Life at the end of the road

April 1, 2011

B.E.G.O.F. :-)

Filed under: daily doings, hydro, pigs, weather — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 10:17 pm

I can’t even hazard a a guess at how much rain has poured from the heavens today because the rain gauge on my WH1090 weather station died some time ago, or at least became so inaccurate as to not merit a mention. Were it not up an extremely high mast I’d go and have a look at it but it’s way down the priority list at the moment however it must have been somewhere between the 15.4mm recorded at and the 14mm recorded at though if you’d asked me to guess I’d have said about 100mm as that’s what it felt like 🙂

After the stress of two days form filling I thought today was going to be a breeze, fat chance. I arose a little later than usual as the internal clock has yet to adjust to BST, still it was before 7:00 and the pouring rain was probably just as uninspiring to the pigs as too me. Anyway, I was in no rush to get the pigs excited as I’d 13 to catch and load as well as injecting the 6 Tamworth’s for worms. All pretty straight forward stuff to experts like the swineherd and I. Seasoned pig keepers as we are we’d prepared the ground yesterday by bringing the trailer and Land Rover onto the croft and filling it with nice fresh bedding in the hope that at least some of the piglets would sleep in it. Sure enough when I crept out at 7:30 (6:30 to me and the pigs 🙂 ) the nine ‘spotties’ were fast asleep in the trailer, of the six ‘Tammies’ there was no sign, my heart sank. It had taken the best part of two days to coax them out of their swamp and they were in neither of the two warm dry and available arks within our hard standing. I found four of them under a tree but two had managed to burrow under the fence and back into ‘Flanders field’ 😦

What followed was a coaxing and wellie losing epic that had almost all six of them back in the mire, I was not best pleased 😦 Eventually I got them out, repaired the fence and led them towards the trailer with the spotties, giving them just a few rolls to shut them up but keep them hungry. It was still only 8:15 and I didn’t want them shut in the trailer any longer than necessary, they had a long day ahead of them. With them out of the way I led Shona out of the barn into a field that had had a good rest and got on with clearing it out until wifey returned from the school run.

The ‘spotties’ would be dead easy to pluck out one by one as they were feeding, having had much more human contact than the ‘Tammies’. It’s not that we favour the ‘spotties’ just that they were in a small field by the workshop and barn so were constantly under the feet. The Tamworth’s on the other hand were in a field that whilst 80% dry was a nightmare to get in and out of so the wee darlings got a little neglected on the interacting with humans front. For this reason, and the fact they still needing worming we had to get them in the trailer first, a task that was causing me some consternation but actually passed without incident. Once they were in and settled I removed the roof of our excellent CLH trailer enabling me easy access to inject them with 1ml of ‘Panomec’ whilst wifey sprayed them with a marker and passed me the pre loaded syringes.

The largest of the litter, boar we named Quasimodo has a hump in his spine, probably caused by being stood on by mum but possibly a genetic defect called , not that I knew, that but the internet is a wonderful thing It certainly does not seem to bother him as he’s the least ‘jumpy’ and always first at the trough but we decided to throw him in for free anyway, begof, buy eight get one free 🙂


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When we’d finished with the Tamworth’s we fed the spotties by the trailer and plucked them out one at a time with little drama and I headed for the 12:15 ferry.

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The rain was incessant and accompanied by far more wind than forecast, making driving hazardous and leaving me with a hollow feeling in the stomach in case ferry from Uist was cancelled 🙂 Of course had I had an iPhone or whatever they’re called and an ‘app’ just like my mate Derek I could have found out 🙂

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As it happened all went well, the first two Tamworth gilts got transferred into the back of a pick up at Harbro and the remaining nine to a trailer bound for Berneray off North Uist, a favourite haunt of prince Charles by all accounts . Don’t suppose he had much to do with pigs though 🙂

Catching the 15:00 ferry back would have been impossible in a 25 year old Land Rover towing a trailer with half a ton of feed in, so I went via Dunvegan an the Highland Ordnance  Co to collect my new shotgun and some ammunition. It was time to liberate the north end from the grip of colonel crow and as the ‘coalition’ would be unlikely to assist I thought I’d do it myself. Then I suppose it’s only fair that the ‘coalition’ should supply arms to the ‘rebels’ cos they’ve been supplying the to ‘Gadhafi  duck’ for long enough, I despair.


