Life at the end of the road

April 19, 2011

Brief respite :-)

Filed under: daily doings, for sale, pigs — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 8:44 pm

Early night tonight peeps, already 20:30 and it’s been a long and busy day starting with loading up the last two of Shona’s piglets for delivery. By rights these two wee darlings should have gone a couple of weeks ago but the customer wasn’t quite ready for them, then of course there was the inconvenience of me having to work on the ferry for a week 🙂 Actually, I could have delivered them almost a week ago but I was reluctant to leave the croft with such good weather and a mountain of jobs on ‘the list’. Also with the price of diesel breaking the £1.50lt barrier on Skye I wouldn’t be making any unnecessary journeys, and today would tie in nicely with my fortnightly visit to my parents.

The problem with hanging on to piglets longer than seven or eight weeks, quite apart from the fact that you’ve got to feed them, is that they grow so quickly.

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The crate that comfortably took four two weeks ago is barely big enough for two, then when you have got them in the crate and fastened down the lid it has to be lifted almost a metre into the back of the Land Rover. Something that I’d been pondering over of late, for both the swineherd and I have suffered ‘bad backs’ in the past.

Luckily, by the light of the full moon last night I saw ‘a sign’,

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an old traffic sign that is,

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and it was perfect for sliding one crate full of fat pigs into the back of the ‘Old Girl’ 🙂

All this before 7:30 when I finished feeding, filling out the paperwork and getting my stuff together for joining the Loch Striven at 15:00.

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A couple of hours later they were safely deposited in Balmacara in their new home and I continued on to my parents on the mainland.

After a spell of wood cutting and a fine lunch I returned to the ferry, this time as a crewman and not a passenger 🙂

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Whereupon I wasted no time in painting my new coat, I mean the forward hydraulic rams 🙂 I have to admit to not usually being blessed with so much enthusiasm on my first afternoon aboard, but it’s just that time of year 🙂

In need of a rest

It was good to see the back of those two and we have ahead of almost a week of light duties on the pig front. Just as well because the croft is in dire need of a rest, even rotating the fields and putting pigs on the hill was not enough to prevent the place turning into a swamp over winter. With this in mind we’ve decided to sell two of our sows who have just been served by Rocky.

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Bracken, on the left is a Tamworth just turned four and Shona, the ‘Gloucester old spot’ on the right is three, due to farrow in late July or early August they should be good for about 20 piglets between them going off previous litters. They’re in the ‘Free press’ on Thursday for £200 each with free delivery to Skye.

I’ll be sad to see them go, especially Bracken who we’ve had since she was just a few weeks old but the place really does need chance to firm up. Once the pigs are off for a while we can get a machine in to get some ballast down by the gates and fences. I don’t to be in the same situation in a few months time when I have to lay down conveyor belting to get piglets out of a field 😦

Once we get the big shed up we can winter them in there and let them out on the common grazing away from the road but for now they’ve gotta go 🙂

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That was it really, the last two sailings on the ferry were empty and I drove to a very quiet tidy house 🙂 It really is amazing how much mess and noise one eleven year old can make 🙂



  1. no primer undercoat !!!!!!
    Come on paul

    Comment by John Salton — April 20, 2011 @ 5:49 am

  2. “Once we get the big shed up …” Is that another new development on the croft I missed?

    Comment by Neil King — April 20, 2011 @ 10:46 am

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