24 Hours Early!!!

Those of you that keep up with our ramblings here were fully aware that today July 27th 2018 we was expecting our recently purchased Sow, 238-1 to give birth.

Well she decided that wasn't the plan and instead chose to give birth yesterday!!!

We now have 10 very chubby, healthy looking Piglets running around a temporary area (the permanent area being destroyed by a tree last week), near where we clean up... lol

We were very fortunate and lucky to video one of the piglets in live birth, if you are squeeeeemish (see what I did?) then look away now ;)

 

Kansas trip :) Luco Manufacturing

Here at Pixies Poultry & Pigs LLC our main aim has been with our Show Silkies. We have worked very hard to ensure continual improvement in our own standards, breeding lines and record keeping as well as recovery from Hurricane Irma. In 2017 Jonathan was voted onto the Hernando County Fair Livestock Committee and has since worked with a large number of both 4h and FFA members and watched the gradual progression with showing Pigs in both this and neighboring counties.

One main area of concern was the lack of Quality Pig breeding facilities and operations and we decided it was time to do what we can to invest in the youth of today and Future Farmers of tomorrow. With this came time to explore Pig housing and farrowing options.

That was when the local FFA chapter Chief introduced us to Luco Manufacturing and this picture.

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The picture showed us a building with great ventilation, ease of movement and when we explored more and looked internally we found the farrowing areas. We then made contacted with Luco Manufacturing in Kansas and arranged to go visit and get a close up look of one of their new Farrowing houses in the design and build stage.

Jonathan took the 5.30am flight up to Wichita then made his way across to Strong City, Kansas.

This video just show a collection of Photos taken by Jonathan throughout the day, from picking up the ridiculously brand new rental car, the drive across to Strong City, the farrowing houses with the Easy Clean system being integrated for flushing.

As well as this Jonathan vented down to Eureka, KS and also across to Lindeborg, KS and some of those pictures can also be seen.

Next up is a video of the Farrowing house in question. This house when finished will have all of the following (and more) integrated:

  • All units include crates, pens, fans, wiring, paddle waterers, tip out sow feeders, and heating.  
  • Clear span truss type for good head room inside the building.
  • 6' sidewalls and 7 1/2' at the center of the truss.
  • Woven wire mesh flooring is standard.
  • Units are mounted on skids to provide easy relocation and a clean, dry environment for your hogs and pigs.
  • Units provide added isolation aiding in disease control.

The final unit is definitely a site to behold and will give us a much improvement, better and cleaner environment for raising show pigs for the future. It will also give us a facility that allows for us to learn, as well as teach the youth and show them every step of the way when they progress and move into raising their own, for the future.

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Pig Run

What else is there to do at 4.30am? Well for Jonathan and Courtney today it’s saying goodbye to one another for 24 hours. With the expansion of our pig breeding section of the business comes the need to successfully ensure our pigs housing and breeding needs are taken care of. This means a significant investment into both Farrowing and Nursery housing.

Today that means a 6.30am flight from Tampa to Atlanta to grab a connecting flight out to Wichita, Kansas. After landing it will be a short drive to Strong City and the Home of Luco Manufacturing.

Jonathan will be looking over the main building, equipment and it’s suitability for use in Florida heat. 

It is an opportunity that has to be taken as it is going to give the ability to plan, problem solve and asses before confirming our order. Any foreseeable problems can then be looked into during the 8-10 week building and delivery phase.

Why now?

Well our pig breeding program has taken significant steps forward in the last few months and this will continue that progress. While the building will not be ready and full in 2017 for the early 2018 4h and FFA fair breeding - it does give us a chance to use the building on a smaller scale and wipe out any problems before using to maximum capacity in 2019.

(pictures and maybe video to follow on a story update in the near future).

New arrivals due in a week!!!!

238-1 (no name as yet ;) ) Was born in April 2016. Bred from Sire On Target and Dam Monster Square she has previously had 1 litter and her second is due on 7/27/18.

With her due date just a week away, preparations have started at the farm (despite the recent tree damage) to set up an area for her to be in peace and quiet when the big day arrives!!!!

