Summer (!) continues…

Grass cutting for silage

It has to be said that July has been a miserable month weather-wise so far. There was a brief interlude in the soggy situation last week when the grass on the surrounding croft-land was cut and collected for silage. The lush vegetation seems to have curtailed the ducks’ urge to explore beyond the garden recently, maybe because of poor visibility, or perhaps simply because their legs are just too short for such difficult terrain! As soon as the grass was cut to a more manageable height however, both the ARs and the hens were out there foraging. Unfortunately, they all became so intent on the job at hand, that Kevin had to go and round them up before they got scooped up along with the grass!


No need for foraging for Biggles though, not when she and the duckling have been caught

Drastic measures

 deftly removing the tender, growing tips of our cabbages and brussel sprouts! Desperate measures were required other than clipping her wings, which would literally have turned her into a ‘sitting duck’ for the ever-attentive MacRae! So, it was out with the netting to protect our crop, the unfortunate by-product being two disgruntled ducks! Speaking of MacRae, he’s keeping himself to himself these days, partly because he’s somewhat of a spent force but also – surprise, surprise – all three Cherry Bs are now sitting on eggs and he just seems happy to stay nearby on guard duty.

Francis Drake on the other hand, is one happy chap! As we’d hoped, two of the six ducklings we hatched earlier in the season turned out to be not only ARs, but female too! After the other four ducks were ‘dispatched’ at about nine weeks old, Francis spotted his opportunity and laid claim to the remaining ducky duo. It was only a matter of a couple of days before he persuaded them to move in with him and his other female companion – not to mention the young chicken who still lives in the duck house!

Francis and his ladies

After sharing a nest-box with Puff, the muscovy, the Wick Chick and her solitary offspring are also quite happy in the company of ducks. As you can see, she and Biggles have seemingly started their own ‘Mother and Toddler group’…

Mums and toddlers

We’ve also had a couple of new developments this week, the first of which was the arrival of ten chicks on Friday in the incubator. The second was that presumably after deciding that one chick didn’t quite fulfill her mothering instincts, Brenda has gone broody once more! This time she’s chosen to sit under the coop by the polytunnel, a site that Puff once had her eye on. Kevin found her at the weekend and it’s only in hindsight that we realized that Brenda has been absent from daily proceedings. Consequently, we don’t know how long she’s been there but hopefully, she’ll have a better success rate this time around.

New arrivals


Hidden nest

There’s certainly plenty going on at Garybuie this summer and as it’s such a lovely day I thought I’d take the opportunity to show you around the place and meet some of the regular blog characters…

And finally, we have to cover all our fruit bushes with netting, not just to protect them from the wee birds of the glen, but also chickens who are more than capable of a vertical take-off if a juicy berry or two are in sight. Never call a chicken ‘bird-brained’ though, particularly if a nice ripe raspberry calls for some more challenging harvesting methods…

If I can just reach...


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