Home-produced Eggs

Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Well here at Moy River it was the chicken but way back in agricultural history, it was probably the egg!

I have been keeping hen for over 25 years now. It all was inspired by a trip to the Ulster American Folk Park in Omagh in Northern Ireland. There, rare breed hens and chickens wandered around the park in a very traditional way taking the visitor back in time to a simpler and more practical time. Couple to this the fact that I was born and raised on a farm and also the fact that a grand aunt of mine was a poultry expert who ran a Poultry Station in the Ireland of the 1940’s.1-DSC_0567

Hens (or chickens if you live in the US) are simple beasts but very productive. There is not a culture on earth – poor or wealthy – that does not depend upon and enjoy the value of eggs. Most hens reach maturity at six months and begin to lay shortly after. Most hens will lay 500 eggs in a lifetime.

Chickens, as we know them today, originated in Southeast Asia. They were domesticated from the wild jungle fowl of that region, tamed and bred for their egg-laying and meat producing traits. They soon became an indispensable part of village life; their ability to turn grain and waste food back into food for humans being unrivalled for speed and efficiency.

Over the intervening centuries, chickens formed a major part of agricultural production. Their eggs and meat could always be counted upon even for communities on the move; nomads and sailors alike. Over the last 150 years, they developed into two distinct groups; the light Mediterranean breeds who were best known for egg production and not being broody and the heavier Asian breeds best suited for broodiness and meat production. In the past 80 years, hybrid chickens have been created to meet the needs of modern egg and meat production. The female hybrid egg layer will still only lay 500 eggs but she will pop them out over a two-year period (as opposed to 5 years for the traditional breed). The hybrid broiler, for meat production, reaches maturity in as little as 10 weeks!

house-399Here at Moy River we have a mix of old breeds and hybrid hens whose job it is to provide us with enough eggs for our guests at breakfast time. Scrambled eggs with smoked salmon are a favourite while pancakes topped with maple syrup and berries are a sweet alternative. And over breakfast every morning, our guests can enjoy watching the hens begin another day of doing what hens do in the garden.

“Oh, God above, if heaven has a taste it must be an egg with butter and salt, and after the egg is there anything in the world lovelier than fresh warm bread and a mug of sweet golden tea?” – Frank McCourt

Pat and the gals – Moy River.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dawn Chorus Fundraiser

 Moy River B&B will host a fundraiser in aid of Crumlin Childrens Hospital on the morning of May 9th. It starts with a walk in the woods at 6am to hear the Dawn Chorus, followed by buffet breakfast in Moy River. Michael Bell of Birdwatch Ireland will walk with the group identifying the various early morning bird calls.

moy-river-breakfastIf rising before 6am is not your thing, at 9am Michael will give advice on feeding wild birds and attracting them to your garden. Breakfast will continue up to 12 noon. Everyone is invited to join in some part of the morning and all donations will go to support the work of Crumlin Children’s Hospital.

Blue titThe Dawn chorus is at its very best in early May. Few enough people have the opportunity to actually enjoy the chorus despite the fact that it takes place every single morning at this time of year. Given the right location and reasonable weather conditions, it gives rise to a very memorable experience in nature.

Crumlin Children’s Hospital provides a vital service to sick children and their parents from all over Ireland. Like all areas in the current health service, they struggle to provide this service.

So if you would like to enjoy a dawn chorus experience, or treat yourself to breakfast out, you can do both to support the work of Crumlin Hospital. We hope you will join in this unique early morning experience at Moy River B&B in Cloonacool on Saturday 9th of May, 6am to 12 noon. Contact Pat or Rita on 071 9121902 for more details.

RobinThe dawn chorus occurs when birds sing at the start of a new day. In temperate countries this is most noticeable in spring when the birds are either defending a breeding territory or trying to attract a mate. In a given location, it is common for different species to do their dawn singing at different times.

Michael Bell is a member of the Sligo Branch of BirdWatch Ireland.  He also runs his nature education company, Nature Learn, and is a Heritage in Schools specialist visiting many schools throughout the North West.  He has been an avid bird watcher since childhood and has been involved in numerous bird surveys as well as leading several dawn chorus events. www.naturelearn.com

Contact Pat McCarrick: bandb@moyriver.com – 0872512030

 

Local Walking Festival

South-Sligo-Walking-Festival logoSouth Sligo Walking Festival is taking place this coming May Bank Holiday weekend (Sat 2nd – Mon 4th)

This festival of walking has been taking place in the Ox Mountains near Aclare in Co. Sligo for many years now and has grown into a great weekend for visitors and locals alike. The local organisers, the Ox Mountain Development Company, go out of their way to show people a great time. Not only are there great walking and affable guides, there is great hospitality as well. Being met with a van-load of hot tea and sweet cake is only one of the many tricks theses lads and lassies can pull out of the hat. Soup and a beer in the local pub, Joe Dan’s after your walk is another treat.

