Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Farm 1 Predators 6

Possum-chicken killer


This sucks, lost another adult chicken.  Am down 2 adult laying hens.  I can see my production dropping off by the day.  Sarah found another carcass today tucked under the old house back porch.  I had her count chickens again and she said we were down to 25.  I panicked cause that means more than one chicken died so I just got back from checking on the sheep, chasing a lone hen, who has decided the barn is her new home, back into the chicken coop and counting all my chickens again.  I counted 27 with 2 of those being roosters.  This means one of the roosters got eaten and one hen.  The roosters don't count as they don't produce so no big loss there.  I had to chase one cat out of the coop.
New and improved wire enforced predator proof enclosure

Rock and wire enforced water run-off channel

  So now everyone is a suspect in the chicken wars.  To top it all off, Annmarie found a dead baby weasel in our front yard.  It was only about 8 inches long so not an adult.  I am sure it was a victim of the cats.  But if we get a weasel family moved in it is going to be hard to kill them off.  Worse if they get a taste for chicken.  So I am going to buy two more live traps on Friday.  We set the one trap we have up and I locked the chicken yard gate so that anything that wants to get in has to crawl over the fence and under the electric fence wire.
No problem for a weasel but anything else won't be able to do it.

 I think on Friday night I will open the chicken gate into the yard and put my live trap right up against the opening so I can catch any critter going into the chicken yard.  If that doesn't work, I may just run the electric fence to the trap so that any critter that tries the opening will get shocked.  That will have to wait until the rain stops which right now it is pouring outside.

Sheep out in CRP where they do not belong.

Upper pasture in the Spring

Red tailed Hawk babies and their mother