chicks Category

  • Drenching & vaccinating

    Agricultre, Chickens, chicks, eggs, Lambs, Medicine, SheepComments (1)

    On May 25, 2014 • By

    I’m quite sore and tired from all the work yesterday; every single sheep drenched and all the lambs vaccinated.

    It was a miserable morning, so I didn’t get started with the sheep until nearly 2pm. I got the hens out of the way in the morning, cleaning out the hen house and topping up feed & water. All under the watchful eye of Bud and the relaxing cat

    20140525-105356 am-39236554.jpg

    I also removed a trio of birds that I am going to breed from. I hatched these Speckled Sussex from eggs I got online last spring. Fantastic birds and I’m going to hatch a batch of my own now.

    20140525-105632 am-39392385.jpg

    So on to the sheep. They are split into 4 smaller flocks, to spread them amongst the crofts. That means more work gathering and penning them. We’d probably have been done in an hour, had they all been together.

    Uisdean passed the lambs to me and I doses, injected and checked them all.

    20140525-105826 am-39506835.jpg

    We worked quite well and efficiently, just the way I like it!

    20140525-105907 am-39547429.jpg

    Uisdean is volunteering with me as part of his Duke of Edinburgh award. He is down most weeks and enjoys working with the sheep. He’s considering getting a couple of his own, which I think is a great idea

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  • More chicks

    Agricultre, birth, Chickens, chicks, eggsComments (1)

    On May 18, 2014 • By

    I ordered some eggs from Andy at The Chicken Street about a month ago, and they hatched on Mon/Tue of last week. This was quite a surprise, as they were due to hatch the previous Saturday! I candle the eggs and saw that 7/8 of them were fertile and waited patiently for them to appear. Nothing on Saturday and nothing on Sunday. Oh. I was worried.

    I’ve had workmen in for the past 3 weeks (they came at short notice, otherwise I wouldn’t have had the eggs in the incubator) and I thought the fact that they switched the power off now & again may have affected the eggs. I was all set to switch off the incubator on Monday morning, but thought I’d leave it until I got home that night. I hadn’t heard any cheeping from the eggs, so was convinced they’d all failed. I was quite surprised to be greeted by these wee ones when I came home!

    20140518-110437 pm-83077643.jpg

    Another three hatched over the next 24 hours, leaving 5 in total.

    20140518-110551 pm-83151552.jpg

    20140518-110552 pm-83152409.jpg

    These are Speckled Sussex and the second batch I’ve hatched of them. Hopefully they’ll be just as nice as last years ones. 2 hens & 2 cockerels. Here is one of the cockerels.

    20140518-110728 pm-83248683.jpg

    Incidentally, the work happening at my house is applying external insulation to the walls, as part of a funded scheme. It should be ready in the next couple of days and currently looks like this!

    20140518-110936 pm-83376945.jpg

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  • Improving chick

    Agricultre, birth, Chickens, chicks, PoultryComments (0)

    On March 2, 2014 • By

    The poorly chick from the other day is doing a lot better now. Great progress

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  • Sick chick

    birth, Chickens, chicks, PoultryComments (0)

    On March 2, 2014 • By

    I had 6 chicks successfully hatch this week, but had a bit of drama with one of them on Thursday night.

    I was away in Skye on Wednesday-Thursday, coming home Thursday evening. My mother had been keeping an eye on the chicks and all had been well, until I popped out to see them once I’d got back. One of them had got stuck between the water bowl and the brooder wall. It was wet, cold and only had the tiniest flicker of life. I grabbed it, ran into the house, fired up the incubator and put it back in there. I didn’t think it stood a chance

    20140302-090416 am.jpg

    What a difference some warmth made though! Within an hour it was back up on it’s feet. It was still a little wobbly for the next 24 hours, but now it’s back in with all it’s brothers and sisters!

    20140302-090957 am.jpg

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  • More chicks

    Agricultre, birth, Chickens, chicks, Dog, PoultryComments (1)

    On February 25, 2014 • By

    So tonight I am up to 4 chicks successfully hatched. I expected a fourth tonight and I expected to be able to turn off the incubator. I was half right; there are now two more hatching!

