Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Mommy pig and baby pigs

These seven  7 day old piglets are having fun today. It seems that they could not get enough of mommy pig's milk because even if she was eating, these seven active piglets were still sucking her milk from her breasts.

I remember exactly a week ago when I found out that there were seven tiny creatures running around Laki (this is the name of the mommy pig). It was such a beautiful Tuesday morning and the sun was shining brightly. I knew the day before that Laki was about to deliver her first borns because I when I was trying to feed her, she never minded the feeds I placed on her basin as she was busy making a nest. And so the next day, my excitement never failed me--because of the seven addition to my backyard animals!

Out of the seven piglets, two were males and five were females. Hmmm, this promises something great as it would be easier to breed them. It appears that hitting my target number by next year would be very possible. I can't wait for another pregnant pig to give birth in less than two months!

For now, I am sharing this video for people to watch and enjoy!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Exciting Eight!

The exciting eight! These baby pigs are the newest addition to our farm.

After working for a couple of hours at the comfort of our farmhouse, I did my morning routine of feeding our livestock. To my surprise, one mother pig suddenly has eight piglets! Come to think of it: I never heard any noise yesterday coming from the pigpen. That was weird because a mother pig would usually make a loud groan while giving birth. Perhaps, it was an easy delivery for the mom pig because it has ample exercise everyday because of the rice hull flooring. 

If you noticed, this pig gave birth to the same place wheree the first mom pig delivered her 7 babies. and apparently, they made coconut husk nests which are of the same size. 
Mommy pig with eight baby pigs!

They also have the same motherly instinct when I was trying to take a picture of them together with their piglets as this only means that even though these wild boars are now bred in captivity, they still retain their animal traits of  being protective to their young ones against any harm--That makes a mom pig a great mom pig.

I can't wait for the other mother pig to give birth too! Hopefully within this week, we would have at least 10 piglets more! Haha! I think this number is quite big considering that the other two had seven and eight respectively. 

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Lactic acid bacterial serum for your pigs---and pets

Lactic. Acid. Bacteria. Serum. It sounds something like another toilet cleaner, doesn't it? Haha! Well, for this post, I am going to list down the step by step procedure as to how you can culture your own beneficial bacteria for  your animals' well being. But before I do so, I'll include an incident regarding our topic for today. Here it is:

An agricultural trainer from the ITCPH shared a story about a dog which she found lying pitifully at her gate one random day. The dog was probably hit by a car two days from that time as what its bruises showed. She felt so sorry for the dog that she decided let it in to her gate and rest on her front garden. Afterwards, she got a bottle of pure serum of lactic acid bacteria (which she cultured herself at home for her orchids) and mixed it with some left over food. In less than one hour, the dog pooped. Can you guess what she saw?

It was so gross as she noticed a lot of worms crawling in and out of the dog poop! After a few days, apparently, the good bacteria won over the bad ones as the dog was able to recover . Now, the previous homeless and bruised-some  creature is the trainer's guard dog. Way to go, doggie!

This is one good example how probiotics in effective microorganisms can be as beneficial as (if not more than) antibiotics. And come to think of it, it was home-made and cheap.

Now, I am more than willing to share to you the way how to culture your own bacteria at home for your livestocks---and  even for your pets. Let's start!

Things you will need:
rice wash
fresh milk
2 containers
clean paper
clean water (preferably, untreated and unchlorinated)

How to prepare your LABS:
First, wash your rice the same way as you prepare it for cooking. Be mindful though that the amount of water should be 150% of the volume of your rice. You don't need to squeeze the rice to extract more for your bacteria. Imagine, you are about to cook your staple food and instead of throwing away the rice wash, you will have to simply set it aside in a clean container, put a paper cover on it to make sure that no other microbes or insects can infect your fermentation. Leave it for 5-7 days.

Why do we have to leave it for almost a week? This is to allow the good bacteria from the rice to accumulate.

After the said time frame, you will notice that there are three layers in your fermented rice wash. On top is a very thin silk-like film, underneath it is your lactic acid and below are some residue. On this stage, the liquid is already smelling a little sour. If you notice some molds that are starting to grow inside your container or on top of the fermented rice wash, you have to dispose everything and start to ferment a new one again because it already is wasted and it would not make any sense to continue fermenting it because the bad bacteria already started to accumulate in your fermentation. 

Now, if you don't see any blackish or grayish spots on top, then that's good!

