The Devil makes work for Idle Hands… As true in Farming Simulator as in real life! After my last post I made some steps towards starting pig farming. I was watching a Corn crop in one of Mason’s fields – I planned to help out with a corn harvest and collect any leftovers when the job was deemed to be complete as part of my stock up on food for piggies project. With my bank balance at over £120k I looked at the modules available for the Lindner – I’d need a water tank for starters……Nice and cheap. Pigs will need straw bedding – essential if I want them to produce Manure. There are forage wagons for collecting straw but they’re not cheap and as I already have a good baler for collecting the straw after a harvest, 2 other options presented themselves. I could buy a Bale Breaker to deliver straw to the pigs – this would mean finding somewhere to store some bales as well as the breaker. The concrete silo wouldn’t be available once I have pigs as that is where the manure they produce goes. The other option was to buy the Forage Module for the Lindner……which is the option I chose. It’s a very competent piece of kit, taking over 11k litres of straw, and better suited to the use I have in mind than getting a full size forage trailer I said that the Lindner would be busy – not such a rash purchase after all!

The next morning, the rains came. With the rain lashing down, any form of harvesting was out of the question:-( Not that Mason’s crop was quite ready yet. So there I was twiddling my thumbs with little to do except some cultivating. I reviewed my finances again and postulated on some what-if’s then I decided to take a gamble and get the pigs now. I took the Massey 3090 to the store and bought 6 bags of Pig-Feed to tide me over. Buying the Pigs meant paying the dealer to deliver, hiring a trailer or buying one myself. I opted to buy the Knies VA-6 which would allow me to carry 9 pigs. Actually it was the ‘wrong’ choice but more on that in a while! I collected the trailer from the store before driving to the Animal Dealer. My plan was to start with 8 pigs. Here we are delivering them back to the farm……Then I rushed around giving them the feed, water and straw bedding. Pigs installed and the rain still tipping down I got on with the cultivating because now the pressure is on to produce the food the Pigs need (as well as the chickens!)…

Being somewhat poorer as a result of buying the pigs, I was glad when the rains ended. With no harvesting having been possible there were some interesting price spikes. You can’t mow the lawn when it’s wet so Silage was on a high at £405 per 1000l – it was all ‘hands to the pumps’ harvesting my grass fields which produced 30 bales – once again silage was coming to my rescue……My Sunflower crop in Alehouse field should have been split into part sale and part Pig food but with the price at a high of £1517 per 1000l, it all got sold – the pigs will have to wait for the Soy Bean crop. Mason’s Corn had ripened and I was able to make some money from helping out by harvesting that. There was a surplus of 3800l after the job was complete, so that’s back in the silo to feed the pigs.

The Chickens have been doing well – laying lots of Eggs and increasing the size of the flock. The flock has now reached 120 hens and that’s the point at which I wanted to sell 20 birds. There is an issue with this. The dealer pays £25 per bird but charges a handling fee of £15 per bird to take them away – so you only make £10 per bird 😦 There’s a developer oversight here too as there are no in-game trailers that handle Chicken transport. It’s Mod time again! To add the ability to carry Chickens in a trailer you need to add the ‘Livestock Trailer Addon’ into your game. This will then allow a selection of mod trailers to carry chickens if the mod owner has made the necessary changes to the .xml file. Unfortunately, the Knies VA-6 is not one of them. I had to buy a new trailer to carry my chickens, the Bruneau HSRB5390. The good news is that it was cheaper than the Knies mainly because it has less capacity for pigs, sheep and cows. So when I sold the VA-6 I actually got back £3k more than the Bruneau cost! Result 🙂 Time to take those chickens to market and get paid the full price…

I thought I’d conclude with the animal screens……You can see the Pigs need mainly Corn for their food but a variety of other food groups are also required to get the best out of them. Lowest on the list are Potatoes and Sugar Beet – although they only form a 5% ‘effectiveness’ part of the diet, I’m going to need to souce some of those. And none of the other farmers are growing that crop right now – right when I need them too! With a healthy stock of Corn in the silo, Soy Beans growing and Barley now ready to harvest, I’m thinking that I can plant Sugar Beet in Ale House field instead of Corn for the last crop of the current cycle. That will mean buying around £120k of equipment to harvest it – hence the pressure to get the finances up quickly. On the other hand, the Chickens are now almost self-sustaining. The food they need is readily available from my own fields……and they’re now producing a good crop of Eggs as well as birds to sell back to the dealer 🙂

I’ll leave you with a shot of an early morning wash with the moon setting behind the farmhouse…