This is a huge, nerve-wracking and important step for us here at the farm as we embark on a new venture with much higher quality and much better lineage and breeding backgrounds for our show pigs.

We will shortly be publishing our 4h and FFA show pig information that will provide up to $50 in add on bonuses when you purchase your show hog from us!

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238-1 has made a great addition to our breeding area and we look forward to seeing how she produces next week..

This litter she was bred by Steve Cobb from Lake City, Arkansas to Bear 42 (picture below).

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As mentioned above 238-1 Sire was On Target and Dam Monster Square - pictures below.

WE HATE STORMS!

Well it is finally and unequivocally 100% fact that here at Pixies Poultry & Pigs we hate storms!! On Tuesday this week a fairly harmless looking storm came through the area. On returning to the farm we found that the second half of a tree (first half came down and destroyed a building in Irma) had finally bitten the dust. You would hope it would fall on the same destroyed building? Nope, sadly that wasn't the case. This time we lost a smaller building that was currently being used for storage and was shortly being turned into our new Call Duck area.

 

The only use for the building now is fire wood :(

American Silkie Breeder Club news!

Working towards Master Exhibitor and Master Breeder awards takes great dedication, time and love! It is no mean feat to be awarded these titles when placing and winning at shows across a period of time no less than 5 years!

This morning we got the exciting news that Jonathan has qualified for his third (yes third!) Master Breeder award. This time in Bearded Gray Silkies. Jonathan becomes only the fifth person to achieve this status in Gray. He also becomes only the eight person to have achieved Master Breeder in 3 or more colors!

You can view all the Master Exhibitors and Master Breeders here.

 

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New Gilt Arrival

On Monday we drove from Brooksville, FL about 4hrs north to Colquitt, GA. The purpose of the journey was to collect our new 238-1 Pregnant Gilt from Steve Cobb of Cobb Family Farms of Lake City, Arkansas. The journey up and back generally went really well. 

As is usual with Florida it was a bit hot on the way back and although we used a crate with roof for shade and cover and she had ample cover and was not in direct sunlight we chose to make a small stop over on the way home ;)

 

 Chief land car wash was the scene as we pulled up, complete with pregnant pig!

Chief land car wash was the scene as we pulled up, complete with pregnant pig!

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 Nothing better than a cooling car was to lay down in, and 'chill out' . . .

Nothing better than a cooling car was to lay down in, and 'chill out' . . .

New Gilt Addition

Following on from adding a new boar to the farm back in May (scroll down for an update on that), we have this weekend successfully obtained a new Gilt. Her arrival will be next weekend. 238-1 (no name as yet ;) ) Was born in April 2016. Bred from Sire On Target and Dam Monster Square she has previously had 1 litter and her second is due on 7/27/18,

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238-1 is going to make a great addition to our breeding area and we look forward to seeing how she produces moving forward.

This litter she was bred by Steve Cobb from Lake City, Arkansas to Bear 42 (picture below).

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As mentioned above 238-1 Sire was On Target and Dam Monster Square - pictures below.

FLORIDA TRIPLE POULTRY SHOW!!!!

Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th December 2018 is the date for a brand new Triple Poultry Show. The show to be held in Brooksville, FL will feature a Double Junior and Triple Open show across a Saturday/Sunday weekend.

The Club website: www.floridapoultryshow.com is already live with some information, more information will be forthcoming as soon as it becomes available. Club meets are being added all the time and this will be updated shortly with even more meets!

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Todays Youth, Tomorrows Future

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Here at Pixies Poultry & Pigs LLC one of our main objectives is always helping and assisting the future Poultry and Pig 'showers' and 'farmers' of today and tomorrow...

One of the ways we do this is through Support at the local Hernando County Fair. Its always great to watch the youth show animals. The level, experience and knowledge of some of our youth is astounding! We are in great hands if the members of today truly are the future of tomorrow.

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When it comes to encouraging our youth one of the best ways for that to happen is through local 'add-on' donations. These donations go straight to the youth exhibitor and allow them to gain experience in profit/loss from their project as well as investing in a bigger better project in the future.

