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. 

So...
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! 












4 comments:

  1. Hari Om
    Yeah... just getting a tad too familiar, eh? I hope the withdrawal of easy service will have the desired effect of reducing visitations. YAM xx

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  2. Good photos Mary Ann! Those coyotes look healthy! Aack

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  3. We have a pack that was coming too regular to our hay field. I have quit throwing the scraps out there.

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  4. We hear coyotes but RARELY see them here. I enjoyed seeing yours, but agree they are 'too familiar.' Michelle

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