    Here is the fourth, sitting in my hand

    It has now joined it’s siblings under the heat lamp in the barn. Bud cannot get enough of them!

    20140225-091228 pm.jpg

    Martin was also quite keen to join in!

    20140225-091315 pm.jpg

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  • chicks hatching

    Agricultre, Chickens, chicks, eggs, PoultryComments (1)

    On February 24, 2014 • By

    Oh it is all go today!

    A beautiful morning so I popped out to feed the animals before work.

    20140224-050127 pm.jpg

    I have 10 eggs in the incubator just now and thought they’d start hatching later on tonight, so I popped in to check there was enough water in the humidifier, to get through the day. There wasn’t, but that wasn’t the surprise, I had a cute wee chick waiting for me, with another on the way!

    20140224-050051 pm.jpg

    The second wasn’t long in joining it.

    20140224-050101 pm.jpg

    It’s 5pm as I write this and there are still only two, although at least one more is showing signs of hatching. I’ll update later!

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  • Saturday Marathon

    Adventures, Chickens, chicks, Ducks, eggs, Poultry, SheepComments (0)

    On February 22, 2014 • By

    Phew. Time to put my feet up and relax in front of the fire.

    I’ve had a busy week and had a few jobs to catch up on.

    First up was cleaning out the hen house and making sure their food & water was topped up. I lock the hens out of the house while doing this, and sometimes they lay eggs outside. Martin helps me clean the hen house so I asked him to go outside and collect the egg. It took him 5-10 mins! I hope you can all spot it!

    20140222-062723 pm.jpg

    He also gave me a hand feeding & watering the sheep. A helper really is handy!

    20140222-062715 pm.jpg

    Of course, Martin gets some eggs as payment. They come in all shapes, sizes and colours. A nice mix in this box.

    20140222-062736 pm.jpg

    After feeding the sheep, preparing for the arrival of big bales on Monday and running Bud on sheep, I decided to re-pen the ducks. They’ve been free to roam for a few months but unfortunately 2 of them ventured out to the main road, before Christmas, and were run over. I’ve tried to get them into a run a couple of times, but they are nigh on impossible to catch!

    Today I decided to give it another go. Last spring, my brother Murdo and I made some new pens. I used it for sheep during lambing last year, and latterly for chicks.

    20140222-062743 pm.jpg

    I used an old fishing net that my dad had (with his permission) to stop them flying away. Hopefully I’ll start to see some eggs now, I haven’t had any in a while.

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    The weather has got nasty later on in the day, so I moved indoors. I put some eggs into the incubator nearly 3 weeks ago and it was time to switch off the turning feature and increase the humidity. Two eggs have burst in the last few days (two on the left, 2nd & 3rd down), so I removed them. With luck, some chicks will hatch on Monday!

    20140222-062804 pm.jpg

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  • Chickens & eggs

    Agricultre, Chickens, chicks, eggs, PoultryComments (1)

    On February 3, 2014 • By

    Eggs are coming thick & fast and the cockerels seem to have been much more active recently, so I’ve decided to try a dozen eggs in the incubator. If they work, they work. If not, I’ll try again later. Mixed results last year with the incubator, but I’ve got a much better idea of what I’m doing this time.

    20140203-103403 pm.jpg

    In terms of eggs, I think I now have regular customers for all my eggs, at current output levels anyway. Good local eggs are one thing that’s always guaranteed to sell.

    I also moved 3 pullets (and a young cockerel) in with the rest of the hens tonight. My dad’s van is handy for transportation of this nature. Glad he doesn’t pay attention to my posts!

    20140203-103553 pm.jpg

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  • Some Air An Lot developments

    Agricultre, Chickens, chicks, Ducks, eggs, Pigs, PoultryComments (1)

    On February 2, 2014 • By

    I am full of enthusiasm for the crofting year ahead. So many ideas are popping into my head and I’m having a job prioritising them just now. The barn is obviously top of that list, but I have a couple of smaller developments, which should provide a little additional income.