You will have to filter the liquid and get only the lactic acid part. This time, add some fresh milk in it, about 10 times more than the amount of the rice wash. If you are simply trying to do this as an experiment, you may cut down the volume of your rice wash to avoid using a lot of milk. Then, cover it with the same paper and make sure that no insect could find a way in as more likely, it will attract them because of its smell. Leave it again for 5-7 days.

Needless to say, good bacteria or probiotics multiply better through fermentation. 

A yellowish substance will be noticeable underneath  the layer of fats. Filter the liquid again to separate the solid part containing fats, proteins and carbohydrates which you don't have to throw away as this will be great for your livestock feeds. After that, you are almost done. Simply add the same amount of molasses into your concoction and this will be your pure serum with lactic acid and leave it again for  about a week.

That is how you culture your own probiotics using rice wash. Remember that two tablespoons of pure serum will be necessary for every liter of water to be given to your livestock animals (including pets!) as drink or it can be sprayed on to your organic crops for soil rejuvenation.

How long will the pure serum stay good? The lactic acid bacterial serum will last up to six months from the time you started making it because they have molasses in them which basically becomes their food for the said time frame.

What do you think? It is easy, isn't it? Do you think you can do something like this at your home? Challenge yourself and make a difference.

Good luck!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Odorless hog farming

[Effective microorganisms for pig farming series part 1]

For those people who are already raising pigs, the smell of the pigpen could take its toll on you at one point or another. Now, for those who are not yet into livestock farming, particularly on  pigs, you can just imagine how awful it could get to smell pig poop in your place. 

This is brutally honest. And I think it is one reason why pig farmers themselves are not proud of their jobs. It could be a humbling, or even to some extent, a humiliating experience because it is such an issue especially with their neighbors. Let us face it. Pig farming usually has a very strong smell and can cause air pollution at its worst. In effect, it can also be detrimental to the people's health. But have you imagined an odorless pigpen?

Yes, you read it right! That is a pig farm with non-pollutant by-products. An experienced farmer may disagree right away that this is impossible if one is not to buy such commercial odorless feeds usually costs almost 20% more than the regular price of sacks of feeds. The thing here is that there are a number of ways on how you can convert your traditional pigpens to odorless farms!

And that is what this blog post is all about. Starting from this point I would be glad to share my knowledge about very simple and cheap ways on how to make your own concoctions for an odorless hog farming. Let's tag this as the "Effective Microorganisms for Pigs" series. 

To start our advocacy for an odorless farm, let's have a quick look as to what these effective microorganisms are and what they do that eliminates the funny smell from animal wastes.

What are beneficial microorganisms?

Wikipedia says that "[a]n effective microorganism refers to any of the predominantly anaerobic organisms blended in commercial agricultural amendments, medicines, and nutritional supplements based on the trademarked product originally marketed as EM-1 Microbial Inoculant, aka Effective Microorganisms and EM Technology."

So what can we find in these?

"These blends are reported to include:Lactic acid bacteria: Lactobacillus casei
Photosynthetic bacteria: Rhodopseudomonas palustris, Yeast: Saccharomyces cerevisiae and others like beneficial microorganisms that exist naturally in the environment may thrive in the mixture.

EM Technology is purported to support sustainable practices in farming and to improve and support human health and hygiene, compost and waste management..."

Where do these effective microorganisms come from?

"The concept of 'friendly microorganisms' was developed by Professor Teruo Higa, from the University of the Ryukyus in Okinawa, Japan. He reported in the 1980s that a combination of approximately 80 different microorganisms is capable of positively influencing decomposing organic matter such that it reverts into a "life promoting" process. Higa invokes a "dominance principle" to explain the effects of his "Effective Microorganisms". He claims that three groups of microorganisms exist: "positive microorganisms" (regeneration), "negative microorganisms" (decomposition, degeneration), "opportunist microorganisms". In every medium (soil, water, air, the human intestine), the ratio of "positive" and "negative" microorganisms is critical, since the opportunist microorganisms follow the trend to regeneration or degeneration. Therefore, Higa believes that it is possible to positively influence the given media by supplementing with "positive" microorganisms."

These are some of the basic information regarding effective microorganism. Up next, I would be glad to share a step by step procedure as to how you can culture  your own beneficial microorganisms at home without having to spend a lot. Stay tuned for more posts regarding EMs especially lactic acid bacterial serum!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Swimming pigs!!!

This is amazing! I never thought that pigs can actually swim. All my life I have seen pigs as lazy animals eating out anything every time. But a few months ago, I have seen how wonderful these creatures are. Not only are they very protective with their young but they are also very physically active. That is, they love swimming.

