Over the pass and new homes all ’round.

We’ve had a Belgian family staying with us for five nights and consequently, there’s been a lot less laundry and cleaning on the daily agenda. As it was a lovely day on Saturday, Kevin suggested a three-hour-holiday. Well, more of a five-and-half-hour-holiday really, as we travelled onto the mainland and north, to Applecross, on the bike.

The pass of the Cattle 

Of course Kevin being Kevin, we had to get to the small, picturesque settlement of Applecross by the more challenging route of Bealach nam Bò, Gaelic for ‘The Pass of the Cattle’, as it was historically used as a drovers’ road. (Would you and Daisy fancy a wee hike over this one Cecelia?) The pass was the only road linking Applecross with the rest of the country until the late 20th century.

Looking across to the mountains of Skye

Anyway, enough of this holiday malarkey and back to business! Our new mother hen seemed reluctant to leave the old pig field and one of the chicks looked weaker than the other two, so as she’s not really an indoor kinda girl, we thought that we’d catch her, along with her chicks and put her into the newly prepared accommodation for young mothers. There was plenty of squawking, as you can imagine, but the transfer was a success and she seems very contented in there. We’ve put a temporary fence around the door so that she can get outside and hopefully, when we remove it in a couple of days, she’ll remember that its home and return each night. The bad news is that the weaker chick died but the remaining two look pretty robust.

The temporary arrangement which we had with two different groups of chicks sharing the same coop went well initially. After removing all barriers, both groups seemed happy for a couple of nights and then for whatever reason, the Nest Thief’s twosome decided to move out. But where to? We searched high and low but the little guys certainly aren’t bird-brained and on the second evening Kevin found them safe, in the bush just outside the kitchen door! Anyway, they were plucked unceremoniously from their perch and deposited back in the coop. The same happened on the following night too but they’re gradually getting the hang of things again – with some minor encouragement!

MacRae, Lucky and Chance

Kevin completed his dispatching of the Aylesbury drakes so it was possible to do some duck-shifting; Jenny in with MacRae and the Muscovy ducklings into the now empty Aylesbury house. The Muscovies went well as ducks are easy to round-up, but poor wee Jenny was not made to feel welcome at all. After two nights of ducky disagreements, we decided to move Jenny back into her old house with the Muscovy ducklings. She’s much happier there and spends a lot of her time with them during the day too. No doubt when she becomes sexually mature, MacRae will feel more positive towards her!



Jenny’s gang!

Of course by moving the Muscovies, Huff has his house back to himself and his two girls. The extra space will be needed soon as guess where Biggles is…

Puff has made herself a nest but there’s nothing in it at the moment. No doubt she’s waiting to steal Biggles’ family once more! Let’s not forget that Brenda is still sitting tight on her nest among the Golden Rod. She knows that she can rely on some grain hand-outs at the kitchen door though during her brief forays…

Everything else is running along nicely in the summer routine. The surrounding fields were cut for silage a couple of days ago so the hens were happy foraging for fallen seeds.


And some were contented to take the easier option of loitering outside the fruit-cage just in case Kevin was feeling generous with an occasional raspberry!





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3 Responses to “Over the pass and new homes all ’round.”

  1. ceciliag Says:

    Mercy no.. i cannot see myself hiking over that pass and i am sure daisy would just run for the hills,, bad girl.. I love how all your birds are hatching more birds and looking so gorgeous.. c

  2. souldipper Says:

    I married a MacLeod whose family originated in Skye so as a honeymoon, John and I visited Skye in 1976. We didn’t stay in your B&B. I don’t remember the name now – we were both longing for some scrambled eggs for breakfast. The language barrier rose and I was invited into the kitchen to scramble the eggs. The poor woman looked appalled that I would attack farm fresh eggs in such a fashion, but they turned out perfectly and we devoured them blissfully.

    I’ve long remembered a saying about the cuckoo in the morning – a bit of a superstition. Could you refresh me?

    I love seeing the photos, the ruggedness of Skye and all the rural aspects of your lifestyle!

    I now live on the West Coast of Canada on a small island called Salt Spring Island.

    Delighted to find you at Celi’s wee farmy!

    • garybuie01 Says:

      Hi and thankyou for revisiting Skye, even if it is only in a virtual capacity! Sorry, I can’t help you with the cuckoo thing. we get several of them in the glen but I’ve never heard any sayings. Maybe I’ll as some of the older residents as perhaps it’s a Skye saying and we originate from England. Salt Spring Island sounds like it should feature in a great advanture! I’ll come visit you – after I’ve served breakfast though!

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