Saturday, October 13, 2012

Of Killing

We were forecasted to get a killing frost last night.  The predicted low was supposed to be 25 degrees, so Cubby and I went out to the garden to gather up the rest of the tomatoes, such as they were.  He thought it was fantastic that he was finally given the go-ahead to actually pick the green tomatoes, after a summer of being foiled from doing just that.  But all for naught.  It never got below freezing last night, getting only to 33 degrees at the house.  There was a little bit of frost in the higher pasture, however, which Cubby thought was very exciting.

On a less positive note, we have had some more chicken attrition.  The MiL got home from work around dusk last night and found Leda (the only dog out and not tied up at the time) running frantically in front of the fence to the ram pasture, where the chicken coop is. When the MiL came in, she told A. he had better get his gun and go see what was wrong.

When he got out there, he found a hen dead in front of the coop and caught a glimpse of a fox running off.  He didn't get a shot at it, though.  The chickens were all scattered, and still were this morning, so it's hard to get an accurate count of the survivors.  A. only saw one of the three chicks this morning, though, and the MiL noted when she was prepping the dead hen for cooking that it wasn't laying, so I think what happened was the fox got in the coop and grabbed two of the chicks plus the mother hen--which were still sleeping in the nesting box on the floor of the coop-- but hopefully none of the others.

Otty was left outside last night to run free and guard the coop from that same fox, so we hope it won't come back.  Or, if it does, she'll kill it.  The dogs are the reason we don't have a lot of problems with predators, and the only reason that fox got near the chickens is because that area had been closed off from the dogs so the sheep would stay put.  Any area in which the dogs can't patrol is obviously vulnerable, however, so we'll have to make sure they can get in there more regularly.

And that concludes our country update for the day.  Over and out.


Sherry said...

There is a pesky woodchuck that lives under the shed in my backyard. I would love to take my shotgun to it, but unfortunately, that isn't allowed where I live.

Daisy said...

I did the same thing with tomatoes; brought in everything of decent size before our so called killing frost. A week later I went out to cut a few green onions, and I came back with my apron pockets full of newly-ripened cherry tomatoes. Yellow pear variety, to be exact.
Go figure.

FinnyKnits said...

Our dog, Jada, is the only reason we don't have the gopher, squirrel, vole, possum and raccoon problems that everyone else has.

Girlfriend is a predator of the highest order.

THIS is why it's great to have dogs.