Yes, it is amazing and amusing. Haha! The pigs I have are the pot-belly type. Now, I wonder...can they ever swim the same way as these pigs do in the Bahamas?

There is only one way to know---TRY! Unfortunately, my backyard farm is too far from a river, sea or any form of water. And I can't imagine myself constructing a man-made lake just for them to have somewhere to swim in. Still, I think it is possible given the financial budget to do so. For now, my pigs are good because they have their own mini pool which I fill up with six pails of water whenever the weather is too hot.

And I think pigs that swim are hot! What I mean is, they are cool! That is because they can freely roam around and do whatever they want including swimming. What a great mechanism and adaptation to its immediate environment! Now, I can't seem to wait to see some Philippine native pigs having some fun in the water.

Personally, I think that this video  is such a nice way to promote tourism for the Bahamas or to any place with a variety of pigs or even wild boars. This could pose a good opportunity for the local people to venture into agri-tourism especially to places with pig farms especially in a tropical setting particularly here in the Philippines. 

Novelty as it may sound, but there is actually potential that this agri-tourism industry might become a boom. In this way, people get to be more aware of nature and agriculture in a different light. As a result, a certain connection between humans and Mother Earth is promoted to a certain extent which is a very good thing. Do you agree? 

Well, what about you, guys. Have you actually seen any pig swimming in deep water in real life?

Saturday, January 4, 2014

DA-BAR Free Seminar Series: Pag-aalaga ng Katutubong Baboy (Native Pigs of the Philippines)

Educational video review: indigenous swine production

More than a year ago, the Bureau of Animal Research of the Department of Agriculture had launched this advocacy to promote nationalistic pride at least in terms of livestock farming particularly on indigenous swine farming.

Farmers in rural areas were highly  encouraged to join their 'paiwi' program for a a sustainable and organic pork production with the use of breeds native to the tropical country of the Philippines.

When I stumbled upon this video on Youtube, I was surprised as how organized the project was. And honestly speaking, this was one of my inspirations to form my own start up. Well, right now, it still is a hobby as I am not yet selling anything. But hopefully in a couple of years, I would be able to start marketing. My initial target is to have 52 heads so that I would have 1 pig to be slaughtered every week for the rest of the year. Of course, I do not intend to butcher all of them in just a year. Needless to say, some of them would still breed by the time my count gets 52. Good luck to me and my future agribusiness!

For now, I am happy to share these two videos to you, guys! Enjoy watching!

And here is the second part of the video training. How I wish I could have more time to include captions/subtitles in English for my non-Filipino followers. Oh, well, I think that would be a great idea. For now, please bear with me.

What I like about these videos is that it promotes a sustainable way for farmers to earn more without having to invest too much money. Imagine, the grass that they will be clearing from their fields can/will be consumed by their pigs. And when they poop, the manure can be collected and be fed to African night crawlers producing vermicasts as organic fertilizers. Now, this promotes efficiency through zero waste management in the farm. Less input more yield!

Let's exercise our freedom of expression. Please feel free to post comments. 

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Movie review: Babe

I was 10 years old when I saw this movie at the theaters. Looking back, little did I know that I will raise and breed some of its kind. Now, after stumbling on a link that led me to this movie, I feel amused and happy knowing that back then, I had this undescribable connection with pigs. And I figured that it would be such a nice idea to feature a moving picture in this relatively new blog.

So, without further due, ladies and gentlemen, one of my best liked movie of all time, 'Babe'.

Babe is a 1995 comedy-drama film, co-written and directed by Chris Noonan. It is an adaptation of Dick King-Smith's 1983 novel The Sheep-Pig, also known as Babe: The Gallant Pig in the USA, which tells the story of a pig who wants to be a sheepdog. The main animal characters are played by a combination of real and animatronic pigs and Border Collies.[1]
After seven years of development,[2] Babe was filmed in Robertson, New South Wales, Australia.[3] The talking-animal visual effects were done by Rhythm & Hues Studios and Jim Henson's Creature Shop.
The film was a box office success and grossed $36,776,544 at the box office in Australia.[4] It has received considerable acclaim from critics: it was nominated for seven Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay, winning Best Visual Effects. It also won the Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy and the Saturn Award for Best Fantasy Film.
In 1998, Babe producer and co-writer George Miller directed a sequel, Babe: Pig in the City.


