As the school year came to an end, there has been quite a bit of action around the farm. First, I will announce that I finally have my logo finished and am so excited to see the finished result.
The other big activity around the farm is lately the continued problem of predators eating my birds. I came home one day and Fancy, my ameraucana was gone. There were left over feathers but her body was completely missing. Soon after that we started seeing a fox coming across the neighborhood. Dustin went out and purchased a live trap but so far everyone in the neighborhood has seen it but no one has been able to stop it. The neighbor down the street has lost all his chickens due to this fox.
The other issue is I not only lost Fancy but lost several quail have been taken. They were able to rip open the runs and have quite a buffet. I have learned a few things:
- predators do not just attack during the night. These attacks have been throughout the day.
- The predator almost knows when I leave for work and knows the house schedule.
- They will continue to return while there is still food.
- They can pull off the chicken wire.
Ironically, one of the quail I lost was a hen that I have retrieved from the back field. When we were culling the flock, Eli lost a couple of the quail. This probably happened over a month ago. Since that time, we could hear the quail all around the property but couldn’t catch them until one day one was in the front field. I chased after it and it flew over the pond not realizing how big the pond was. The poor quail fell into the pond and was trying to bob to the shore. I ran across to the other side of the quail and retrieve it before it drown. That was one tired quail.
I have learned that quail can only fly short amounts of time.
So, this morning we decided to try and see if the fox returned and as I was watching the backyard a racoon comes up to the barn. Very easily looks through the quail run crawls over the fence. I started yelling at Dustin- who was asleep, to go get it. Let’s just say Dustin is not quite as good of a shot right out of bed. So now the question is who is eating all my animals. I told Dustin if he doesn’t get the fox or raccoon, I am investing in a alpaca.
The pigs are getting big and am excited they can reach the water tank. I put it on cinder blocks this year because once they are full size they have to kneel to get water. This bunch of pigs is also some of the nicest pigs we have yet to have. They come when they are called and love to chew on my boot straps.
The last update is on my back field. Since the pond is in-between the barn and the back field, it is very difficult to get equipment back there. I was in talks with the neighbor to build a gate through their yard but it has been dry enough that we made a try and succeeded. This is the first time I have been able to mow down the field since we moved to the farm. The tractor did great and pigs and kids found a great resting spot under the trees in the middle of the field. I am thinking once the field gets high again I will make the kids a maze before mowing it all down again.