Thursday, June 1, 2017

Who is number one?

I told you about our Life on the farm not long ago, how we were down to one animal each and Stew was our only chicken, a spoiled one to say the least.

Well we have boosted our chicken numbers, actually saved a flock from an unexpected journey to chicken heaven. A few days ago a neighbor asked me if Miss Cindy wanted his chickens, heck I don't know but I'll ask her.

Cindy didn't really want any more chickens, said once Stew lives out her days and naturally goes to that "Big Barnyard in the Sky" that we will be out of the chicken business.

Old Red (the neighbor) said that he understood completely, he is tired of taking care of animals, five of these chickens are only about a year old and one, Gert is as old as Stew.

Old Red then said "I thought that I'd ask you first before I got rid of them" I asked him what he was going to do with them and his answer was "I'm just going to shoot them".......
Now our farm consists of seven chickens, One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Gert, and Stew, gazing over our vast flock I can easily pick out Gert and Stew but the numbered chickens I can't tell apart, you know because every chicken wants to be number one....

Tuesday was their first full day here and I found three eggs in the nesting boxes right where they should be, I guess all the bossing Stew is doing must be paying off, you would think that six chickens would gang up on Stew, but Stew is puffing up her chest, scolding, pecking, and keeping all the other chickens in line, I guess henpecking really works besides this is her turf.
Now for the rabbits and bunnies, the population seems to be exploding, I looked out the kitchen window and Stew had rabbits eating breakfast with her, the small bunny is still hanging out under my shop. And now there is a group of little ones about the size of your fist popping up here and there.

Cindy was trying to leave for work when she noticed one of the little bunnies under her car;

She yelled "Hey Jimmy, get your gloves and come catch this bunny, he needs to be out back" I'm up for a challenge but I know that catching a little bunny with my hands isn't going to happen.

First off bunnies are fast and I'm not, second bunnies have teeth and claws on their feet, and my leather gloves may or may not stop a bite if I did catch him, I really don't want bunny scratches up my arms nor do I want to blog about how I got my butt kicked by a bunny.

I knelt down and looked under the car, the bunny was off like a rocket straight into the garage, now I am in the garage trying to entice this bunny back out the door, sitting under the truck he just stares waiting for my next move, I wave my gloved hands like an air traffic controller pointing towards the door, but I guess he didn't understand my signals.

He dashed right past me to the Cub Cadet (my garden tractor) and hid underneath it, I can't reach underneath so I go to the shop vac and grab a couple of tubes to gently push him towards the door, I guess I could have simply raised the deck but the shop vac tubes seemed like a good idea at the time.

Just as I get down onto my belly and stick the tube under the deck of the mower, the bunny dashes between the golf cart and wall, I get on the golf cart and slide across the seat just in time to see him dash to the front corner of the garage, there is a five gallon bucket sitting in this corner and it is right next to the door.

The bunny is trying to squeeze behind the bucket, I am still armed with my shop vac tubes and I slide the bucket away from the wall expecting to see a bunny in the corner, but he has vanished, in my mind he must have dashed out the door, this is exactly what I wanted, so I close the door and go inside.

But then Cindy gets home and as she walks in the house she says "Hey Jimmy, did you know that a bunny is sitting on your mower?".......

Forty five minutes later I am still armed with shop vac tubes and a fishing net, the bunny has now vanished in the back corner of the garage, I find him in the opposite corner, he vanishes and reappears on the mower, when he vanished again I put away my bunny catching tools and bring out "The Big Guns"
I set a small live animal catching trap in the garage loaded with chicken scratch, three days later and the trap with all of the original scratch still sits untouched......I sure hope one of the little guys out in the yard is my elusive bunny.

Do you feed animals outside like rabbits and birds?

32 comments:

  1. We are like you, we feed the birds. We have six large hummingbird feeders on our patio. July and August it's tough to keep up with them. We also feed all the other birds that come around with wild bird seed. You can hear birds singing all day long around here.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

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    1. Good morning Sandee, isn't it amazing the different varieties of birds that will show up at your feeder.

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  2. We used to feed hummingbirds but the feeders attracted ants by the million. We used to put out seed for the birds but the sparrows kicked the seed out into the grass where they sprouted and the squirrels simply dumped the whole feeder in one fell swoop. I tossed peanuts out for the blue jays and had a seagull/crow fight on my hands. So ...... no, no we don't feed any wildlife anymore.

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    1. Hi Delores, it appears you had a lot of action while trying to feed the birds, not necessarily the crowd you wanted either, can't blame you for stopping.

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  3. LOL, those rabbits can be elusive! We feed the birds here, and everything they drop, the squirrels pick up.

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    1. Hi Bijoux, yes they can for sure, we haven't had many squirrel problems lately, but the rabbits are here for now ha ha.

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  4. I laughed so hard at your bunny chase! There are so many bunnies here this year, both cottotails and Jack rabbits. Faith loves to chase them, but so far has not caught any. Your rabbit chase reminded me of my lizard chase the other day. The dogs kill any lizard that come in their dog run and I hate to see it, so I chased a lizard with a box to put him in because if I catch them and drop them outside the fence, they are back in right away to get killed by dogs, dumb critters that they are. I finally caught this one and brought it over to where its relatives live. Hope it stays there. No, I don't feed the wild critters.

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  5. P.S. So glad that Stew handled the new arrivals and didn't get ganged up on.

