Hi from NE Scotland

We love hearing from you, so here is your chance. Introduce yourself and tell us what makes you selfsufficient 'ish'. Go on don't be shy, we welcome one and all. You can also tell us how you heard about us if you like.
ina
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Hi from NE Scotland

Post: # 3230Post ina »

That's how it goes - I was looking for a supplier for the hens I am planning to buy, and here I am. Still don't know where to get those hens from (anybody any ideas? - I am looking for Black Rock).

Have plenty of ideas how to become more selfsufficient. After all, the way pensions are going, I think it might be the only way to survive if I make it to old age! Maybe I should start collecting straw bales now; I'll just need a bit of land then to build my house on...

Anyway, so far I have a veggie garden and quite a few fruit trees and bushes (still in the early stages of growth); a cat (keeps the rabbits out of the garden) and two goats (cashmere - I reckon if I collect the fibre over the next ten years or so I'll have enough for a jumper. Maybe by then I'll have worked out how to process and spin the stuff, too - does anybody know how to do that?). The goats also work as lawn mowers and hedge trimmers. They love eating most weeds, too - unfortunately not just them, but also other plants, so I still have to do the weeding myself!

Sometime this year I'll find my hens, and if I get round to digging out a pond, some ducks, too (slug control). And bees, hopefully, next year. As I am surrounded by hills full of heather, the honey should be good.

I'm looking forward to "talking" to lots of like minded people on this site!

Cheers
Ina :wave:

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Andy Hamilton
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Post: # 3231Post Andy Hamilton »

Hello Ina

Welcome to the site, not sure about chickens but we do have some chicken owners around who might be able to point you in the right direction. Did oyu know that keeping chickens is the UK's fastest growing 'hobby'? (according to Radio 4)

Do you have two males goats or can you get milk from them?

Sorry if it sounds rude but where is Kincardineshire, my scottish geography is about as good as my girlfriends Engilsh geography. (shes from edingburgh) Is it very far north east as in close to John O'groats?
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Post: # 3234Post shiney »

Hello Ina,

Welcome!

You have quite a lot going on in your garden. Great! I don't have any livestock. (apart from an eleven year old rabbit) I would really like a couple of chickens as I reckon I have just enough space for two.

Do your goats eat things that you don't want them to, or do you pen them in somewhere?
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Post: # 3236Post hay331 »

Hi Ina

I am not too far away from you (Cardenden) and in fact probably passed near by you last weekend when I was trying to avoid the delays on the Forth Road Bridge!

I have read of people rescuing battery hens and with TLC the feathers come back and they are good layers. Not sure where you would get Black Rock hens but I have a couple of people I can ask if you don't find any.

Just started growing veg properly last year and am gradually utilising more of the garden. Went out this morning (raining AGAIN!) to see hundreds of slugs heading towards my lettuce that is just starting to pop through! Diligence is needed I think!
regards
hay331

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Post: # 3237Post Wombat »

G'day Ina,

Welcome to the site!

I am a spinner but mostly my own home grown cotton. Happy to have a "yarn" about about it :wink: !

Nev
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Post: # 3238Post greenbean »

Hello Ina, I am in Scotland too, in Stirling. I only have a vegetable garden now, no hens, I am an ex-pig farmer and I do miss my piggies.

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Post: # 3244Post Lyds »

Hello Ina, welcome to the site. We hope to get our chickens soon and I've spent hours on the web doing research (rainy days only). The best places to find good breeders are - The Soil Assoc. web site and Country Smallholding magazine (www.countrysmallholding.com). Every issue contains a breeders directory for every type of animal - LLamas, Emus, Alpacas and of course Chickens. None of the breeders seem to mind you phoning up and asking questions or sending emails. In fact they seem only too pleased to find another chicken enthusiast.
Hope this is some help, I will post a 'Chicken announcement' when we get ours, perhaps a photograph or 2..... :roll:

ina
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Post: # 3290Post ina »

Hi everybody

Thanks for all your replies.

Kincardineshire is not that far north - south of Aberdeen. (Actually, I think officially it's now called Aberdeenshire...) I'm about 30m south of Aberdeen, so quite a way from Cardenden! Had to look that up, too. Stirling, on the other hand, I know quite well; used to live in that area for a while, and Stirling was the "big city" for me, for shopping etc.

By the way, pigs are almost the only animals I've never worked with - but I believe they are quite intelligent, at least when kept in reasonable numbers and good conditions! Greenbean, why did you give up pig farming?

About my goats - yes, unfortunately goats eat anything you don't want them to, so fencing is the main problem. Especially when you are trying to grow veg in the same garden. And I was lucky, my house came with a dog kennels which is just big enough for 2 goats during nights and bad weather (they hate rain and wind).

