Sunday, May 29, 2011

Stuff done despite the rain

The weather decided to cooperate today.  It was windy and rainy this morning, Annmarie and I went in to start bringing back the feral cats we had fixed.  We had 10 cats fixed this weekend all feral.  Only two left, one at our house and one and Annmarie's mother's house.  Hoping to get those next month and our kitten problem will be gone!!  Yeah.  We will have almost 20 cats spayed or neutered on the property, that seems to be about the number that is needed to keep the mice away from the houses.  I suppose if we didn't live in the middle of 300 acres of CRP (undisturbed native grass fields) we wouldn't need as many, but we do so we will keep this number up.

Cattle guard prior to fixing the rails. 

Cattle guard after adding rails and hog wire panels.  

Sarah and I went out and finished fixing the rails for the cattle guard.  They used to have two boards bolted to them which I always thought was decorative, not so.  The rails kept the sheep from sneaking around the cattle guard.  So I added hog panels to make doubly sure that the sheep would not sneak around the wooden rails.  Sarah dropped a 2x12 on my tennis shoe foot.  The joys of working with an unwilling teenager.  Luckily, I can still walk.  Once the cattle guard was done we restretched the fence on the South side of the guard.  I would have done the North side but I needed some wire/T-post connectors and they were back at the house so I opted to do that another day.

I lost at least one more chicken today.  I will have to recount tomorrow night to get an accurate count for the new month.  They are disappearing during the day which means it is not a wild predator but a domestic predator.  The domestic predator was in my chicken yard snacking on chicken legs.  We are one less domestic predator tonight.  I will get the count tomorrow night and post it.  Not sure whether it is one or two chickens.

On the way up to the bone yard I noticed three different rock chucks scampering around the hillside.  The upper fence is almost laying down for about 50 yards.  The cows are going to be able to just step over it to get into the CRP.  That upper fence is in very poor shape, but since I haven't finished the fence around the house I cannot get up there.  Not until after the barn is repaired before I can start working on external fencing.
Horseshoe above door.  At this point I need all the
help I can get to protect the chickens. 

Traps as a visual predator deterrent!!  I think they will work (at least that is what I am telling the wife).

On the chicken theme Sarah and I mounted the traps along the chicken coop today.  They look very good.  Annmarie was not that impressed.  I know that all predators will see the wall and tremble!  Plus, I have three live traps set up outside the chicken yard tonight.  I baited them all with dead chicken wings and feet.  Sarah thought it was morbid to use the body parts, but I told her what was the best bait for catching a chicken killer?  Chicken!  Seemed pretty straightforward to me.