I haven’t blogged in a fortnight, things have been hectic! After shearing, I was away filming Farpaisean Chon-Chaorach in Argyll, played 3 games of football (I was sent-off in my last one, last man offence) and the day job too. So many things to do at this time of year, I actually found myself looking forward to the long winter nights when I can relax and do NOTHING!
When I came back from from filming, first thing I did was check the hen that had been sitting on eggs for the past few weeks. Much to my surprise, this wee fellow was waiting for me!
I think this was the first (and only, unfortunately) chick to be born on this croft in over thirty years. My mother thinks it’s that long anyway. This didn’t end well, however, I found the chick crushed by it’s mother after 3 days. Gutted.
I added some more hens that week though. A friend was looking to cut down the number of hens so I took seven off her hands. This is me up to 16 hens, plus 2 cockerels now. Here are the hens boxed up for transportation.
A few months ago, I acquired a second (possibly 3rd or 4th) hand hen-house. It’s a wee bit shabby and wasn’t being used to I took it for a tenner. I eventually got round to doing a couple of temporary repair jobs on it, to house the new hens. In true Lewis crofter fashion, I recycled some bits and bobs that were in the barn to patch it up. The door here is a tile left over from the laminate flooring that went in my parents utility room – perfect fit!
Couple of other things needed repairing too – like rehanging the door!
I’ve noticed that the number of eggs I get each day is down. As of 3 weeks ago, I was getting 4-8 each day, now it’s one or two. There are 3-4 hooded crows that are pretty much resident around the house and I think they’ve started to pinch them. That’ll need sorting soon. I also suspect that some of the hens are laying in this patch of long grass. Will get the strimmer on it when I have time.
The grass is growing there, but it’s not everywhere. Most of the UK is complaining of heavy rain but we’re the exact opposite as this Farmers Weekly article shows. The article also features an interesting map, showing rainfall percentages across the UK, oh and a quote or two from me.
The plus side of no rain is nice days!
As I posted last week, all the sheep have been shorn. The wool has been bagged up and sitting in our barn since then, so myself and my father closed the bags and prepared everything to take them over to Stornoway. The bags are usually picked up by Hebrides Haulage sometime in August, but three bags take up a lot of room so we’ll take them over next week.
The bags are sown shut and a label attached, identifying who they come from. We had 65 sheep shorn at £1.50 each (£3 rams) so paid £100-110 for it. Depending on wool prices, we should get most of that back, maybe all of it. I remember getting a cheque for around £10 a few years ago, for all our wool. You don’t make much money out of it but it’s something that has to be done anyway. Prices are much better now, I think we got £70-80 last year, making up for what we paid out.
We still haven’t been out on our new boat yet. She hadn’t been at sea for a while so there was some work to be one. The outboard has been serviced and my dad has painted most of her. We had a joiner up yesterday putting a floor in her. Here’s Donnie “Disaster” Campbell, checking out his handywork. We’ll hopefully get out sometime in the next fortnight.
Lots of other things being done too. The dry spell means I have to take water to the sheep on a more regular basis than normal. They’re all home now after a week in the village park after shearing. All marked and drenched (for worms etc) and split into different fields. The rams, hoggs and gimmers come home this Saturday, hopefully not too early in the morning as I have my cousin’s wedding on Friday night!
The following week I’m off to Glasgow for 5 days, filming Faraisean Chon-Chaorach and also going to Hampden for Olympic football!