Chicken Demise

The other morning we found one of our hens with no head, and 2 very distressed cockerels.

One cockerel never moved (although there was no obvious injury) and died the next day. The other cockerel wandered around looking lost for a few days and then died overnight.

Currently we suspect the Stoat that has been around the garden. A few days before the chickens were attacked, we watched him rolling a dead rabbit up the hill, like it was a log. No signs of injury to the rabbit either – how do they do it?

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The Blog starts here…

Standpretty Designs are finally in business, and we thought it was time to tell you a little about us.

We are a small family business based in Standpretty, near the imaginary village of Fushiebridge. It is important to note that you won’t find any signs for Standpretty (which exists), but you can find us by following the signs for Fushiebridge (which doesn’t exist).

Standpretty is set in the rural landscape of Midlothian, Scotland, between the farms of Harvieston and Catcune, but a little investigation shows that it was a far more industrial landscape until relatively recently. The local Mill (now demolished) can be traced back to 1340, and is marked on the “Blaeu Atlas of Scotland, 1654” as “Katkuin mill” (with Katkuin (castle) facing it across the river). The local coal mines and Lime works used narrow gauge feeder railways to link into FushieBridge Station on the old Waverley line just beside Standpretty. Although you can follows the routes of these old lines on the ground, little evidence of them remains. As usual, we are still 5 years from the re-opening of the Waverley Line to disturb the peace and tranquility of Standpretty and Catcune (long may it continue!)

As far as we can tell, the name “Standpretty” was previously used for a farm near Pathhead (adjacent to Old Airfield) that was absorbed into a neighbouring farm in the early 1800’s. The cottages at Standpretty were built about 50 years later as accommodation for the workers at Catcune Mill. By curious coincidence (or perhaps not!) the surname of one of the first tenants was the same as the last farmer at Standpretty farm. So far we can only speculate on a family connection.