Life at the end of the road

April 28, 2012

Chook watching :-)

Filed under: animals, daily doings — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 9:23 pm

Reluctantly I’m in the house, the sun has finally slipped below the horizon and my Seiko automatic divers watch says 21:50 but it’s lying 😦 The time is actually 21:20 and I’m just through the door after a rather active and productive day.

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The red rocks of Arnish arrived about 40 minutes ago as the golden ball of the sun disappeared behind the Storr. The watch confusing me somewhat by racing forwards half an hour, probably on account of all the rock breaking I’ve been doing today. This watch just does not suit people that lead a lifestyle involving hammers or lots of fist shaking, not much good for a carpenter or Italian taxi driver I guess.

The day arrived bathed in sunshine much as it has the last few but this one was not accompanied by the Baltic nor easter that we’ve been lumbered with of late. Consequently it was actually warm and the jumper stayed unworn all day, in fact the boots came off and the sandals went on in their stead 🙂

The first job was, of course to go and look at the chooks, who were split roughly twenty out and ten inside. Foolishly we’d not shut them in last night after the excitement  of them actually coming outside. The last few batches of ‘point of lay’ pullets we’ve had stayed well and truly put in their house for days. It’s not that we were worried about predators or anything just that we want them to get used to laying in the coop and not outside.

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I suppose this great big leylandi that’s directly in front of their coops is almost like being inside the house

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with it’s low branches that cut out much of the light.  We put the houses there because the tree sucks all the moisture out of the ground with its roots so it’s exceptionally dry underneath and around it. Also from watching past hens they seem to love its cover and having dust baths under it. Quite how it will cope with thirty is another thing entirely but we’ll see 🙂

That done, feed unloaded from the Landy, pigs fed and Jamie Lea check for milk I had breakfast number one, two boiled eggs with home made bread and headed up to the barn site to do yet more fencing.

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Awkward fencing that required strainers and stays to be concreted in

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so I did the mixing and barrowing whilst wife and child filled in the holes and tamped it down.

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We spent most of the day at this, resting frequently to admire the view and occasionally wandering down to see how the chooks were doing. Every time we went down they were a little more hen like, getting nearer and nearer to the edge of the tree, with more and more of them starting to scratch the earth. They never actually came out from under the tree but they were definitely  getting bolder and more inquisitive  by the hour.

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By the end of the day we’d got the two posts and strainer on the left concreted in

three posts

the Dude having removed all the nails out of those planks behind.

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These posts were all in, a gate fitted and a couple of extra strainers just because I had them and some concrete, cheers Lachie 🙂

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After dinner we put the chooks to bed, being pleased to see that all but two of them were milling around happily outside.

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That was about it really, I cut the lawn in front of the house and came in as the sun set 🙂



  1. Paul, sitting here in the cold, wind and rain in the south of England, I am utterly consumed with jealousy by your warm sunny weather and cloudless blue skies

    Comment by cazinatutu — April 28, 2012 @ 10:44 pm

    • Morning Caz, and another peach it is 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — April 30, 2012 @ 6:28 am

  2. I was remembering the insulation that arrived on the ferry for Rasaay House, and was hoping they were not throwing out loads and wasting it–now that the shed is ready for some.

    Comment by drgeo — April 28, 2012 @ 11:20 pm

    • Funny DrG I was thinking along those lines myself 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — April 30, 2012 @ 6:29 am

  3. Good morning from wet and windy Norfolk.
    It’s nice to see the latest arrivals. With regards to the galvanised drinker in the hen house; I drilled a small hole in the handle of ours. Opened up a small split pin, then inserted one end of a short length of chain. I then closed the split pin back up, pushed it through the hole and then opened it to 180 degrees, thus securing it well and truly to the top of the drinker. The chain then enabled the drinker to be suspended clear of the hen house floor by using a large cup hook in the roof beams, etc…, and avoided the actual bit that holds the water from filling up with debris/bedding off the floor. It just keeps the drinker in a cleaner state, and the water less contaminated. Furthermore you are not losing floor space, which again translates to square footage per bird housed, etc…. Just a thought.

    Comment by Richard — April 29, 2012 @ 8:40 am

    • Morning Richard,

      all good tips, they are actually hanging in the other hoose and we have another drinker to pick up, the galvanized one can’t be hung as it’s catches have rusted away 😦

      PS, wifey is drying out peat in this lovely weather up here 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — April 30, 2012 @ 6:32 am

      • Well done. Sorry to keep chipping in with my tenpenuth, but they are all things that I found out the hard way, along the hen keeping route. + what I gleaned from my grandfather who bred Rhode Island Reds, and showed them nationally. Keep up the good work.

        Comment by Richard — April 30, 2012 @ 8:00 am

      • Morning Richard,

        your advice is most welcome, wifey really enjoyed the book, right enough, like me she’s already forgotten most of it but that’s just an age thing 🙂

        Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — May 1, 2012 @ 5:20 am

  4. Cloudy, overcast and cold here in Whitburn, when are we going to get some warm weather?!
    As usual great pictures Paul and the chooks look like they are on their way to settling in. I rather like Richards idea of hanging the water up, perhaps something that will also be liked by the chooks! I know our dog loves his high rise water and food bowl stand, we now even have to take it in the caravan as he just looks at us in disgust if we don’t and he has to bend down to eat! Animals are funny things in more ways than you can imagine lol!
    The barn looks great in the landscape picture and hopefully it won’t be long till we see the new house in shot as well! Perhaps a diagram of where everything is going would be nice for us to try and visualize it all as well. Lovely silhouette of the camera person!

    Comment by Graham Thompson — April 29, 2012 @ 11:36 am

  5. Hi paul, nice to see things progressing, hope your back gets a bit better soon (i know how you feel) say hi to the family for me and happy birthday this week when it comes, i wont be neer a computer for a fortnight now as im working up near oban on the windfarm.

    Comment by jimmy mcmillan — April 29, 2012 @ 12:04 pm

    • Glad to see you’re working again Jimmy, obviously improvements in your back then?? Don’t remind me of the birthday, 56 sounds ancient 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — April 30, 2012 @ 6:34 am

  6. What an excellent bit of planning, putting the hen houses under the leylandii where the ground stays nice and dry, it’s got to be said Paul, you do have some good ideas……

    Comment by Tigger — April 30, 2012 @ 7:19 am

    • Morning Tigger,

      like most of my cunning ideas it does have a serious flaw, the branches are so low to the ground it’s extremely hard work chasing the hens into their house. Me thinks it’s time to get the chainsaw out 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — May 1, 2012 @ 5:10 am

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