The walks cater for all interests and abilities. There are usually three walks each day for the 3 days of the festival. You can do some or all days, suit yourself. The Ox Mountains are rugged but they are so rewarding for the walker. Deserted cottages and shaded laneways are a feature of the foothills while wide open spaces and embryonic mountain rivers are a sight to behold in the uplands.

There are lots of places to stay locally from local B&Bs to hotels in nearby Tubbercurry. Of course we hope you might be tempted to stay with us at Moy River B&B, just 15 minutes from the starting point for the walks each day.

Visit  http://www.southsligowalkingfestival.com/ for more details.

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Genealogy Research

Tracing your Family Tree – maybe we can help.

PAAM-23We have a good local knowledge of family names, places were records are held and as well as web-based archives. If you are searching for your family origins in South Sligo, Moy River B&B is a great base.

The Griffith Valuations of 1858, the 1901 and 1911 census reports are all now documented in detail on-line. These are great places to start your research process. Church records of baptisms and marriages are also great places to look and are available in nearly all churches local to your origins. Parish Priests are usually the custodians of this information and are generally available and helpful.
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FAIRTRADE at Moy River

From Ghana to Cloonacool – Adam Pampuri visits Tubbercurry to promote FAIRTRADE products.

Adam is a cashew nut farmer from Ghana in West Africa. He is not just a farmer however but also a world ambassador for the FAIRTRADE organisation. He toured Ireland recently thanking retailers and their customers alike for their respective promotion and use of FAIRTRADE products. Many items such as tea, coffee and bananas are commonly found in most major retailers. Our local town, Tubbercurry, is a FAIRTRADE town.

Us and Adam

Adam is a talented speaker and is certainly the man for the job when it come to telling the FAIRTRADE story. Moy River B&B was well impressed and so from now on we will be using only FAIRTRADE tea and coffer for our guests. We will also be using any other items the we regularly consume and that are available under the FAIRTRADE label.

 

Snowdrops and Daffodils

 

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Spring has arrived in Cloonacool and at Moy River B&B.

Last week was a real celebration for a few reasons. The snowdrops peeped over ground and are always a welcome display being the first flowers of the year. Our first batch of chickens hatched and on that same night, we had our first full house!

We moved, guests and all, to Moy River Cottage for the supper where we were joined by a few local musicians. The fire in the grate did manage to keep the night-time chill away for a few hours.

Our guests were from places as far-flung as Canada, Portugal and New Zealand!

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Living History

An informal talk on local man, Fr. Denis O’Hara (1850 – 1922), political activist and advocate for the poor.

Fr. Denis O’Hara served as a priest in the diocese of Achonry from his ordination in Maynooth in 1873 untill his death in Kiltimagh in 1922.

His first appointments after his ordination was as curate in the parishes of Kiltimagh and later Ballaghadereen. Fr. Denis became an ardent supporter of the Land League founded in 1878. He spoke at public meetings in Gurteen and Ballaghadereen (Nov 1879) and Curry (Jan 1880). These meetings were attended by crowds of up to 15,000 people.

In 1886 he was appointed Administrator of Ballaghadereen and it was understood that when Bishop McCormack of Achonry moved to Galway Diocese two years later, Fr. Denis was to become the new Bishop of Achonry. This did not happen however and instead he was appointed again to Kiltimagh, this time as Parish Priest. Here he involved himself in the work of the newly-formed Congested Districts Board helping to alleviate local poverty. He became a member of the Board in 1895. While in Kiltimagh he was responsible for the building of roads, schools, two parochial houses, a hospital and a church. He was also responsible for bringing the St. Louis Sisters to the town building them a convent. As if that was not enough, he then brough the railway to the east Mayo town as well.

With the Congested Districts Board he set up the Parish Committee system which gave Board money directly to people in the form of grants and prizes. This system was used throughout the entire west of Ireland by the Board. Fr. Denis also worked closely with John Dillon MP and was widely regarded as being one of the greatest social developers of his time.

Fr. Denis O’Hara was born in Cloonacool in 1850.

 

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Ghost Stories

Candlelight shadows on the walls and showers on the tin roof – Hollowe’en came early.

The kitchen was packed for stories of ghostly encounters, strange happenings, mystery horsemen and banshees.

Living History


A group of children from our local school visited to learn how people lived 100 – 150 years ago. The paraffin lamps and the fresh soda bread baked on the open fire, were a big hit! We were delighted to be part of their history project.

The children were facinated by many aspects of the cottage and the lives of those who lived there in the past. Were did they wash? how many bedrooms? and where did they go to use the toilet?

News-Living-History-900pxThe baking of a soda bread cake on the open fire was the real highlight of the visit. Few of the chilrden could imagine the amount of work and the few comforts that such a home contained in times past. The recipe for the soda bread was simple but the recipe for baking it in a metal oven surrounded by hot coals was more tricky!

 

4 cups of white flour
1 teaspoon of bread soda
I egg
A pinch of salt
1 ounce of butter
Buttermilk (to create a soft dough)

Baking take about 40 minutes.