It has been a strange winter and we have had more than our share of cold and snow, but a couple of days ago, when it was warm out... a balmy 20 degrees, we got a bit of wet, heavy snow that helped me answer a couple of questions that had been tormenting me. One thing that was still puzzling me was the mystery of who killed Blue-ster Rooster back in December. It's not like I have been lying awake at night, pondering about it, plotting my revenge....OK, maybe there has been a little revenge plotting...but mainly I wanted to know who the culprit was in order to keep the rest of the flock safe. I couldn't figure it out, until the wet snow last week revealed the secret.
Winding along the chicken run...
Back and forth along the fence...fox tracks!
It seems as though a fox has been frequenting our barnyard in search of a free meal. Ever since the rooster-eating incident the rest of the flock has been locked up tight at night, and there is electric fencing along the perimeter, so at least the girls are safe. It is still a bit nerve-wracking knowing that there is something prowling around trying to eat your friends. After mentioning the tracks to a neighbor, they commented that they had seen a large Red Fox sitting across the road from our place several times in the early morning hours....this may have been useful information a few weeks ago, but, whatever, mystery solved!
The other thing that had me baffled was the huge amount of barn cat food that we have been going through. We had a similar problem over the summer and it turned out that there was a
GIANT RAT large opossum
that had been gorging itself on our dime. But this time I was leaning toward another suspect. I was pretty certain that it was an inside job. You may remember a couple of months ago we acquired another barn cat. He was "gifted" to us by an anonymous donor (dumped at our farm). He was kind of small, and needy, and meowed constantly. Being that I have "Sucker" tattooed on my forehead, I felt sorry for him and we kept him..
Well, Helios Maximus Manmonster has grown, and is less talkative than he used to be, but he sure likes to eat....a lot. The way the food was disappearing I was beginning to wonder if I could afford to continue feeding him.
"Nom, nom, nom!"
"I'm innocent I tell ya, innocent!"
I have witnessed, on many occasions, the fact that Manmonster does consume a disproportionate amount of food compared to the other barn kitties. As it turns out though, in this instance I was misguided in my suspicions-he was falsely accused.
I found supporting evidence in the snow.
Opossum tracks all around the barn leading into the feed area. They' re baaack.Yet another one of the creepy little naked-tailed varmints has moved in and is taking advantage of the free buffet. I'm not sure what I am going to do about this breaking news, but I am certainly not going to feed that mangy critter for the rest of the winter! I have been putting the cats food away after evening chores. But, as cold as it is, I hate to take food away from the legitimate borders for the night just to banish the freeloader. I think I see a live trap in Mr. 'Possum's future!
"I told you I was framed!"
Side note/off topic.
Some of you have sent me messages or emailed me because you were concerned about my lack of blogginess as of late-we are fine, not to worry, we have just been dealing with a lot of serious issues concerning our aging parents over the past couple months and I have been a bit preoccupied with that. Things are getting better and we are trying to get back to 'normal'.....or my twisted version of normal anyway. Thank-you for the kind thoughts : ). Have a lovely weekend everyone!