Life at the end of the road

February 26, 2008

Muddy beds and diesel bugs

Filed under: daily doings — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 9:25 pm

Tuesday already, I can’t believe that’s another week gone and tomorrow it’s back to the ferry. It’s been a busy old week but on the whole the weather has been pretty grim. We were hoping to get some work done on the veg patch as it had just dried out during my last week on the ferry but the whole croft now resembles the Somme. The rain here never fails to amaze me it can rain for days on end, lakes and waterfalls appear overnight and it rarely falls straight down from the sky or even at an angle it’s usually horizontal like a power washer. So after hearing the howl of a westerly gale all night and it’s attendant showers I decided to stay in bed! (well at least until daylight). If I got the trailer washed and disinfected, and some bedding cut today I would be happy.

Boggy beds

It was when I finally got up and went feeding (around 8:30) that I suspected something was wrong. Usually what greets you at the trough first thing in the morning are clean and hungry pigs, today what met me were muddy and hungry pigs. Still I was a bit late feeding so they’d probably been grubbing or fighting and I thought no more of it and went to get the power washer. To be honest I could have just poured the disinfectant on the trailer and let the weather do it as it was horrendous.

power washing

However I just love power washing things and like to be thorough so I just got stuck in, it was after a while that I noticed the 3 big tamworths stood in the mud staring at me and looking miserable.

3 miserable pigs

Something was amiss as by now they are usually sleeping off breakfast so I went to investigate and to my horror the floor in their shelter had turned to a mud bath! There was nothing for it a floor had to be made quickly, so 2 pallets, 1 door and several pieces of plywood later I’d made them a good raised bed and mrs C went and got some bedding.

barb and bedding

Once the pigs were happy I continued with the power washing but my power washer was starting  to outstrip its supply so was loosing pressure. Can you believe it the rain has hardly stopped for a week the whole place is a swamp my water tanks are overflowing but my power washer can’t get enough! To be fair it is a pretty powerful one, I fitted a bigger pump to it last year as the original died and since then I’ve been meaning to make a dedicated supply for it out of a tank I used to keep diesel in.

The dreaded diesel bug

For many years I thought ‘diesel bug’ was a myth, it wasn’t until I got it in my generator tank several years ago that I discovered how real and serious it is. Diesel bug is a bacteria that lives at the interface of water and diesel, It’s very corrosive, looks like frog spawn and will ruin your pump and injectors if left unchecked. I acquired mine when the tanker driver filled up my tank and forgot to replace the lid, I never noticed for a day or so and water got in. It took about a year for it to wreck the injectors on ‘Twinny’ my 7kw Lister and I had to empty and clean out the tank with a power washer and then hoover.

diesel bug

This is what a bad case of diesel bug looks like, There was still about 100lts of good looking fuel above that mess, but of course you would not see that gunk until it was into you filters or engine. It took me all afternoon to clean out this mess and get it into an empty barrel. You can get a ‘biocide’ that kills it, we put some stuff in the ferry twice a year as a precaution ‘kathon’ it’s called but I’m not sure what happens to the mess once its killed the bug, perhaps it’s only good at stopping the bug from forming.

Less mouths to feed

Now Jack, Dean, Iona and Islay are away feed consumption has gone down and we can get round them a bit quicker at feeding times. It also means we can leave the wee wains out on the hill permenantly and they were well chuffed. Despite the pishing rain and howling gale they spent the whole day out grubbing. I’d say our pigs were on the whole pretty content with life but to see them out in the wild as opposed to in a field is a pure joy.

wains on hill

That’s the wee grubbers getting tore into some braken roots, but they still come charging to see you and get a wee pet.

petting wains

Well some of them do, others are just too busy!

grubber

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