Thursday, 24 October 2013

Bunny Surprise

Going about our normal feeding routine this morning, I got a pleasant surprise. I say a surprise, but should really have expected it. A month ago we mated Spot and Jacko and hoped for the best. Jacko is still quite young so we weren't sure if he was up to the job. He has proved himself though.

We have been debating for the past few days whether Spot was looking fatter than normal, but she looked no different to me.
We have been looking for signs of 'nesting', fur pulling and a nest being made, but there has been nothing..... until this morning.
When I walked to run to feed, there was clumps of white fur outside the house and when I lifted the lid....

There was another pile of fur tucked in the corner and it moved! I was a little taken aback initially. Both females are in this run and house so things are going to be a little cosy and the kits may get squashed. Diz has finished the other house and run so they will be separated today.

Once Diz got the camera we had a sneaky peak at our new arrivals. We think there is five kits, but didn't want to poke around too much. Spot wasn't bothered by us looking as we stuck to our normal routine so she wouldn't feel threatened.
Looking forward to seeing them running around in a couple of weeks.
Diz of course has already commented that by the time they are ready for the pot, the other ingredients will have grown!

Stell n Diz xx

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Ginger and Spotty update

Last month we moved the pigs, Ginger and Spotty, to the old pig pen after they had completed their clearing duties of last years potato patch.

They have dug it and removed everything, but also outgrown their house. So time to move on. Normally when the fence is removed the pigs won't cross the line where the electric fence use to be for a while. But these boys were off almost as soon as the fence was turned off.

They weren't bothered by any of the other residence, only interested in what they could dig up next. While Diz put up the fence around the new pig pen I kept moving the boys on so they didn't dig up too much of the rest of the field. They can do a lot of damage in very short space of time.

Once the pen was ready it took some encouragement to get them into their new home. They were enjoying their new freedom and took some time to get them in the right place. And it took a few 'zaps' from the fence to keep them confined.

Once in they got down to the business of digging the new ground up and exploring.

And of course enjoying a good scratch.
We do enjoy having them in this pen, as we can watch them from the house. They can also see us more, which means feeding time is noisier than ever.
We have guests next week who are looking forward to meeting the boys, so we have delayed their departure. They have been booked in for their one way trip at the beginning of November and I have had to book some days off work in order to be able to help Diz with the butchering.

After the few days of recent rain, the pen has been turned into a mud pond, which the boys are enjoying. Well the two piggy boys are, Diz isn't so keen on fending off two large boars, very hungry fighting to get through him to get to the bucket while he is stuck in 2 foot of mud. It is a very funny sight each feeding time watching Diz trying to outsmart them and failing miserably. He gets covered in mud and pig snot every time!

We gave them a fresh bit of ground this morning, but as you can see they have turned it over already (5 hours to be precise) and are now looking very smug with themselves. They have also decided to start pulling their house apart. This will definitely be the last year for this pig house, if it survives another 13 days it will be a miracle. Spotty has been climbing up the side today and removing the roofing felt chomp by chomp. I think next years pigs will have to be gilts, the boars are just two troublesome!
They are so lovely and friendly though it will be sad to see them go.

Take care all
Stell n Diz xx

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Proud Grandparents

On Wednesday 28th August 2013 we became the proud Grandparents of baby India Disley.

She was a little overdue arriving, but once she decided it was time for her grand entrance to the world it didn't take long. Mummy Dee had a C section within a couple of hours of arriving at the hospital.
And Daddy Ben still doesn't know what all the fuss is about, he believes giving birth is nothing compared to his experience of standing on a 3 pin plug!

Granddad Diz winged his way over to welcome the new arrival, but sadly I had to both work and animal sit so couldn't make the trip and had to make do with Skype.

Great Grandma Joyce was also on the trip (wild horses wouldn't have stopped her).

Congratulations to Ben and Dee. 

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Too much work....

Too much work... can make life very difficult!! As I'm sure many of you know. We moved to Ireland to get away from all that 'rat race' stuff.
I have started a new Part Time job 7 weeks ago, which has unfortunately turned into nearly a full time job! This will hopefully only be for a short time and I will be back to less hours very soon as it is very difficult to juggle Cloghermore and all the animals and the job. Poor Diz feels a bit trapped as well, as I have the car and his bike isn't working at the moment. Sigh. 
This is also my excuse for being sooo lapse at writing anything on the blog, so my appologeese. I am hoping to take some up to date photos and get posting.
Take care all

Bar B Q Bread

I know its past the normal season for BBQ, (we will be Barna Qing untill it warms up again). A quick and tasty bread which improves immensely if cooked on charcoal but is a knock out if done on wood. Ash out of preference, but Beech is good for a less smokey taste. Something we tried earlier in the year and was a resounding success, especially if you can find a willing victim, I mean volunteer to cook the bread for you, so you can get on with something else.

To Make 8
500g strong flour or bread flour of your choice. A little extra for dusting.
5g powdered dried yeast.
10g fine salt
300ml warm water
A drizzle of oil 


Mix ingredients in a bowl (We use a bucket that had bird fat balls in). Start with the tepid water, add the salt and dissolve, add the yeast and swill/stir add the oil and the throw in the flour. Stir with a wooden spoon until you get a sticky mess then turn out onto a floured surface. Then Knead. 



When the dough becomes smooth and springy, shape into a round, coat with flour and pop it into the bowl (Stell prefers to coat with a little oil as it is easier to get it out of the bucket) 

Cover the bowl with cling film, put in a plastic bag or pop the lid on and leave to rise somewhere warm to rise to double its size. If you don't need the dough until a later just 'knock back' (push your fingers in it to deflate), leaving at least an hour for it to rise again by the time you need it. 

Tear small bits off and shape into small rounds. Squash them flat and leave to rise again for 10 mins or so, on a well floured sheet. 


Get a fire going in the BBQ and allow to burn down so the wood is white. 


I have halved some clay bricks as a heat sync which works well with the wood.
Cook for about 7 mins or so until cooked turning regularly to stop burning. The bread should sound hollow when tapped on the bottom. 



The rolls freeze well and tastes just as good as fresh.

This recipe is out of the River Cottage Handbook No.3 Bread. Its got a lot of Ideas and recipes in.