 

 

FINALLY!!!

Well today is finally the day. The day that has taken nearly a year to get to. A day that was soon far off in the distance but we finally managed to get there!!!

Ok, so this sounds like something really huge and amazing..... And for us, after Irma and what happened in 2017 it is....

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For the first time since early 2017 we have a reason to have all four of our Hatchers turned on! Its taken its time, and they are not even close to full - but finally they are turned on and we will be hatching in all four (14 trays) hatchers over the next few days.

Hatchtrack - Your Egg Incubation Assistant

Michael Anfang has just released the Hatchtrack, your very own Egg Incubation Assistant. Hatchtrack comes in the size and shape of an egg and is placed inside the incubator on day one along with your eggs ready for the next 21 days!! The aim is to both raise funds for the product, as well as get 'beta testers' lined up ready to give back information, thoughts and opinions about the good, the bad, the ugly and the great about this product.

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Starting at $99 the Hatchtrack can be purchased. As well as this the Indiegogo funding page (here) you can also give donations on a smaller scale towards the project. Michael has been working on this project for a little over a year and is "thrilled to finally be able to share it with the world!".

"The Hatchtrack mobile app is how you configure your Peep eggs as well as how you receive notifications. When you turn your Peep on for the first time, you can easily sync it with your phone over Bluetooth, where you can proceed with setup. You'll provide it with your WiFi login information so it can begin logging data to Hatchtrack and provide you with notifications.

The app is easy and intuitive by design - no high tech skills necessary! It's built for everyone to be able to use.

The Hatchtrack app will guide you through setting up your incubator, selecting your style and features, and allow you to set up various types of notifications. It works with automatic or manual turners, and can provide you with turning reminders if needed. If you'd like, it will send you daily pictures of chick development in the egg so you can know what's happening!

It's perfect for checking in the during day (especially if you're away!) to make sure everything is correct to hatch healthy, happy chicks."

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You can find Hatchtrack on Facebook  as well as their Indiegogo page. Purchasing the Hatchtrack from as little as $99 will allow you to get in on the action, monitor what really goes on inside the egg and allow you to truly know every piece of data you could possibly want from your incubator. 

 

ROAD TRIP...

This weekend are two smaller Poultry shows in New Jersey and Rhode Island. One of them on Saturday 19th May and the other on Sunday 20th. What better way to spend a weekend than attending BOTH shows! Road trip with 14 Silkies from Florida....

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As well as taking Silkies to show at both shows we are also dropping off several orders on the way. Looking forward to a stop off in Smithfield, NC on Thursday evening. After that we will make the journey to Tysons, VA and do a small drop off just outside Washington, DC.

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After leaving Tysons, VA we progress to Lancaster, PA where we will pick up new Honey Skep Jars from Fillmore Container's. From their the drive into Augusta, NJ and setup hopefully on Friday evening ready for Saturday's Sussex County Poultry Fancier Show.

Are you nearby? Why not pop along and say hi? Jonathan will be easy to spot in his Pixies Poultry Polo Shirt ;)

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After the Sussex County Poultry Fanciers show we will be making the way East to hit Richmond, RI for Sunday's Little Rhody show which is being put on by the Little Rhody Poultry Fanciers. We have a customer to communicate with who is in Vermont so we may well have a stop off in Hartford, CT on the way over on Saturday evening and have adjusted our route accordingly.

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Once this is complete we will finish off the journey into Richmond, RI and either check in on Saturday evening or first thing Sunday morning just in time for the show to begin at 9am.

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Once judging is complete on Sunday the journey back to Florida begins and we hope to be home sometime on Monday overnight or early Tuesday morning!

New Wing Bands for all Sale birds

Beginning on May 1st 2018 all Chickens either kept or sold from Pixies Poultry & Pigs will come complete with Wing bands applied. With our name on one side and a number on the other side we will always be able to keep and provide any purchaser, whether purchased directly from us or further down the line, all of the information below.

