February 13, 2017 FARM NEWS

Overcast , just below freezing, light wind, a pleasant day though. The usual Monday morning view of the garden.  Still frozen.

Overcast , just below freezing, light wind, a pleasant day though. The usual Monday morning view of the garden. Still frozen.

The old horse Marie to the left being harassed by the young stallion Leucan.

The old horse Marie to the left being harassed by the young stallion Leucan.

Tuesday was the rainy, warm day.  Not too much of a problem for us though the roof on the one chicken hut leaked a bit and there was a flood in the corner of the other hen house.  The chickens do a very good job at tracking the moisture well beyond where it came in.  Some extra straw thrown down made it much better. The biggest problem came when trying to drive the car out as there was a thick layer of snow that was perfectly fine for driving on when still well frozen but of course with all the rain the car tires just mushed right through and could not grip and shovelling and a bit of sanding was needed.

The opossum eating scraps and cat food from the kitchen compost bucket.  He looks quite well filled out, well fed, lots of cat food, nice sharp teeth and those are both his front legs. He was unmoving and quiet.

The opossum eating scraps and cat food from the kitchen compost bucket. He looks quite well filled out, well fed, lots of cat food, nice sharp teeth and those are both his front legs. He was unmoving and quiet.

After taking the compost bucket away.  Our old cat 'Whitey' has been sleeping in the box on the left and has been there the whole time just ignoring the goings on around him.

After taking the compost bucket away. Our old cat ‘Whitey’ has been sleeping in the box on the left and has been there the whole time just ignoring the goings on around him.

It has been a week of interesting wildlife sightings. Earlier in the week an opossum, a resident here, and often seen, hurried off from eating the cats food at our front door when I went out. I try not to leave the cat food dishes out too long at night so as not to be feeding the opossum or even a raccoon as happened last winter.  This is quite a large plump opossum that appears to be well fed.  Then on Thursday early afternoon we saw two fox in the pasture to the east of our house not 100 feet away. we were inside. One was significantly smaller and darker in colour and followed the other. the other was normal fox size and barked a couple of times as if calling to the smaller one.  Last week a single fox was spotted in the neighbours corn field to the west, at dusk, as the chickens were being shut up for the night.  On Friday evening about 9:30 Aerron spotted a single coyote sitting on the field lane down the hill to the east of our house.  He was sitting watching the two horses, the two mares Nell and Marta. The horses are in no danger from coyotes and the coyotes around here would not likely even consider  horses for potential meals.  Some coyotes with maybe more wolf genes might be inclined to do so but coyotes and wolves will go after the easiest caught prey.  Mice and rabbits first and foremost. But one more opossum incident on Saturday evening when I photographed one obstinate opossum eating cat food again on the porch at the front door refusing to move without some gentle persuasion from the corn broom, kinda gently swept away only to return searching for more cat food an hour later with another opossum..

The kale is looking really drab now but some leaves are still quite useable.

The kale is looking really drab now but some leaves are still quite useable.

The great ice storm for Sunday morning turned out to be a bit of snow and a bit of rain, pretty much no freezing rain. We got quite wet when we moved the duck house at around the noon hour.  We levered it up on to a set of wheels, hooked it to the Honda Pilot and dragged it carefully up to beside the hen house where we manoeuvred it into position with pry bars and boards for sliding it on.  Much better spot and now we’ll put in a light on the same timer as for the chicken house lights.  Hopefully we can get the ducks back to laying eggs again soon.

The duck house newly repositioned is on the right, the large straw bale covered  at centre and the chicken house to the left. The chickens door is shut, they won't much go out yet, might open it after lunch but the ducks door is open and the ducks are still inside.

The duck house newly repositioned is on the right, the large straw bale covered at centre and the chicken house to the left. The chickens door is shut, they won’t much go out yet, might open it after lunch but the ducks door is open and the ducks are still inside.

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