Life at the end of the road

February 26, 2010

Nine in the nest :-(

Filed under: daily doings, pigs — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 9:53 pm

This is going to be really quick as there’s a piglet in my living room in need of warming up so apologies for not replying to all your comments. I’ll have plenty of time tomorrow when I’m sat in the mess room awaiting the 8:30 sailing. Well I will if my dongle works 🙂

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The wee darlings were all just fine this morning at 6:00am, 10 healthy piglets had gotten through the night and mum was glad to see me after I’d trekked up through the birch wood with 4kg of feed and 10lts of water. I didn’t spend much time there as I had to head off for work and whilst there was no snow at Arnish I knew the high windswept moor at Glame would be a different story. I also wanted to poke my nose in Brackens arc to check on her 9 piglets which I’d been neglecting due to Shona’s ‘free range’ delivery. They were all doing fine and charging about their nice warm insulated house.

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So I fired up the ‘Old girl’ and headed south for the ferry, being relieved to meet the snow plough just before I  stopped to take this picture.

Chaos on the roads to the south and east had ensured a quiet day on the ferry and no papers until 16:00 🙂 and you only have to check out Ed’s comment to see what I mean. I spent most of the day lubricating the 74 grease nipples and oiling points on the mechanical marvel that operates the drive units on the ferry. I had intended to do a wondrous post on the advantages of ‘bell crank levers’ over electronics and software but that will have to wait for another day.

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Of course I had to switch the TV on to watch my boys home movie of his dad for ‘Working lunch’ on BBC2 http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/8538286.stm which turned out much better than I’d expected. Fair play to the BBC for saving the licence fee payers money by getting the interviewees to make the film 🙂

Anyway I was in regular telephone contact with the swineherd who was keeping tabs on Shona and the 10 wee ones, who all seemed to be thriving. Mainly due to the complete lack of any snow at the north end of Raasay and the lovely nest that she’d made for them.

Arriving home some time after 19:00, I was in no hurry to go and check on them as the evening had become milder and the wind fallen away. So it was almost 20:00 by the time I’d eaten dinner and gone to visit her with an apple and more water.

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I was mortified to find only 9 wee wains, to be honest I had initially thought that more would die but the milder weather, cosy nest and maternal instinct of Shona had got my hopes up. Eventually I found a very cold but still living gilt (wee girl) buried under some bracken, I cradled her in my warm overalls for what seemed like an age waiting for Shona to settle in the hope that I could get the wee thing onto one of her teats. Shona however must have just fed her brood and was not being very cooperative, preferring instead to ‘fine tune’ her nest, so eventually I gave up and took the rapidly cooling piglet home.

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Where it is just now on the swineherds knee watching Vampire diaries or something with Molly

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She’s getting warmer and livelier all the time so hopefully we will be able to put her onto Bracken for a drink later as Bracken is just a few yards away from the door of the house and not half a mile away through a bog and forest !

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