Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Springfield Farm

Last week, we took a small fieldtrip to Springfield Farm north of Baltimore to purchase some Narragansett hens. Although it was more than an hour drive, the kids had fun once we were there, checking out all the animals, choosing the hens and devouring a pint of cookies and cream ice cream from a local dairy. We were able to choose either one month old or two month old birds and ended up going with two of the older birds both because we'd have a better chance of choosing hens and because they'd be basically the same age as the birds we hatched out at home.

Although we ended up with two males from our hatching, buying two females from another breeder ended up making good sense to broaden genetics for our flock. I had planned on incubating more eggs next spring in order to do this, but the way it worked out saved us a year in the long run. This is a photo, I believe, of the hens' mother whose coloring is very light. In the pen right next to them were several peacocks, which completely captured the girls' hearts. If it weren't for the incredibly loud noise they make, I'd have had two girls begging for some at our home.

While there, we were able to see the breed of pig we're considering for our farm, Tamworths. Known for their flavor, lean meat and ability to do well on pasture. Sam and his dad are really looking forward to raising some feeder pigs for meat, but Jules is set on raising one to keep. Our big research project this year is to learn as much as we can about the Tamworths, so we'll be able to integrate them into our farm. Designing and locating the pen will depend in large part on where we can locate water and where we'd like to locate our fields. Our trip to Springfield gave us some good ideas and some visuals that will help our planning.


Jenny said...

Wow, pigs! There used to be pigs on our farm too--long before we moved here.

Oh, dear Julia. Just don't name it Wilbur!

Danielle said...

We have some friends here who are vegan and have a rescued pig named Gigi who is just *huge*! Jules wants a pet every time she sees it while Sam just wants bacon!

Jenny said...

Have you thought about getting Jules a pot-bellied pig? They seem to make good pets.