Poultry Category

  • More new hens

    Agricultre, Chickens, PoultryComments (0)

    On September 24, 2012 • By

    I’ve been meaning to post this for a while, but haven’t got round to it – and someone keeps hassling me to see it!

    I added 4 new hens to my flock 2 weeks ago, the poor chooks had to escape Harris an make the long journey from Leverburgh to Ness.

    Here they are in a cage in the back of a pickup

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    They belonged to Catriona Maclean, who I uses to work with at the BBC. Here is Catriona with one of the hens

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    The hens were surplus to requirements, as they’re getting new chicks in a week or two, and I have plenty space for them.

    Here they are being greeted by their new friends – they’re well settled now!

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  • Chicks

    Agricultre, Chickens, PoultryComments (2)

    On September 23, 2012 • By

    So batch one of chicks is 3 weeks old. I had them outside in a wee rabbit run yesterday, the first time I was able to take them out.

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    One of the wee black ones makes me laugh – always getting a piggy-back from mum!

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    Batch number 2 are coming on nicely, starting to explore the part of the barn that’s here home for the time being

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    The first batch are growing so quick and starting to develop feathers already

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    Still a few weeks of them being cute though!

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  • More chicks

    Chickens, PoultryComments (2)

    On September 18, 2012 • By

    More chicks hatched today. I will blog properly later but just posting pictures of them right now

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    my mother found 6 hatched when she checked them mid-morning

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    With more on the way

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    There were 10 by the time I got home

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    This one was just hatched

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    And their mother is keeping an eye on everything!

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  • Chicks at 2 weeks

    Agricultre, Chickens, PoultryComments (0)

    On September 15, 2012 • By

     

     

     

    I blogged about the chicks when they were born(plus more here) on Sunday 2nd September.  They’re now 2 weeks old and growing fast – but still very cute!
    Not going to say too much here, except show you two videos that I filmed of them.  One on my ipad and one on my phone and just show you lots of cute pics of them!  There is still one hen sitting on eggs, so there should be more chicks soon!

     

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  • More cute chick pics

    Agricultre, Chickens, PoultryComments (3)

    On September 2, 2012 • By

    A picture says a thousand words, so I’m not going to say anything else but say the black ones are my favourites!

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  • Unplanned Pregnancy! Warning – cute pics!

    Agricultre, Chickens, PoultryComments (3)

    On September 2, 2012 • By

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    Well, these things always happen on a Sunday!

    I was going out this afternoon to feed the hens and heard all this chirping coming from the long grass behind the ruins of our old barn. Uh-oh, I knew what it was straight away as there have been a couple of hens awol for a wee while.

    So I ran over and was greeted by this hen

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    I wasn’t sure how many there were but I guessed over ten. I phoned my mother to come give me a hand and we managed to get all THIRTEEN rounded up straight away!

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    All nice and exciting, but this is when things got interesting. I wanted to find where the eggs had hatched, just to make sure we had them all. We did so, finding 2 dead ones in the nest, along with one dud

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    THEN I heard another hen make the slightest of noises, low and behold, we found THREE other hens, all sitting on eggs!!

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    The last one there is black and very difficult to spot. I reckon there are another 30 or so eggs under these hens. I’m not quite sure what I’m going to do with all of these chicks – especially as I’m away on Tuesday for over a week!!

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    Here is my mother searching for nests amongst the long grass.

    Martin also liked the chicks!

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    We’ve moved the hen and chicks into a room in the barn for the time being, where my mother can keep an eye on them. She’s also going to have to come in a couple of times a day to keep check the unhatched ones too!

    I previously blogged about my chickens and have only had one chick before this, but that didn’t end well.

    Here is the hen as we left her, sitting on the chicks.

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  • Busy fortnight

    Agricultre, Chickens, Fishing, Poultry, SheepComments (3)

    On July 15, 2012 • By

    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!

     

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  • Injured hen

    Agricultre, Chickens, PoultryComments (0)

    On May 25, 2012 • By

    One of my hens hurt her foot yesterday.  I’d left the back door of the house open and, once I opened the front door, the draft slammed the back door shut.  I went to open it 10 minutes later, only to find that a hen had been standing there and her leg had been trapped in the door.  I checked to make sure there was nothing broken – I don’t think so – and there wasn’t much to see apart from a wee cut.  She hopped off with the rest but was a little sore today.

    You can see some bruising on her leg here.  The greeny/blue colour

    I sprayed on some antiseptic spray.  I didn’t know chickens were potentially cannibals!

    It’s not easy being neat………

    Off she hopped, back into the hen-house.

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  • My Chickens

    Agricultre, Chickens, PoultryComments (9)

    On May 21, 2012 • By

    I’ve only had chickens since April 2011, when I took over responsibility for my cousin’s 3 hens because she was being daft and prioritised getting married and building a house with her husband over animals (some people are crazy!) :)

    Here are some of my hens as they are today.  Total of 10 hens and 2 cockerels.

    I have two hen houses for them.  I only close them up when the weather gets bad, but they are free to come and go whenever they like.

    They’re always out and about, here they are sheltering from a cold northerly by the wheel of the trailer. The trailer definitely needs a lick of paint!

    Being chased by some hungry chooks!

    I slowly built up the number of hens over the year, adding a few in autumn and a few more over the winter and into spring.  The two below came in February, having hitched a lift from Inverness on a lorry-load of hay that was being delivered to Island Crofter Ltd, a business run by a friend of mine.  I happened to be off work so nipped up and took them off their hands. They had laid 2 eggs on the lorry, but I let them keep them! (The picture also appeared in Fios, the newspaper in Ness)

    I recently purchased 4 new hens.  This is one of them, while they were penned next to the rest of the hens during the first week or so.  I think I’ll stay at this number of hens now!

    They’re pretty productive, usually ranging between 4-8 eggs per day.  Many more than I (and my parents) can use, so I have started selling them to friends for £1 per half dozen.  Quite cheap, I know but it more than covers my monthly feed costs and that’s all I want.

    Some of the younger birds have just started laying – resulting in some tiny eggs!

    Anyway, along with eggs, I get fun and enjoyment out of keeping chickens!

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