They are females, and theoretically I could breed from them, but that's a bit of a space problem at the moment. Anyway, as they are not dairy goats, but cashmere, they wouldn't have enough milk for their offspring and myself. I would eventually like to have dairy goats. It's just a bit difficult if you want to go away for a few days; I'd either have to find somebody willing (and able) to do the milking, or I could only go during very restricted periods of the year. And cashmere is nice, too. I found handspun cashmere in a shop once (I think there is somebody on Skye who does that kind of thing) - it costs an absolute fortune!

Nev, I know folk in Australia who keep camels, and they used to spin their fibre, too - but I've never heard of handspun cotton! Do you get it fine enough for weaving?

I'm off tomorrow to a Soil Association conference near Perth - the conferences are generally very interesting, and good for meeting people. Maybe even chicken breeders. (I had heard that programme on Radio 4, too - really annoying, I've been wanting to do that for ages, and now that I'm getting closer to fulfilling my dreams, everybody is doing the same!!!)

Cheers for now
Ina

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Post: # 3295Post Chickenlady »

Hi Ina

Hope you find your chickens. If not, how about rehoming some rescued battery hens? I plan to do this soon myself (have 3 hens at the mo', but look forward to keeping more in the very near future).

I would love goats. Not enough garden though or time, unfortunately.

Welcome to the site. Loads of interesting and friendly chat!

Jane

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Post: # 3298Post Wombat »

G'Day Ina,

Yes the cotton is fine enough to weave, that is my intention, to weave the cotton into fabric on a commercial warp. I am learning weaving at the moment. I do have access to camel, but have never tried it!

I assume when you say Perth you mean Perth UK not Perth West Aus :wink:

Nev
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ina
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Post: # 3303Post ina »

Yep, Nev, Perth UK - or rather, Perth Scotland! Have been to Perth Australia, too, and rather liked it. That was just a short trip; I spent 8 months on a dairy farm in Victoria. But I can't imagine how I managed to live in that heat back then. I did crazy stuff like cycle to my "local" pub (only 80km away), on a day with 40 degree Celsius in the shade - only there was no shade... And now I find it terribly hot if ever we get 20 degree!

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Post: # 3315Post greenbean »

Hi Ina,
When I had my pigs I lived in South Africa, this was about 13 years ago. I only had the farm for 18 months, I rented a small part of the farm and house. I still had itchy feet then and needed to do some more travelling, so I sold up and went travelling through Southern and Central Africa. It sounds really heartless, but it wasn't an easy decision. I know a farmers wife near me who had cashmere goats and I was amazed at how much cashmere they produced, she did have about 50 or 60 I think and she was making very expensive cashmere throws, etc, which sold in very expensive shops. I would recommend pigs to anyone, I could go on and on about how wonderful and intelligent they are, like all animals they have their own personalities. I only named my boar, he was called Boris, he used to follow me around like a dog, have his tummy tickled and lick the salt from the back of my knees really gently. One day I will have pigs again!

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Post: # 3319Post Millymollymandy »

ina wrote:Yep, Nev, Perth UK - or rather, Perth Scotland! Have been to Perth Australia, too, and rather liked it. That was just a short trip; I spent 8 months on a dairy farm in Victoria. But I can't imagine how I managed to live in that heat back then. I did crazy stuff like cycle to my "local" pub (only 80km away), on a day with 40 degree Celsius in the shade - only there was no shade... And now I find it terribly hot if ever we get 20 degree!
Hi Ina, I agree with you about the heat - I climbed Ayers Rock when it was 45C and didn't bat an eyelid! I can't bear over 30C now and not for prolonged periods. I think we must have got used to the heat - though I don't think I would so much again now that I'm older.

ina
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Post: # 3367Post ina »

Talk about getting older - my back's been killing me all week. Sitting at that conference all day yesterday plus travelling in the car didn't help, and work seems to be a lot of heavy lifting at the moment, too... And I used to grin when folk told me, wait till you get to my age! Well, I have. And now I grin and bear it. :?

But these conferences are great, I met two almost neighbours, both organic farmers. So more folk to swap experiences with.

Greenbean, whereabouts in SA did you live? And was that outdoor pig keeping - I have the idea that pigs don't particularly like the heat?

That rain yesterday plus the mild temperatures seem to have got all those lovely weeds in the garden going, so I for one know what I'm doing this weekend...

Cheers
Ina

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Post: # 3449Post greenbean »

Hi Ina, I was on the Transvaal/Natal border, the nearest village was Wakkerstroom, which is very popular with twitchers. Yes it was outdoor, no other way shuld be allowed. Pigs were OK with heat so long as they had shade and water/mud to wallow in, I made them extra shade by sowing feed bags together. I'm looking at this Scottish weather as I type wondering why on earth I gave that up. I'm getting tired of constant rain. If the weather cheers up I am off to the Scottish Crannog centre tomorrow at Loch Tay, there's a nettle festival on too, I've had nettle soup but am looking forward to seeing what else I can use them for.

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