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TITLE
Keeping hens on a Caithness croft
EXTERNAL ID
QZP40_CAITHNESS_CROFTING_11
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
CAITHNESS
PERIOD
1980s
CREATOR
unknown
SOURCE
Highland Libraries
ASSET ID
2764
KEYWORDS
crofting
crofters
crofter
croft
crofts
deep litters
hen
poultry
egg
audio

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In this audio extract a Caithness crofter, remembers the 'deep litter' where the hens were kept.

'A deep litter wis usually a big, a big hut or somethin, ye know, ye bought somewhere cheaply. And the hens never got outside; they were in that the whole day. They were fed - well, it wis all bought stuff, ye know, there were very little corn fed to them then, it wis all bought fae the merchants an ye produced your own eggs. But a the eggs werna the same, werna the same colour. They were more light, light in the yolk, light-coloured, ye know?'

Caithness crofts were very similar to those in the other crofting counties of Scotland: Argyll, Inverness, Ross and Cromarty, Sutherland, Orkney and Shetland. The crofter kept a few animals - usually one or more cows, some sheep, poultry and a pig. The horse was important as a beast of burden until it was largely replaced by small tractors from the end of the 1940s onwards. The usual crops were oats (always called corn in Caithness), potatoes, turnips and hay, with varying amounts of vegetables. Up until the 1950s crofters with access to larger amounts of land showed a considerable degree of self-sufficiency, but it was quite usual for members of the family to have jobs off the croft. Many crofters had a skilled trade that enabled them to find work away from home. The crofthouse's water supply was usually a nearby well, spring or burn; the most ready supply of fuel for cooking and heating was peat, which had to be cut and processed on the moor in summer

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Keeping hens on a Caithness croft

CAITHNESS

1980s

crofting; crofters; crofter; croft; crofts; deep litters; hen; poultry; egg; audio

Highland Libraries

Caithness Recordings: Crofting & Farming

In this audio extract a Caithness crofter, remembers the 'deep litter' where the hens were kept.<br /> <br /> 'A deep litter wis usually a big, a big hut or somethin, ye know, ye bought somewhere cheaply. And the hens never got outside; they were in that the whole day. They were fed - well, it wis all bought stuff, ye know, there were very little corn fed to them then, it wis all bought fae the merchants an ye produced your own eggs. But a the eggs werna the same, werna the same colour. They were more light, light in the yolk, light-coloured, ye know?'<br /> <br /> Caithness crofts were very similar to those in the other crofting counties of Scotland: Argyll, Inverness, Ross and Cromarty, Sutherland, Orkney and Shetland. The crofter kept a few animals - usually one or more cows, some sheep, poultry and a pig. The horse was important as a beast of burden until it was largely replaced by small tractors from the end of the 1940s onwards. The usual crops were oats (always called corn in Caithness), potatoes, turnips and hay, with varying amounts of vegetables. Up until the 1950s crofters with access to larger amounts of land showed a considerable degree of self-sufficiency, but it was quite usual for members of the family to have jobs off the croft. Many crofters had a skilled trade that enabled them to find work away from home. The crofthouse's water supply was usually a nearby well, spring or burn; the most ready supply of fuel for cooking and heating was peat, which had to be cut and processed on the moor in summer