussion, etc. We may not use that every week, but if I can get some good ones (not boring) we could at least use that occasionally. I want to make sure we’re really accomplishing something spiritual if we do this; fellowship is great, and it’s important, but we need to make sure we’re getting fed spiritually, too – especially in light of the times we are living in.