    First up is the eggs. More hens are coming into lay every day, and the new hen house and run are proving to be much more efficient than I could have hoped for! Last year I was lucky to be getting 3/4 eggs a day, as the hens were laying them in long grass and crows were stealing them from the hen houses. I am now at a dozen eggs a day, here is today’s haul

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    I’ve been selling them regularly at work and also to a few people locally, but I’m now at the stage where I’m still left with more. For anyone in Ness, including my regular customers, I’m putting a plastic box on the main road, at my parents’ house, to sell additional eggs. £1.50 per half dozen.

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    I’m also firing up the incubator tonight and hope to put 15-20 suitable eggs into it shortly. Once they (hopefully) hatch, I think I’ll get some duck eggs to hatch too.

    My other, more exciting development, is that I’ve booked some piglets! I bumped into my pal ‘Cudaig’ last week and asked him to keep me 4 piglets from his next litter – hopefully around Spring time.

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    I’ve had pigs before, all from Cudaig; 2 in 2009, 4 in 2011 and shared 4 with neighbours in late 2012. My plan for these ones is to fatten them up and sell the meat. If you want top quality pork, you can get your 1/2 or whole pig right here! The sausages are just out of this world!

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  • A look back at 2013

    Agricultre, birth, Cats, Chickens, chicks, death, Dog, Ducks, eggs, Lambs, Peats, Personal Favourites, Poultry, Rams, Sheep, video, WildlifeComments (2)

    On December 31, 2013 • By

    As 2013 draws to an end, I thought I would do that typical thing of looking back at the year.
    It wasn’t the easiest of years on the croft, with many more losses over the last winter and my lamb prices being lower than previous years, but it was still an enjoyable one. It’s been another busy year, with a full time job, playing in goal for Ness F.C., vice-chair of the Social Club and my freelance media commitments.
    I’ve gone through my blog posts and chosen my favourite ones. I have chosen them because I liked them or because I think they are important for one reason or another.
    Thanks for reading!

    My first one is from January and is a video of Bud struggling to come to terms with the laminate flooring in the kitchen.
    http://airanlot.com/2013/01/21/bud-and-the-door/

    In February, I had a Buzzard attack some of my chickens. I haven’t chosen the post about the attack, but I’ve chosen the video I managed to get of the Buzzard returning a couple of days later, enticed by a chicken I had to cull. I think this was the single most viewed post in 2013, with thousands of views on facebook.
    http://airanlot.com/2013/02/26/brilliant-buzzards/
    Easter is my favourite time of year; lambing is usually in full swing and the local football season starts! Love it. Here are a couple of my lambing related posts, including Lasarusina, the lamb that came back from the brink of death (I kept her, she’s a beaut)
    http://airanlot.com/2013/04/28/lamb-pictures/
    http://airanlot.com/2013/04/23/lazarus-lives/

    I also used my incubator for the first time, it wasn’t as successful as I wished, but at least I got some chicks out of it.
    http://airanlot.com/2013/04/14/five-alive/
    May is peat-cutting season, this year a group of us helped a neighbour who wasn’t able to cut his own. A very enjoyable evening for all of us.
    http://airanlot.com/2013/05/20/helping-with-the-peats/
    Now, I fancy myself as a bit of an amateur photographer and was quite chuffed with myself for getting these pictures of a cuckoo – a bird I had never actually seen in the flesh before, despite hearing them all my life.
    http://airanlot.com/2013/05/28/cuckoo-pictures/
    Every now and again, something happens that reminds you how susceptible livestock are. In June, one of my older ewes had her eye removed by a black-backed gull. Don’t look if you’re too squeamish. The sheep is fine, and still with us.
    http://airanlot.com/2013/06/14/horrible-stuff/
    My egg-laying empire took a big step forward this year, with the introduction of my new hen house. I had to assemble it myself and I also got a 60% CCAGS grant for it (which I am still to claim), otherwise it wouldn’t have been viable.
    http://airanlot.com/2013/09/14/complete-hen-house/
    I ended up with an extra cat for a few days in September (can’t believe it was that long ago). She was a stray but has successfully been rehomed, elsewhere in Ness.
    http://airanlot.com/2013/09/29/unexpected-guest/
    One of the most important acts in the crofting year – releasing the rams. This needs no further explanation!
    http://airanlot.com/2013/10/25/rams-let-loose/

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