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2018 Wing Bands for

Pixies Poultry & Pigs LLC

Incubator Used, hatcher used, Hatch date, pen for parents (over time full parental lineage will be tracked - this isn't an instant process but will develop and expand), lineage where known, price sold for, sex (if an adult and guaranteed), who sold to.

We will then be able to provide individual receipts and guarantees on birds that can assist both buyer and seller in identifying all birds purchased.

This program will develop over time and we look forward to one day getting to the stage where all lineage of our birds can be shown across multiple years and breeding seasons.

New Boar Addition

We don't just do Chickens here at Pixies Poultry & Pigs... We are also working on improving our pig stock to help provide a better all round service and quality hog for the local 4h and FFA members who are taking party in their respective county fairs.

At the start of 2018 we made the decision to Artificially Inseminate (AI) 50% of our gilts for the first time. With that in mind we went to Flying Pig Genetics based in Oklahoma and settled on Grohl as our first AI 'donor'.

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We still wanted to get a boar into the farm and so the search began. Finally paying off when we were made aware of Kristoff (our name for him). After a short journey to view we settled on Kristoff to help us improve our genetics through 2018 and provide the youth of today with a better quality for fairs in 2019.

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Brooksville Blueberry Festival

WOW! What a weekend and great success that was! The first Brooksville Blueberry Festival run by the people of Brooksville. With probably well in excess of 20,000 (estimate only) people making their way through the festival many vendors, including ourselves were selling out well in advance of the festivals close. Our honest was a huge success and after our TV appearance earlier in the week so were the chickens once more!

Here you can see Pixie talking to just one of our many visitors.

 

Blueberries, Blueberries, Blueberries..... & Chickens

This weekend April 28-29th marks John Lee's (of Coney Island fame) inaugural year running the traditional Downtown Brockville Blueberry Festival. With Jon's enthusiasm and drive the event is bound to be a resounding success.

Recently John was invited to talk about the Festival on Tampa Bay's The Morning Blend TV show. John was awesome and invited us along to join in the 'festivities'.

 

Hatching Egg Price Increase

2018 has been a great year so far for sales, being sold out on all Silkie Hatching Eggs that we have made available, to date. We have made the tough decision that we will need to increase our prices in order to accurately reflect the quality level of birds we produce as well as the costs and time involved. When you include processing of orders, website costs, payment processing, shipping etc a single shipment of eggs can accumulate over an hour of time as well as $35 in individual costs.

We want to take every possible step to stay competitive so while we are raising our cost to $100 for a dozen silkie hatching eggs (with the extras we send we still feel this represents great value for money) for the remainder of 2018 we will be offering free Priority Mail shipping. This offer (Using offer code SHIPPING at checkout) will automatically deduct $25 from your order. If you usually choose Express, this code will still reduce your end total and leave you with a shipping cost discount.

This offer and code will expire on December 31st 2018.

We are currently sold out of hatching eggs through to the end of May 2018 but will start planning shipments for June shortly. We will be running reduced numbers through June, July and August as we work on rebuilding our own stock as well as hatching and making chicks and juveniles available at shows in the fall.

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New Packaging Method Found!

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So as time goes on products hit the market and it takes a while to filter down to everyone... Here at Pixies Poultry & Pigs LLC we do not know everything (unless arguing with Pixie in which case just assume she does....).

Recently we shipped from here in Florida to California, double boxed as always but there was damage and not every egg made it safely. Thats when one of our awesome customers shared with us about these pouches.

Coming in various sizes, they are already heat sealed on 3 sides allowing for the egg to be placed inside rolled up and then sealed!!

This way should any eggs get damaged it doesn't cause any cross contamination going to the other eggs.

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Coming from a company called The Boxery you can order these in various sizes and also different quantity amounts. Ours came courtesy of a purchase through online retailer Amazon and they arrived quickly in two rather large boxes. In test shipments so far we have found we can safely get 19 Silkie hatching eggs into a Medium Flat Rate Box and then double pack that into a Large Flat rate box for shipping. 

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We are currently also investigating the USPS Regional Flat Rate Boxes but are yet to successfully find a way to be able to double box with those. Here we have shown a sample of the pouches and also just one of The Boxery's Amazon listings.

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