An orphaned piglet named Babe is chosen for a "guess the weight" contest booth at a county fair. The winning farmer, Arthur Hoggett, brings him home and allows him to stay with a female border collie named Fly and her pups.

A duck named Ferdinand poses as a rooster in order to keep from being eaten and wakes the farm each morning by crowing. He persuades Babe to help him destroy the alarm clock because it threatens his mission. Although they succeed in this goal, they startle the Hoggetts' cat, Duchess, awake, and in the confusion that ensues, all three accidentally destroy the living room, leaving them covered in paint. Fly's mate Rex orders Babe to stay away from both Ferdinand (now a fugitive) and the house. When Fly's puppies are put up for sale, Babe asks if he can call her ‘Mum’.

Christmas time brings a visit from the Hoggetts' relatives. Babe is almost chosen for the Christmas dinner but a duck is picked instead after Arthur remarks to his wife Esme that Babe may bring a prize for ham at the next County Fair. The day after Christmas, Babe alerts the farmer to some sheep rustlers. The following day, Arthur sees Babe sort the hens, separating the brown ones from the white ones. Impressed, he takes the pig to the fields and tells Babe instead of Rex to herd the sheep. Encouraged by an elder ewe named Maa, the sheep cooperate, but Rex sees Babe's actions as an insult to sheepdogs and eventually confronts his mate for "putting ideas in Babe's head". Fly's right front leg is injured and Arthur's right hand is bitten by Rex while trying to intervene. Rex is then chained to the dog house and sedated, leaving the sheep-herding job to Babe.

One morning, Babe is wakened by their cries and sees three feral dogs attacking the herd. He bravely scares them away, but Maa has been mortally injured. Arthur arrives, sees Babe standing over Maa, and thinks that he killed her because Babe has blood on his snout from when he had nuzzled Maa earlier in an attempt to comfort her during her death. While Arthur prepares to shoot Babe for being a sheep-killer, Fly is so anxious to find out whether Babe is guilty or innocent that, for the first time in her life, instead of barking orders at the sheep, she tries talking with them to find out what happened. The sheep tell her that Babe is innocent and that he in fact saved them. Fly then barks to distract Arthur from shooting Babe, which she succeeds in doing long enough for Esme to come out and say she has heard from the police that feral dogs have been killing sheep on neighboring farms, whereupon Arthur realizes just in time that Babe is innocent.

When Esme leaves on a trip for a few days, Arthur signs Babe up for a local sheep-herding competition. The night before the competition, it is raining hard outside that Arthur lets both Babe and Fly in the house. However, Duchess scratches Babe while trying to converse with her, and Arthur confines her outside. When Duchess is let back inside the house later on, she gets revenge on Babe by revealing that humans eat pigs. Agitated, Babe runs out back into to the barn and speaks and asks to Fly if it is true and she confirms this.
The next morning, Fly discovers that Babe has run away. She and Rex alert Arthur and all three go searching for him. Rex eventually finds him, and Arthur brings him back home. However, Babe is still in a bad mood that he refuses to eat, despite encouragement from Rex, who has now softened his attitude and calls him 'Son'. Arthur gives him a drink from a baby bottle and sings "If I Had Words" to him, and eventually dances a jigs for him. This restores Babe's faith in the farmer's affection for him, and he begins eating.

Once having arrived at the sheep-herding competition, Babe meets the sheep he'll be herding, but unlike the sheep back home, they ignore Babe's attempts to speak with them and refuse to listen to him. Rex runs back to the farm to ask the sheep what to do. The sheep give him a secret password, first extracting a promise from Rex that, in return, he will treat them better from now on. Rex gets back to the competition just in time and conveys the password to Babe. The audience picks up laughter as Arthur has entered a pig into the contest, but when Babe recites the password to the sheep and politely ask for their help, they immediately take notice of him and agree to do what he asks. They follow his instructions crisply and he is wildly acclaimed by the crowd and unanimously given the highest score. At that, Babe sits down quietly next to Arthur, who praises him affectionately, in his understated way, by saying, "That'll do, Pig. That'll do."

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


1Chanko, Kenneth M. (1995-08-18). "This Pig Just Might Fly | Movies". EW.com. Retrieved 2010-05-31.

2"Interview with Chris Noonan", 9 September 1999 accessed 19 November 2012

3 "Robertson – New South Wales – Australia". The Age. 2008-04-10. Retrieved 2008-07-20.

4 Film Victoria - Australian Films at the Australian Box Office

5 Film Score Monthly 53-64, Los Angeles CA 1995, page 70