We feed a heck of a lot of different animals here. I don’t mean chickens and ducks and geese – I mean those free loaders we didn’t intend to raise. Wild birds of all sorts, mice, gophers, and other little creatures we don’t see; some, I’m sure, we don’t even really want to know about. We are an open air farm, so to speak, so some of this is to be expected. Over the weekend, we had two funny run-in’s with thieves and scoundrels.
Thieves: Mice – well rodents in general , are the worst! We have this one gopher that actually follows the RCW around the field. He makes a hole right under the back bumper, where we have the pvc feeder, and scarfs up all the leftovers from the chickens. The first couple of times we moved the RCW, I was thinking, “Ha! He’ll have trouble finding them here!” Then, the very next day, there would be his little thief’s hole right back under the bumper. How does he know right where to surface? He must hear the chickens scratching or something. Then there’s the mice. They are getting more and more bold around the chickens, especially in the evenings as the chickens are getting sleepy and starting to roost. We can see them run away with their little mouths full of chicken feed when we open the coops to put everyone to bed for the night. Cheeky buggers. Well – yesterday, one of the Rhode Island Reds caught a mouse, right before closing up time. I knew something was weird when I walked down to the RCW last night and saw that all the chickens were out – when normally they would have been mostly a-roost by then. I didn’t know what was happening, though, until I realized that there was one hen who was being chased by quite a few chickens; I caught a quick glimpse of little mouse she was hauling around in her beak. Everyone always wants a piece of that fresh meat. Chickens are not herbivores- let me tell you. I tried to keep the other chickens away from her so she could just eat it up; there wasn’t going to be any roosting while that mouse was still available as a snack. Took a bit, but she finally choked it down and everyone decided the fun was over. Finally! If they’d only be a bit more proactive on the rodent patrol we wouldn’t have these thieving issues.
Scoundrels: For some days now, we’ve had something tipping over the chicken feeder in Vicente’s Flock’s night coop. Whoever it was, was knocking over the feeder and then gobbling up as much food as they could get out of it. I thought it might be a gopher coming in up under the feeder to get the food, because there is a hole right by it. Sue and I have been having to fill that one way more than normal due to this. Saturday I was checking on it and trying to do a bit of cleaning up of their little coop area when one of the goats decided to push me out of the way to get to the chicken food. This isn’t all that unusual, because they really do like it- so I just pushed him back out and latched the door. I went out of the enclosure to turn on the water and came back to this sight (photo at left on the desk top view). “What the heck?” That is Thumper in the chicken door as far as he can possibly go. Do you know how hard it was to get him out of there??? Finally was able to do so, and move the then tipped over feeder beyond his reach. Turned around to check for eggs in the hay – because the chickens have been finding interesting little places to lay outside of their immediate enclosure – perhaps due to goats invading their spaces. Came back and saw this (photo at right on desk top view). That is Scooby going in to see if he can score some chicken feed. Scoundrels! Who would have ever thought they would care enough to try to crawl in through the chicken door? Those crazy goat boys. Oh well, they have been foiled for the time being :). I’m sure they’ll find other mischief to get into – just give them a day or two. We’ll try to catch them in the act and share it with you… most of the time its pretty funny, if a bit frustrating. Until then, as always~
Thanks for reading.
Today’s Weather: Well – that dang wind is rather persistent. We have pretty constant wind between 18 and 30 mph. The high today was 73°, right now (5:21 p.m.) it is 59° with 54% humidity and 55% chance of rain, thunder and lightning. The rain is supposed all through the day tomorrow and then windy again on Wednesday. Supposedly, March is our windy month. Today the sunrise was at 6:33 and the sunset will be at 6:24.
Egg Report: Saturday – 43 chicken, 3 duck, 0 goose. Sunday – 36 chicken, 3 duck, 1 goose. Monday – 41 chicken, 3 duck, 0 goose