I didn’t realize before owning a farm that my worst enemy would be the pause button. What precisely is the pause button? Things that prevent the work from getting done. What I didn’t anticipate was how many things would set mine off. I am normally pretty low maintenance, but since moving out here I’ve had a series of bad luck fit to rival A Series of Unfortunate Events. I will not be as verbose as Mr. Snicket though.
My pause buttons:
And lately my pause button has looked like a dang strobe light.
When the rain is frequent the pasture doesn’t get mowed. Throw in the fact that in this weather it has been sweltering. The humidity has been out of control. So, what does all this mean? Tractor work has been a no go. Yesterday I finally got some of it did some of it. Even with the mower deck all of the way up it was like trying to bushwhack through a jungle. Thank god the tractor is high quality and new. Otherwise it would have been insane.
Our egg collection has been down for a variety of reasons. If you look back then you’ll know I’ve been fighting some predators, molting, etc. I have accepted that with our set up it just might not be in the cards for consistent laying. Today, I picked up a dozen from over the course of 2.5 days. That is what I am talking about!
So I am not working at the moment, nothing beyond the farm that is, so during the week I can sleep in or not. Personally, I’d prefer if I sleep in less but for whatever reason that is when my body is hitting the snooze button.
Saturdays and Sundays are the only day Michael can sleep in. Not shockingly, I’d prefer to match his schedule. Lo and behold, now on this Saturday I’m up by 6 and can’t go back to sleep. Its like seriously karma? Have I done something this week?! I have a cleaner kitchen to show for it, but it was full of smoke (perhaps cleaning cast iron before 8 was a bad idea).. and my house is now hotter than it should be (door open releasing AC in order to remove smoke), but hey, gotta see the positives. The pasture is beautiful this time of morning, I rarely drink coffee because who has the time. I do. This morning. Seize the day y’all
I have posted that recently that I have a problem with pests on the farm. In my humble opinion all farms have a pest problem. It’s really only a matter of if the farm acknowledges it and how successful they are at managing them.
Well, I don’t like using poison if I can avoid it. It deters the natural predators who, in my opinion are far more effective than me. Not to mention it leaves me with dead rat bodies. Eeww. That leads to the others, the ones I refer to as my friends.
Others I know who keep a flock question my tolerance of it, since many who would prey on the mice would also prey on the birds or eggs. Things that eat mice often enough include snakes, foxes, raptors, cats, and dogs. My dogs are useless for that, so that’s not an option. While I intend to get some fixed feral cats at some point, I don’t have any yet. I don’t fear them the way others do, because even if Lucy doesn’t scare off the rats and crows, my dogs and other animals fear her very thoroughly. I think the others manage because she doesn’t care about them.
Which friend is it I am referring to then? I recently had a young rat snake in the rafters of my shed aka feed and tack room. I was thrilled to see him. This is not my first sighting of a scaly friend, but the last one was much older, more mature, more successful. I didn’t mind the youngling, it’ll grow. I waited patiently for it to get comfortably onto the platform laid on the rafters. I quietly got the feed and got out, hoping not to disturb him. Unfortunately the little one became too scared and has gone MIA. I know because of the recurrence of his diet. So, if you see him, SEND HIM BACK! Free Food!
A recent discovery has lead me to realize my adversary, the crow, is not the only one. I thought Lucy, the goose, was a guardian enough for many predators. I was mistaken. You see, they are not that incredibly sneaky. The ducks have been unintentional collaborators. Many who keep birds don’t know the ways of the waterfowl. Ducks are rooters. Kind of like pigs. They love to dig for worms. You want to scorch earth to dirt? Pen in some ducks.
That being said, its not surprising that they leave a bunch of holes. Hence why I have been ignoring all of these holes appearing in the duck pen. None of the birds were acting odd or harmed, and the holes seemed the same as they’d always been. This. Was. Lies.
We thought we were losing eggs to crows, but something had to be missing. When crows take them though, we often find the empty shells. There has just been some missing. Then I noticed the holes in hay. The thing is that ducks wouldn’t do that in hay, they’d be doing it in soil, where they’d expect to find worms or bugs. Mystery solved. We are losing eggs to rats AND crows.
I’ve never been particularly bothered by my roosters crowing. We literally have 4 of them, so these things happen. That was until recently. For whatever reason I’ve been waking up at three in the morning and can’t go back to sleep. It is incredibly annoying. The thing is, its not the roosters waking me up. The roosters don’t start until four am or later. So why are these things even related? They may not be the cause, but the roosters certainly make it impossible to go back to sleep. To that end… butchering 3 of these can’t come fast enough. Unfortunately they are at the age that they are going to have to be slow cook situation.
Why do I bother keeping one protector, and three walking bowls of chicken soup? I haven’t lost a duck yet!