Thursday, November 17, 2022

My Bad

Longtime readers of this blog will remember that we always left a fortex feeder in the pasture for the wild things.  

Skunk, fox, possums, raccoons, and sometimes, coyotes. 

We had animals of our own at the time, we just liked to watch the wildings, and yes, this goes against everything that animal rehabbers will tell you to do. 

We always saw it as a supplement for winter feed. 

I think it was wrong, now. 

But I also think it kept some of the animals alive. 
There is a particularly beautiful fox in the pasture in 2014. 
That was a very hard winter, but that fox is in good flesh. 

Recently, I have been watching a feral cat in the pasture.  It is large, and I am guessing it is a male. 
The only male here is Bullseye, and everyone besides Bully is all spayed and Bully is neutered. 
This cat has been coming to a feeder in the pasture where I leave garbage and 
cheap cat food. 

You can barely see him in this picture eating in front of the camera in the pasture. 

He is in the middle.  He is very elusive, but I will tell you something... 
I believe he it was HE who ran out of my garage yesterday when I went to collect the feed bowl at chore time.  I put away all feed bowls in the evening. 

In this first picture, Molly has seen the coyotes coming, and quickly leaves the pasture. 
Bullseye freezes... I think this is from hubris, not fright. 


These were taken by the pasture cam. 

This is the view from the porch. 

Note where foolish Bullseye is at this point. 

I went down there thirty seconds later, shooed the coyote off, 
and dumped what was left in the pan.  I am putting only cat food in it now, 
and I can tell you that a coyote came last night, ate for a minute, and then left most of the bowl. 
Any chicken carcasses (rotisserie) or other garbage is being put over the north fence line into the tree line of the now-empty pasture to my north.  

Saturday morning, I woke to find one of my three pasture gates standing open... I am sure I had not hooked it tightly and I am guessing a possum or raccoon came under it and pushed it open, but it worried me.  Coyotes can easily jump the fence, though... but an open gate would be so much easier. 
I lock all chickens up tightly at night, and the cats can get away. 

It's my dogs I worry about. 
Zoey never goes out without a leash on, even at 4 PM. 
Jester and Buddy are watched like hawks. 

If you make that big, you will see a coyote standing beyond the pasture gate, with Buddy oblivious to him.  I will say that it would never have happened with Lilly Ann, who made it her to business to never allow anything like that to happen here.  Zoey is also one to run at a predator like that. 

no more feeding in the pasture, to protect those here. 
I will continue to put some cat food out for the feral for a few weeks, until I can be sure he has found the food here in the outbuildings and can get enough to eat there. 

I took this last night. 
He was just waiting for me to finish chores so he could come up and get some cat food. 
He didn't much like it! 

One last thing... no foxes come now.  Our area is too built up, I think.  I have seen skunks (after not seeing them for a long time), possums, raccoons, and the same three coyotes.  Crows come during the day.  I am putting a camera back out in the yard tonight to make sure nothing is jumping the fence! 

Have a peaceful Thanksgiving, everyone! 

Sunday, November 6, 2022

A Month of Thanksgiving

Years ago, when I was still blogging daily... I participated in another blog's "Month of Thanksgiving".  Every day, we remembered something for which we were thankful. I may not be blogging daily, but I am still so thankful. 

Thankful that Keith left me the things he built... Big Henhouse, the arbor, the hayshed... all things that help me daily take care of everyone around here, or bring me beauty. 

Thankful for the dogs and cats that bring such joy to me. 

Thankful that the chickens get me up daily and get me moving! 

The beautiful colors have gone by here. 

The trees are mostly brown. 

On Thursday, we had something wonderful... 
2 1/2 inches of rain!  It rained all day long, it was wonderful!
I left the chickens in, it's hard on the old birds. 
Right now, I have only four birds who are laying daily... I don't know what happened to the other three 18 month old girls, but they are not laying.  Maybe the moult, but everyone appears to be over that. 

I am just glad I will have enough with which to bake. 

Last Sunday, I went to a mini-high school reunion, my graduating class tries to gather 
regularly.  I went with two other ladies.  
We had a chili testing!  It was a lot of fun, and fun guessing whose of the six chilis entered was the winner. 

Here I am with my classmate Larry sampling the chili.  The committee worked so hard to do this, and one lady made about 60 dozen different kinds of cookies and breads for our desserts! 
(don't know why this picture is so red, but I did have a red shirt on, as did Larry) 
It was so good to get out and see everyone.  The day turned out well, too, with about 40 classmates in attendance. 

There's our friend again. 
He has not been coming out so early, though, these past few days. 

For years, I kept a fortex in the pasture with some feed in it for the wildings. 
However, I have made the decision to start dumping the chicken carcasses (from Sam's) in the tree line to the north.  The coyotes can find them there, and there are no animals in that pasture.  
I had a camera there, because I dumped there while the sheep were here... and they found them easily. 
I have some cat food in the fortex right now, for the lone cat that is coming here to eat. 

Last Sunday, I realized the indoor door to the old hen house was agape... I tie it shut at night, because the 
door jamb is not right.  Then I shut the outer door that had a screen in it, and block it with several things. 
Raccoons had pulled the poultry wire back, climbed in, and killed one of the three remaining chickens in there. 
I put a camera in there that night and they came back. 
So... I stapled hardware cloth across where the poultry wire had been.... 
and darned if they have not tried to get in again!  This morning, it was bent back on either corner. 
I have enough hardware cloth left to staple it all the way to the top of the door, which is what I should have done in the first place. 

Then, yesterday morning, I found a piece of the trim laying across the porch of the big hen house, and you can see the corner of the door jamb... chewed almost through. 
I was ready to scream.  I had not been around to the side porch yet... they tried to get in there, and left me two huge piles of poop.  
I nailed that trim back on and then sprayed the whole door jamb with bitter apple spray. 
I am going to Petsmart this morning in a while to see what other kind of sprays I can find to keep them away. 

I blocked where they had chewed last night, and 
nothing was disturbed this morning.  I also put a cement block in front of the pophole on the side. 
I can't believe they didn't shove the paving stone aside and tear the pophole cover off. 
They can't, now.  But friends... it's a pain to do all this stuff every night. 
I had the little hen house blockaded, too.  

It just makes me mad I have to do this every single night. 
I pick up all cat food before dark, and I feed so little bird seed now, there is almost nothing left for the

The farmer from whom I buy pork told me that they have trapped and killed 38 raccoons in the last few months at his place, they raise 300 hens and the raccoons were laying waste to them. 
You know that I don't kill, but trust me, I am very close to trapping and releasing somewhere farther out, like our county fishing lake. 

Luckily, my traps are on loan to someone catching some ferals for neutering. 

Looks pretty comfy, huh?  

The rescue told me last night that they had only one inquiry for him, and they declined the person. 

She asked me if I was prepared to keep him as a foster (because they will cover his medical bills) and I told her YES.  
He is a doll, but he is an old doll. 
He sheds a LOT and has to go in and out a lot to potty. 
But he is also very loving and good with everyone here. 


This baby black rat snake was in the shop this week on one of the two very warm days we had before the storms came. 
I finally moved it to the side wall because Teenie would not leave it alone. 

We grow 'em beautiful here in Leavenworth County!