Another day, another road trip.
It's been almost two weeks since our drive up to Eugene OR to pick up the newest addition to the farm - Babylon's Reginald, our new American Guinea Hog boar. As our farm grows and expands, breeding our hogs has become one of our number one priorities. And with the gene pool for AGH's in California being very small, it was super important for us to find a bloodline that was not connected to ours. Enter Reggie - he comes from a line of hogs out of Virginia but he was bred and born in Tacoma Washington. His owner was thankfully willing to meet us in Oregon to save us from having to drive ALL THE WAY to Washington and back. Since our time is pretty limited when it comes to getting away from the farm, we decided to make it a turn and burn and do the whole trip in a single day.
Cue us leaving the ranch at 1:00 am last Sunday. Thankfully the first half of the drive was easy - and dark. We sailed across the Oregon border just after the sun had come up and it was gorgeous to say the least. We zipped through Oregon and found our contact Steve waiting with Reggie in Eugene at 9:30. It's funny - the more pigs we move, the better we get at it. We were able to drop the gate of our trailer, bribe Reggie across the gap with some apples and shut the gate behind him. Poof - done. Even Steve was impressed, and he said it had to have been the easiest pig transfer he'd ever seen. Hallelujah. We signed the paperwork and transfer papers (the amount of paperwork to bring livestock into California is STAGGERING) and it honestly took longer to do all of that than to move Reggie from one trailer to the other.
In less than 30 minutes we were back on the road and heading south again. We hit the California line and scared the absolute daylights out of the bored guard who asked, "Fruits or veggie - what the hell is that?" as he pointed to Reggie's grinning mug (with three inch tusks) as he poked his nose through the trailer gaps, searching for threats. The Fisherman filled out the paperwork as I tried not to die of laughter and explain to the border people (who were all really shocked to see him) how special Reggie is. After a few minutes we were back on our way.
We stopped a couple times to give Reg some water and to switch drivers but we made pretty decent time and made it back to the farm by 6:30 pm. Upon opening the lid of the trailer, we realized that Reggie had somehow opened one of the straw bales that he was packed in with and had made himself a bed so he could cruise the highways in comfort. That would explain the swirls of hay that escaped the trailer as we drove down highway 5. He looked up at us and grunted like "What?" We got him settled and moved (again, far too easy) into his new pen, where he promptly fell head-over-heels in love with little miss Georgia, who lives on the other side of the fence.
Now that we've got our big guy settled, we are going to give him another week to acclimate to the ranch before we introduce him and Georgia in person. They'll be together for about a month and then we'll introduce him to Petunia. Her littles are over three months old now and don't need to be with mama any longer. We'll move them over to the big pasture as soon as the current group of boys is processed (next weekend!).
We're also waiting on Cali. As some might remember, we had a wild boar break through our fences the morning of February 25th and attempt to breed with Cali. At this point, she has paid ZERO attention to Reggie, which makes us think that she is indeed preggers. Her due date, if it is indeed that, is June 19th. Once we know for sure she's either in the clear or pregnant, we'll make plans to breed her.
Other than that, the farm is humming along nicely. The meat chickens are getting bigger, the new layers are every day closer to laying their first round of eggs and the turkeys arrive next week. The rabbits Tom & Stella will be bred next month with the first litter of rabbits arriving in June. We are ordering fruit trees, working on the garden and generally loving life as it slips by, each day prettier than the last.
With busy hands and hearts,
Lailand & Jeremy