Thursday, October 6, 2011

Farm 7, Predators 16

The other night Annmarie woke me up at 0230 to say that a chicken was squawking outside.  I usually sleep through this but it had woke me up also.  I was prompted to go outside and investigate.  In an attempt to be stealthy I dug around in the dirty laundry for some pants and only came up with some scrub pants and an old t-shirt to hastily don.  I ran downstairs grabbed a flashlight and paused to consider my weapon choices.  Normally, I would go for the Walther P-22 with laser, this being my normal weapon of choice for nighttime predator patrols.  But after the story of the dogs being afraid of leaving the front porch I figured I had better beef up the armament.  I grabbed the pistol grip shotgun and as an after thought shoved the .357 pistol in the side pocket of my scrubs.  Unfortunately, I did not take the time to tie the waistband of my scrubs.  By the time I got out to the chicken coop I had a very wide stance and my pants were riding on my thighs.  I spotted a possum six feet from the coop and blasted it with the shotgun.  I spent another 20 minutes scouting around with a very dim flashlight and repeated attempts to pull my pants up to my waist.  I attempted to go back to bed but had a hard time relaxing.  At 0530, I was woken up again by a chicken squawking and had to go out again and make a patrol.  No predators.  I did figure out that my chicken butler was not working again.  It had gotten unplugged so I plugged it back in hoping this would make it work again.  Not so much.  I had to lock the chickens up by hand last night.

Annmarie and I opened up the orchard to the ram pasture and chased the sheep over.  The horses didn't want to come but we left the gate open.  Of course, one of the little boy lambs keeps getting out of the orchard.  I have put him back in three days in a row.  I have no clue how he is getting out.  Hopefully, with them staying in the ram pasture his wandering days are over.  We chased the sheep up into the barn and caught the two biggest boys so they could be weighed.  There is an old wool scale in the barn, we caught the sheep and I sat them on the scale.  The oldest by (tag #2) weighs 90#, so he is going to be sold for lamb chops.  I already have  buyer.  Boy #2 (tag #3) only weighed 70# so he needs some more time before he is ready.  I had told the butcher 2 lambs, I will call today and tell them it is only going to be one this time around.  They are coming out on Saturday or Monday.  If they are in the area they add on the lambs so a special trip is not made for a few sheep.  It works well for both of us. 

We also spread out the straw in the lean to for the sheep to bed in this winter.  Sarah had cleaned it out earlier.  It is amazing how little room 21 sheep take up.  We could easily fit 60-70 sheep in the space we already have.  I want to get them into the barn next year.  It will just make things easier all around.  Far more room to work in and set up a sorting chute with a built in scale.