Poultry Category

  • Ducks & ducklings

    Agricultre, birth, death, Ducks, PoultryComments (3)

    On April 13, 2014 • By

    A few weeks ago, I ordered some duck eggs online. 6 came, and I put some of my own in too. The eggs were due to hatch this week, which they did, with mixed results.

    I was a little concerned with the eggs, bought off eBay, as the packaging was damaged in transit.

    20140413-093158 pm.jpg

    Nevertheless, in they went, and four weeks later, out pops this wee one

    20140413-093425 pm.jpg

    In the meantime, Innes and I had been busy getting things ready for the adult ducks. They’ve been roaming around for a while, but plans were afoot to get them penned up permanently. Firstly, we dug in the paddling pool for them.

    20140413-093301 pm.jpg

    Then this week, I had Feisean nan Gaidheal’s Coig Latha group visit on Tuesday. They helped build the run for them, as well as learn lots about all the different animals.

    20140413-094316 pm.jpg

    So the ducklings have now hatched

    20140413-093405 pm.jpg

    And will be in the brooder for the next wee while, nice and cosy. 4 of them made it out alive, while a further 3 died during the hatching process. I’m not sure why the mortality rate was so high, but I fear a couple of power cuts in the latter days may have had something to do with it.

    20140413-093438 pm.jpg

    Soon enough, they’ll be able to join the rest in the run – happy days!

    20140413-093449 pm.jpg

    Read More
  • Progress

    Adventures, Agricultre, birth, Ducks, Lambs, Poultry, SheepComments (0)

    On March 23, 2014 • By

    I’ve been quite quiet on here in the past fortnight, mainly due to the fact that I haven’t been at home for the past 2 Saturdays. Last week I was in Inverness for the day, and I’m in Cambridge this weekend, visiting my brother Innes, with my brother Murdo. Here we are attending Charlton v Burnley yesterday, as part of our day out in London. It wasn’t a very good game….

    20140323-084927 pm.jpg

    Last month, I made public my plans for Air An Lot 2.0. I have been working away on this, behind the scenes, and have secured grant funding from Comunn na Gaidhlig (CnaG) for 65% of the cost of a new, bilingual, website. This site/blog won’t be affected, as I enjoy having the vent for all my activities, but I will be incorporating it into the new site. I also need to finalise my application for grant assistance to CnaG for bilingual external signage.

    That’s that side of things taken care of, but I’ve also put a lot more thought into what activities I will be offering. I have drawn up a list and costed them, but I’d be happy to hear suggestions anyone has, or any enquiries about attending. You can comment here, or private message the Air An Lot facebook page.

    Back on the croft, there has been plenty of activity. The incubator has been switched on again, this time with some duck eggs. I hope to see some movement here around the 14th of April. I’m a wee bit worried, though, as I bought the eggs off the internet and the packaging was damaged. We’ll see what happens!

    20140323-090137 pm.jpg

    The most exciting time of year is just days, maybe hours away. I’m expecting the first lambs over the next couple of days – I cannot wait. There are 3 Cheviots due to lamb this week, with the rest in the days after. I’ve felt a bit of stress recently, with my day-job and freelance work, but hopefully lambing will provide a good distraction – and plenty of physical stress!!

    Read More
  • Some sounds from Air An Lot

    Agricultre, Ducks, Poultry, Sheep, WildlifeComments (0)

    On March 3, 2014 • By

    Today sounded a little bit like spring. A flat calm morning, with a bit of life in the air


    The hungry sheep were getting in on the act too!


    Read More
  • 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

    Read More
  • A new(ish) helper

    Adventures, Agricultre, Chickens, death, Dog, Lambs, Poultry, Rams, SheepComments (0)

    On March 2, 2014 • By

    I had a busy day on Saturday, but made a little easier by my new assistant. Uisdean here has helped me on the croft sporadically for the last couple of years, but should be more regular for the next few months as he is volunteering with me as part of his Duke of Edinburgh Bronze award. Here he is in a typical pose, having helped me drench the hoggs.

    20140302-092759 am.jpg

    My brother Martin is now a regular when it comes to Saturday morning chicken chores and he was with us too. He collected the eggs, while Uisdean & I cleaned out the house. It’s a lot dirtier when we’ve had some wet weather. The hens spend more time indoors, pooing inside and dripping water on the floor. Nice.

    After that, we fed the sheep and then went to bury the ram that had died . We had to take him in to the machair to make it easier. Of course I was going to take advantage of having an able assistant – he has to learn how to do these things!

    20140302-093410 am.jpg

    (I removed the turf and first spade depth of soil, he did the next)

    The hoggs were next. I didn’t want to have to start making a pen or move them to a new field for penning, so Bud came in handy. Didn’t take a minute to corner them & he held them in place while I drenched them.

    20140302-093840 am.jpg

    20140302-093852 am.jpg

    That was it then, another busy but enjoyable Saturday. Next week will be quiet as we have our first pre-season (football) friendly in Harris against a Uist team. I’ll have to leave home around 9am for 11am kick off and who knows when we’ll be home!

    Read More
  • Ducklings

    Adventures, birth, Ducks, PoultryComments (0)

    On March 2, 2014 • By

    I ordered some Khaki Campbell duck eggs on Friday night (rock & roll, I know) so I’ll put these in the incubator once they arrive. I already have a couple of KCs, but they’re not very friendly and I rarely get eggs from them. I managed to catch the female yesterday.

    20140302-092001 am.jpg

    She had a failed attempt at hatching eggs last summer, so I thought I’d take matters into my own hands. I’ve tried to source some locally, but no one seems to have any. 6 ordered just now, so hopefully it won’t be long until I have some very cute ducklings!

    20140302-092137 am.jpg

    Read More
  • 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

    Read More
  • 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

    Read More
  • 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!

    Read More
  • 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.

    20140222-070149 pm.jpg

    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

    Read More