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    1. Hi Inger, I imagine the lizard chase was eventful also, our Dixie also will kill them when she catches one, I prevent it as much as I can, but when they run straight to your dog......

      I think Stew is becoming leader of the flock, it is working better than I anticipated at first.

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  6. HAHAHA! Yes I've seen it all. I shewed a bunny away once and a Hawk grabbed it about 2 feet from me and had it for dinner. I live in a neighborhood inside the city. I have seen Deer, raccoon, opossum, fox, White bunnies, snakes, and the latest....A turkey running past the house. Its exciting to see them and the neighbors will all run out to take a look as well. If any animals stays in my yard too long, they are named. Now if I can just get a kitten to wonder up.
    Lisa

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    1. Hey Lisa, it sounds like you quite a mixture of animals there, it's fun to be able to watch them, we sure enjoy it here.

      Oh yes I have seen how they gain names, once they do then you want to protect them.

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  7. We toss out a scoop of feed for our chickens and guineas and turkey every evening. Once they fly up in the trees to roost (they shun the special chicken house Hick built for them), the squirrels help themselves. Last night, there were 8 squirrels feasting on the ground, while our dogs and the neighbor's mutt laid in the yard unaware.

    The dogs had been chasing a rabbit earlier, but it evaded them and calmly hopped across the front yard while they frantically yelped and sniffed around the outbuildings. Those dogs are good at digging, though. The yard is full of holes, and every now and then they bring a dead baby mole up on the porch.

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    1. Hi Val, the rabbits seem to clean up all the leftovers here, not to mention what shows up after dark, the dogs here don't pay them any attention anymore, either they feel outnumbered or they are just used to them ha ha.

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  8. Rabbit wrangling. Sounds like a fun way to spend the day. I have lots of wild rabbits in my neighborhood...see 3-4 at a time several times a day. They do feed under my bird feeders in the winter time and on greens in my lawn during the summer. I love them!

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    1. Hi Jean, the rabbits are entertaining to watch, we don't mind them being around here as they are hurting absolutely nothing.

      Greens in the summer and bird seed in wintertime sounds like they have it made at your place.

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  9. I once kept rabbits, but that was something like fifty years ago. Multiplying rabbit families forced me to end my association with them. Oh happy days! Now all I have to contend with are squirrels and I hate them.

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    1. Good morning Valerie, rabbits sure multiply quickly, were you keeping them as pets?

      Squirrels can be a nuisance, especially when you are feeding birds, they do simply take over.

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  10. "bunnies have teeth and claws on their feet"
    seems a little unusual, all the bunnies I knew only had teeth in their mouths (*~*)
    I used to feed birds in my yard until I went out one day and found the yard ringed with cats, about a dozen, up on fences and neighbour sheds, just waiting for the feeding spectacle.I'm pretty sure they were only there to watch, but I stopped feeding the birds anyway.

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  11. P.S. I like that pretty speckled hen, does she give speckled eggs?

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    1. Hello River,"bunnies have teeth and claws on their feet" It looks like I asked for that one, I will say I haven't found any bunnies with teeth on their feet yet ha ha.

      The cats found out your feeding schedule, but like you said I'm sure they were only there to watch.

      That would be neat if she laid speckled eggs, all of these chickens lay brown eggs some a darker brown.

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  12. Yep, I'm afraid I'm a soft touch when it comes to feeding wild critters. If I sit very patiently, the birds will eat from my hand. I LOVE it!

    If that bunny had whipped your butt, you could have always claimed it was a Killer Rabbit, like the one Jimmy Carter encountered when he was president. :)

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    1. Hey Susan, if that bunny had turned on me I would have been forced to do a Killer Rabbit post ha ha.

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    2. Or you could "lobbeth thy Holy Hand Grenade on the count of three" (Monty Python)

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    3. That could be an option River ha ha

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  13. Little big ears did you in?? Cuteness counts as much as brains in bunny land. So glad Stew has maintained her top bird position in the yard. Love your soft hearts.
    I feed birds when the weather is bad and hummers in the summer. Right now I am battling a huge red bellied woodpecker that has a sweet tooth and hangs from the hummer feeders slurping away. I wouldn't mind but the little guys stay away and this year, Red brought two of his honking big pals with him.

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    1. Hey Patti, those little guys are fast, yes Stew is definitely leader of the flock right now. We have had no problems at all.

      I have never seen a woodpecker drink from a hummingbird feeder, that has to be a sight for sure.

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  14. The only animals around here are the birds and gophers. We feed the birds, not the gophers.

    Well, and it's illegal to feed alligators.

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    1. The gophers tend to be a problem here too, maybe you could introduce them to the alligators, that way you aren't feeding them per se.

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  15. I'd be right there with you. I have 5 chickens now, but I would have taken five more to keep them out of the crosshairs.
    R

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    1. Hey Rick, I couldn't leave them to that fate, in the short time that they have been here, they have given us over a dozen eggs, I think they are happy.

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  16. Great story Jimmy! It sounds like that little bunny was messing with you. There are tons of rabbits around here, but there is no need to feed them. They eat everything in sight. Lawns, gardens, etc. They don't bother us at all. We have some "Mexican Heather" planted around our place, they seem to eat that before anything else. Unfortunately, most of the rabbits around here seem to end up as a meal for the hawks, kites, and coyotes in the area. We have a couple of hummingbird feeders and they seem to be pretty popular.

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    1. Thank you Pat, actually I think you are right on the bunny messing with me, and end result with most of them here too because the predators are plenty here also.

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