Battles, battles, everywhere

So far this growing season we’ve waged war on rats and flies. Thanks to tacky strips and owls, I’m happy to declare Andie’s Farm the victor in both. The owls are so used to me being outside, chasing the chickens and ducks into their respective bedrooms, that the mated pair is completely unperturbed by my presence. They’ll fly over my head, and sit on a pole three feet away from me and just stare. I love to watch them, especially at dusk when I can actually see them, but their jet black eyes make them look pretty intimidating. If I stare at them long enough, I start to worry they’re about to launch straight at my face. I was able to get some amazing pictures of them since they aren’t scared of me at all.


I refuse to take a picture of a weasel.

But despite our yard being an active hunting ground, I interrupted a weasel attack just after dawn yesterday morning. I went to let the ducks out of their box, and to my horror I found three of them snacking away on a freshly deceased rescue duck. Somehow they managed to open the door to the duck’s box and pull one out. It absolutely broke my heart. I ran back inside to get the small .22 cal pistol Gene just bought me because I can’t shoot the rifle with my arm in cast again, but the stupid weasels were smart enough to get in the pool with the floating duck. I didn’t want to put a bunch of holes in our pond liner, so I opted for my second weapon of choice, a shovel. I actually had to take a swing at the feasting weasels before they finally bothered to be scared of me and run under the duck’s box. They kept peeping out from under the box, one at a time, and hissing at me while I tried to clumsily fish the poor duck out of the pond one handed. Happily, Gene was able to shoot one of them later on in the afternoon, and he also reinforced the living quarters to make it weasel proof. I haven’t seen the other two since.


In way more pleasant news, I was able to sell all four of the female rabbits after listing them on craigslist. Now it’s just Harvey and his son, Melman. Since I only have two rabbits to keep track of, and the yard is now fenced in, I let both of them out this afternoon to enjoy the sunshine. Every time poor Melman found a nice shaded spot in which to recline, a curious chicken would discover him and take a peck. The gold-laced Wynadotte chickens actually chased him around the yard for a bit, which was hysterical considering Melman outweighs them by a good 20 pounds. I was sad to part with the does, but I’m confident they went to good homes. I almost changed my mind when Tank gave Gene a good-bye nuzzle while he was handing her over to the new owner, but I think we did the right thing. The does went in pairs, so I was really happy about that.


Now that I no longer have to worry about having enough space to house six Flemish Giant rabbits, my focus can shift to figuring out where we’re going to put the impending goat nursery, since we’ve decided with 100% certainty that Ariel is pregnant. I’m 60% positive that Buttercup is too, and 40% positive that Fiona is incubating one as well. I’m pretty much basing my assumptions on the fact that all their udders appear to be filling up with milk. At this rate, it wouldn’t surprise me if Woolimina popped out a half goat, half sheep baby just to fit in.

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