Friday, October 28, 2011

One fewer stupid chickens

The chicken thief came through again last night. I was awakened by the death-squawks of one of the last of Steve's chickens that were too stupid to go inside when it got dark. I looked at the clock - 3:40am. I did my wifely duty and got out of bed (Steve was of course at work) to do a night-time patrol. I didn't find anything. This morning, however, I see a pile of feathers on the other side of the tractor from the chicken coop. Steve had parked both the pickup and the tractor next to the coop for easy access when this weekend, and there, right in front of my nose, was a pile of feathers. I was so focused on the coop when I went out the gate that I didn't even look over there. Stupid chicken must have roosted on the tractor for the night. The carcass was gone, which suggests that it might be a female dragging it back to her kids. Raccoons are the worst. They are sooooo hard to get rid of. Tonight, we're setting up the live trap and baiting it with the horses' sweetened grain mix. Hopefully the cats won't like the grain mix, but the raccoon should think it smells great. Wish us luck.

Yesterday afternoon, I had to move the hay truck. It had been parked next to the barn. Again, for easy access this weekend when the unloading was scheduled to take place. When I went out to move the horses (orchard to barn for evening feeding), I noticed Sarah standing at the gate to the barnlot and yelling. I asked her what she was doing, and she pointed out to me that the pasture renter's cows had discovered the hay. They had pulled one bale down and broken it open. Once it was gone, the couldn't reach any more, so they just stared eating the lower level of bales from the ends in. They ate one almost half or one bale and probably 1/3 of two more bales. So, I moved the beast of a truck. Yes, I got it started. No, it wasn't easy. Yes, it steered - sort of. No, I didn't run over anything, although that was due more to prior planning than to functioning brakes. I was mindful of Steve's ruminations over the brakes on the truck and moved real slow and coasted it into it's current parking spot. The thing steers like a drunken tank so I'm not sure how Steve's going to get it out - I pretty much just steered a great big circle, but I'm sure he'll manage. He's coming to an understanding with the truck, after all.

Right now, he's out working on the fence with Mr. President. He's hoping they will be able to finish this weekend. Since the hard part is done (the posts are all driven), he might even be right. Pulling the wire actually doesn't take all that long. Although it kind of looks like rain out there, so maybe not. Time will tell.