Life at the end of the road

December 30, 2008

Missing piglets

Filed under: daily doings — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 11:43 pm

You really do have to observe a pig that’s been kept in a field and then let loose on the hill to realise what intelligent creatures they are. You keep them in a field, water, feed and house them and they’re happy enough, put them in a little larger enclosure with a few trees a bit of heather and some rocks and they’re even happier. Put them out on the hill  they’re positively ecstatic and will wander for miles rooting and grubbing about in the woods and braken,  returning home at the allotted time for feeding. Well most pigs will, that is apart from Rory and Ruby who we let out yesterday and just haven’t quite got the hang of the great outdoors yet. We got these two in October at 6 weeks old with the intention of keeping Rory as a breeding boar and whilst Ruby is a pure sweetie, Rory has turned out to be nuts trying his best to knock you off your feet at feeding times. This might be quite amusing now he’s only about 45kg but will be most alarming when he’s fully grown and weighing 200kg. With this in mind we’ve decided to send them both to the butcher so they’ll spend their last few weeks in ‘pig paradise’ rooting about the north end of Raasay. Now these two ‘mentalists’ as the swineherd calls them have been quite happily grubbing about amongst our veg patch and an adjoining park for two months, it’s around 75m x 75m, flat and apart from a few young fruit trees pretty boring so you’d think they’d be pretty glad to get out of it ( all the other pigs were ) not a bit of it. These two were pure mortified at being turfed out of the croft and on to the hill and when we returned from dropping off my boys pal at the ferry were busy trying to get back in! This was despite being shown a nice freshly bedded cosy ark in the woods and I can assure you that this is not normal behaviour. This morning I spent the best part of an hour looking for them, eventually finding them near the ark though they’d obviously not slept in it. Still they looked clean and felt warm so I fed them near their shelter and headed for Portree for yet more feed and the replacement engine for wifey’s Daihatsu YRV 4 trak.

Arriving back home just after 2:00pm I went to check on the ‘squiffy piglets’ that were wormed yesterday.

Squiffy piglets

Squiffy piglets

Already they were looking better with no sign of the ‘splats’ of recent days, Rory and Ruby on the other hand were miles away at feeding time and by the time I’d led them back to their shelter and some grub were knackered! By the time I’d unloaded all the feed and the engine the day was done and I went in knowing that tomorrow I’d be in the nice warm engine room of the ‘Loch Striven’ and wifey would be chasing pigs up and down ‘Calum’s road’ 🙂 Speaking of which I got a phone call from Johnny Mcmaster who’s organising the charity motorbike ride from ‘Calum’s road’ on Raasay to ‘Calum’s road’ in The Gambia http://www.calumsroad.info/ asking if he could use a couple of my pics on the website promoting this venture. I was of course delighted and flattered to do my bit for this worthy cause

Squiffy piglets

Filed under: daily doings — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 8:41 am

Well yesterday was another peach of a day here at the north end though it was preceeded by a hard frost which meant that watering was again a bit of a chore. An early start being required to get the two boys ready for going away, the two boys being pigs destined for a customer in Portree and not my son and his pal who were still in bed!

The two boys

The two boys

I’d already been feeding them in the trailer the day before so they went in the trailer no bother and off we went for the 9:00am ferry.

Sunrise over Kyle

Sunrise over Kyle

The sun rising over Kyle being far more spectacular than this grainy picture which I took from Brochel depicts. As I’d left the rest of the family in bed without leaving a note saying I’d fed everyone the pigs got fed twice! Still it was very cold and the pigs weren’t complaining. Though Brambles 12 piglets could have done without it as they’ve got the runs which quite often happens when piglets are weaned if you feed then too much, usually a reduction in rations cures it then the feed must be gradually increased. We’ve been doing this for a few days now but as soon as the feed’s upped they get the runs again so while I was away with the boys the swineherd wormed them which can be interesting to say the least with a dozen ginger piglets that all look the same!

More water woes

The hard ground and lack of water has also been responsible for a lack of water both in the house and through the water turbine, whilst we still have water in our tanks that the supply the house there’s none actually going into them. So we’re on restricted baths, toilet flushing and washing machine use as there seems to be no end in sight to this fantastic spell of weather. My 200w Navitron water turbine is only producing about half it’s out put but my friends ‘Harris Turbine’ inlet pipe must have frozen at some point causing an air lock. His intake’s at a much higher altitude so I spent the afternoon with him bleeding it and by the time we finished the sun was setting over the hills to the south of Loch Arnish.

Loch Arnish sunset 29/12/08

Loch Arnish sunset 29/12/08


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