It’s been a a funny old day, after the usual early rise and hour or two plonking away on the laptop I went out early to feed the pigs. I was wanting to feed them early for the next few days as we’re putting 4 Tamworths away on Monday for slaughter and I want to get them used to an early breakfast. The routine for the last couple of trips to Dingwall has been to let them live in the trailer for a few days then just shut them in at night and haul them off in the morning. However we’ve been using the trailer as a bedding store all year with the poor weather early on and they’ve been sleeping out on the hill the last few weeks anyway as the weather’s been so good. In fact a couple of times they’ve not even bothered to come home to be fed as the wee darlings have been off on some adventure. To make sure they turn up on Monday morning at 6:30 I’ve cut their rations down a smidge and I throw the first scoop in the trailer so they all charge in there first. My first few trips to ‘Munro’s’ of Dingwall were a bit of a strain emotionally but after Wednesdays ‘home kill’ and yesterdays butchery I can cope with anything! I moved Bramble out of her temporary accommodation in the porch of our barn at breakfast so I could finish her new luxury housing, though when I squeezed her teats and milk came forth I moved her right back and this was when I noticed the mountain of bedding that she’d obviously been dragging in there all night for a ‘nest’. Feeling that a birth was imminent I passed the information onto mrs C and took the Dude to school.
More peat cutting and polytunnel
With the Dude safely disposed of I called on Willy Eyre to dispose of a bucket load of pig bits for his dog and also to marvel at the polytunnel progress. It had stalled for a while whilst the construction of the ‘space age hen house’ took precedence but with the hen house completed the polytunnel was back on course.
The tunnel now has a sliding door at each and the action of which is as smooth as silk on it’s aluminium rail and plastic runners. It has a sink in the corner and some fine shelves ( just click to enlarge ) but I had to rush home and check on Bramble so did not have time to discuss the finer points of salvaged fish farm kit with him. Though I did come across ‘Korea’ aka John Macloed who was busy putting the finishing touches to Raasay’s only peat stack!
I could not but help passing a moment or two admiring this mans stamina and getting the ‘craic’. Once back home mrs C informed me that Bramble had had 10 healthy piglets with still no sign of afterbirth.
We spent a bit of time with her, went in for a cup of tea and came out to find yet another fine wee healthy piglet!
Transport of animals certificate of competency
As pig had given birth in the wrong place at the wrong time my plan for the day for a luxury upgrade to the farrowing quarters had gone out the window and I spent the rest of the day moving wood and making a waterproof enclosure for a battery charger (out of a fish box and children’s slide). That was of course until it was time to go for my exam that is. You now have to have a ‘certificate of competency’ to transport any animals in connection with an economic activity if the journey is over 65km. I wish they’d make their friggin’ mind up with this metric stuff when was the last time that you saw a road sign in km??? if all the road signs and roads are measured in old money then why is the certificate in new money??? and why do lorries travel 60mph and coaches at 70mph but both have tachographs that read in km ( did I just dream that or has the world gone mad?) Any way enough of the soap box, I have to have the bit of paper and my wallet is now another £65 lighter, the exams at 6:15 in Dornie so I’m stuck on the mainland for the night. Still it’s a bonny evening and I can we visit my parents ( I’ve got the Dude with me ) So I’m the last to sit the exam which was not too hard I get my pass and notice ‘cattle and sheep’ not ‘pigs and sheep’ at the top of the page! . So the examiner now has to download another exam for me to sit this time for pigs and whilst I still pass it’s now 7:20 I’m very hungry, the Dude is very bored and I’ve got less marks. Still it really was a beautifull place to sit an exam!