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Home for 17:30 I fed the remaining pigs and piglets before once again going to clean debris from my hydro turbine.

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This inlet system has been pretty successful and trouble free for two years but the last week or so it’s been blocking three or four times a day due to Bracken pushing all the debris I cleaned out of the burn two weeks ago back into it 😦

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In an attempt to improve matters I’ve removed the top grating for the night to see if it works any better as the problem seems to be large chunks causing water to spill over the top rather than small debris blocking the fine mesh. Not that we actually need it with the Proven 2.5Kw wind turbine at the moment but the extra power does keep the house toasty 🙂


  1. Did the boar have an elevated temperature? It’s possible he has an abscess that resulted from being stepped on.

    We have a four-week-old piglet that developed a large abscess on the outside of its right ham after it was stepped on. The swelling was very hard with no give, but it felt slightly hot. I took a sample with a syringe and needle, confirming that it was filled with pus.

    I cleaned the area with iodine, opened the abscess with a scalpel, squeezed out the pus, rinsed it with saline, and left it open to drain. The piglet need three injections on Ultrapen LA but is now recovering.

    We had a weaner with an even bigger abscess a couple of years ago. It, too, had been stepped on and developed an abscess on its belly that was twice the size of my fist. It was extremely hard, with no give. It was a revolting one to lance as there was a lot of pus under a lot of pressure…

    Comment by Stonehead — April 1, 2011 @ 11:32 pm

    • Morning Stoney,

      thanks for that wisdom, his temperature was fine but I will mention it to Ezmeralda 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — April 2, 2011 @ 6:34 am

  2. Blowing a hooligan here.. hope it settles over the next few days – then there will be the ‘lambing’ snow. I’m now ready for action – Got my washers for the taps today,also a mole and a wrench,so I’m all set. Can anything go wrong..?.. with my history in things mechanical..!! Hope the pigs are happy overseas.X

    Comment by sotw — April 2, 2011 @ 12:49 am

    • You should have no shortage of water She 🙂 looks like showers until Tuesday whence the sun will shine and we’ll have a heatwave 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — April 2, 2011 @ 6:36 am

      • I hope you are right about the weather Paul. I am off to Ailsa Craig for a spot of hill climbing next weekend.

        Comment by simon — April 2, 2011 @ 8:18 pm

      • Morning Simon,

        must go there myself some day

        Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — April 3, 2011 @ 6:01 am

  3. Hi Paul, We had 35mm of rain yesterday over here on the west side of Skye and are now well powerwashed! Looking forward to your predicted heatwave!

    Comment by Carole,Finnie & the Quarryman — April 2, 2011 @ 7:55 am

    • Hi Carol,

      I think the other two rain gauges are faulty 🙂 As for the heatwave it’s canceled 😦 now looks like April showers. Tell the quarryman that his mat REALLY did pull ME out of the 5h1t 🙂

      Thanks, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — April 2, 2011 @ 9:04 am

  4. Hi Paul,

    46mm fell here at Sconser yesterday. So between my rain gauge and your wind thingy we have a working weather station all bit
    a few miles apart

    Comment by Angela — April 2, 2011 @ 9:01 am

    • Morning Angela,

      that’s more like it, these expensive weather stations probably don’t measure sideways rain very well 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — April 3, 2011 @ 5:49 am

  5. We had our first 100’F day of the year yesterday. How about we trade places about July. Great blog Paul, keep those rainy pictures coming.

    Comment by Tony — April 2, 2011 @ 4:31 pm

    • 100 degrees Tony !!!! in April, what’s it like in July 🙂 I’d love to do a swap but I’ve no passport these days and hate traveling 😦

      Cheers, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — April 3, 2011 @ 5:55 am

      • That’s ok I grew up in the Pacific Northwest with weather much as you have. Truth be Told I enjoy the desert very much. But the pictures of your weather are great . Thanks

        Comment by Tony — April 3, 2011 @ 2:29 pm

      • Hi Tony,
        when I went to the US for a month in 1996 I was hoping to spend two weeks in Colorado and two weeks in Oregon. I could not imagine anything more boring than a desert so far from the sea I love. How wrong was I, I never got past Utah, truly awesome 🙂

        Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — April 4, 2011 @ 8:32 pm

  6. you’re being watched! (or is it “the ol’ girl”)
    Loch Striven Isle of Raasay

    Comment by Deoch'nDorus — April 2, 2011 @ 7:02 pm

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