Life at the end of the road

July 19, 2012

The creels are out :-)

Filed under: Croft house for sale, daily doings, shed/house — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 10:04 pm

A bonny bonny day here and I was greatly miffed at having to spend most of it on chauffeur duty 😦 Wifey had an appointment with the optician that was going to leave her with fuzzy vision for a few hours and unable to drive 😦 By the time the day was done though I felt quite happy with what I’d achieved and I’m now congratulating myself with a glass of malt 🙂

Sour crop in hens

The day started with a clear blue sky and wifey dragging me out of bed to assist with a poorly hen, well not so much sick as a little ‘off colour’ and acting strange. It started a couple of days ago when one went broody and started doing peculiar things. Hens often do odd things when broody but wifey’s keen eye had noticed a few things that I’m sure would have passed me by, she’d also observed when lifting said hen off the eggs that her crop was squidgy.

The crop is a sack in the gullet that hens grind stuff up in prior to digesting it and normally it feels quite gritty on account of it being full of, well grit and grain 🙂 A little research in the Haynes chicken manual

had turned up a condition called ‘sour crop’ that can be brought on by eating long grass and we certainly have plenty of that.

There is much information on this subject on the internet and varying degrees of severity, but before getting carried away with natural yoghurt or antibiotics or holding the hen upside down she abandoned the confusion of the net in favour of the more traditional ‘phone a friend’. The ‘friend’ being the west coasts one and only ‘Donald the hen’ from Struan on Skye. He’d recommended a squirt of veg oil down the throat whilst stretching her neck and massaging the crop, saying that she’d throw it all up and then probably be fine.

So at 7:00am this morning, once the rest of the flock (including one duck) had been let out and the houses cleaned I caught the hen. Well not so much caught her as lifted her off the nest, held her firmly and gently straightened out her neck so that wifey could squirt a few cc’s of olive oil down her throat and then massage the crop.


We were at this for quite a while with no obvious result apart from a very oily hen so gave up and put her in a poultry box with a lid on whilst we fed and watered the rest. Sure enough when I returned there was a big lump of something smelly and oily in the bottom of the box and miss chicken was looking much chirpier 🙂 Thanks Donald and well done wifey for spotting it early, I’m sure I wouldn’t have.

The contentious appointment on the nicest day of the week so far was not until 12:40 so I managed to get a little work done up at the new shed after feeding all the pigs. The work in question being  cutting some corrugated iron sheets for my ‘lean too’ generator shed on the back of the barn . I had set my heart on cladding it with the same sort of box profile sheeting as the  barn but had not been able to find any reasonably priced sheets. I only needed nine and the two longest ones were only 2.8m or 9’ but I’d been quoted between £500 and £288 the cheapest quote only getting them as far as Glasgow 😦

Reluctantly I went back to my original plan of using old corrugated iron

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from the roof of my parents house. It may not look up to much right now but once the rusty ends are trimmed off it’s actually far better quality and much thicker than even the heavy duty .7mm box profile sheeting.

After making a start on that we rushed down for the 10:55 ferry and onward to Kyle. Stopping for a well earned breakfast at Hectors Bothy. Being tight fisted and having access to the finest foods available on my own doorstep I’m not a fan of eating out and even less of the rubbery grilled fare dished up in most cheap hotels and cafe’s. I am even less of a fan of the ‘vegetarian option’ on the breakfast menu, however arriving at Hector’s and coincidently finding my parents there, with a friend who was eating ‘said option’ I gave it a go. I was most impressed, of course it probably helps that the tomatoes are actually in season anyway, but even the mushrooms and eggs tasted great, and believe me I know a good egg when I eat one 🙂

Anyway, we eventually managed to get back home for just after 16:00 and I got stuck straight back into the shed.


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Trust me, once it’s painted it will look lovely, and that ‘old iron’ will probably still look great when the shed  is rusting nicely 🙂

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I managed to get another sheet fitted and cut out the door before high tide and time to go and set the first lobster pots of the year.

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We’ve usually got some out before now but I’ve been a little preoccupied of late,

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why would you ever want to go on holiday if you lived here 🙂


  1. I remember dealing with an egg-bound hen; hot water basin; jelly etc. The rest’s best left to the imagination. The net and an old book about Poultry keeping came in handy!

    Comment by yractual — July 20, 2012 @ 7:27 am

  2. Weather looks good Paul and yes, why would anyone leave there. As a young person, you seem to spend the first part of your life working on a plan to get away and then you spent the rest of it working on a plan to get back.

    Comment by jackie — July 20, 2012 @ 7:55 am

  3. That must have been quite a high tide!
    Is there a cave that looks somewhat similar but the entrance a few yards beyond hwm on the grassy east side of one of these bays ?

    Comment by SOTW — July 20, 2012 @ 10:17 am

  4. Great stuff Paul! I love the pictures on the water ad am excited to see the catch this year. The Arizona summer heat is wearing me down but it’s giving me a chance to get caught up on reading here.. It’s good to back reading your posts. I have been away dealing with my fathers passing and family. Have a great rest of the summer, only 3 months left of summer here….”….

    Comment by Tony — July 20, 2012 @ 12:53 pm

    • Morning Tony,

      one thing it’s not been here is hot, warm yes, but rarely over 12 degrees which is just fine by me 🙂 Funny enough I was just reading how the Nissan leaf EV’s battery could not cope with the Arizona heat 😦

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — July 21, 2012 @ 11:22 am

  5. You’ve a duck! Oh glory…we used to keep Khaki Campbells…what characters they are (kiss goodby to slug and snail infestations, but be prepared to kiss goodbye to your entire lawn too!) … But Paul, once you’ve regularly breakfasted on duck eggs, and once your missus has made cakes with duck eggs, then you’ll quite happily kiss your chickens goodbye (despite the fuss when you come to put them away at nightfall!)…they’re great characters too…

    But DON’T on no account DON’T, as a beginner, buy Indian Runners. No. Not now. In fact probably not ever…


    Comment by cogidubnus — July 21, 2012 @ 1:06 am

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