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Sunday, October 23, 2011

Maybe good news?

You know I have been worrying myself sick with trying to figure out how to afford chicken defense. When I have the torn rotator cuff operation, I know my arm will be strapped down firmly to my body. Of course, the back problem and torn meniscus in my knee will make straining to do things impossible and possibly injure me more. So, taking care of the hens, even getting their safe cage into the house has been a puzzle.

Charlie found about a hundred feet of wire fencing on the road or in the trash, forgot which. He offered it to me for the hens.  He does not want to spend gas to drive 50 miles in his tiny car. I knew this, so I told him if he would come here and bring it, I would give him boxes of food and even dehydrate whatever he brought all ready for me to cut....washed!

I think all my problems have been solved except for getting him to say when he will be here. I will be stressed if he plans to come the day before surgery. He does not understand that, I imagine.

A very generous follower sent me a cage last year, very expensive and a wonderful gift. I cried because she cared. However, it had a few problems (too small for three hens) for keeping hens safe 24/7. It will be perfect for one hen who is broody next spring. If the girls slow down their egg-laying around their third birthday, they can still be mothers since I have people offer me fertile eggs.

I raised day-old chicks in the house once. It was such a novelty, but NO MORE if I can hens to do the job.  Now, I have the perfect thing for a broody hen.

Two other people helped buy two rolls of the hardware cloth, that will be used also, by the way. But, I was still so short of what I needed. This roll from Charlie will finish the job! Okay, not true. Boards or pipes to build a 10'x10' frame for the top to hold the wire are still needed. But, I have pipes from the arbor built years ago and now fallen down. Boards will be easy to come by. Or, at least they will not be so expensive.

You are saying, "See, just wait and things will come." Please, don't. This is an exception to my waiting for things I need.  Mostly, almost always, things don't happen this way, but thanks to all.

Raccoon Update
I think the raccoon is back. Last night, something munched on a pineapple that was outback. Charlie sent it to the chickens. With great effort and enormous pain, I brought the live trap to this side of the house. Since I could not see how to set the trap, left it for later tonight when I quit hurting and take a larger flashlight outside.

On Saturday, a guy with hens told me he caught 14 raccoon in 8 days or something like 8 days. They had been eating his chickens. He had no more problems! I caught three grown ones and three babies last fall.

How I got my trap
About fifteen years ago, my friend J borrowed this from another military friend and lent it to me. When James moved, he did not get the trap, so I have no idea who it belongs to. He also lent me tin snips and a magnet on a stick for nails after roofing. This is another reason I do not lend things. I never see them again.

Thanks, Terre Haute

Your turn
If you have or have had predators, how do you handle them and your livestock security?


  1. Word spreads around here and everybody puts out traps and/ or poison for racoons or possums. When caught live they are shot. Some release them elsewhere but not many.
    We have not had a probem since we on't have small animals yet. I don't look forward to dealing with this kind of thing.

  2. LindaM, having a dog helps. Everyone said to get a coon dog. I really want a Border Collie, but, of course, I cannot afford dog upkeep, just like I cannot afford cat upkeep. I want some lion scent to frighten raccoons! I don't want to put out poison because if they decided to get in my attic as they die, I have a I don't know if your dog is an indoor or outdoor dog, but mine will always be outside and have a doghouse right next to the chicken's pen. I want a puppy to learn to grow up with chickens. Also, a Border Collie needs to work. He could work at gathering hens. Of course, that might terrify them since they were afraid of a six week old kitten. They would have gotten accustomed to each other eventually. Possums are a problem here, too, right in the city.

  3. LindaM,
    Plus, I have the back and side fenced. The retaining wall is so high it is a deterrent. That leaves both sides of the house over to the boundary to fence, a cheap job, but not one I could afford. It is illegal not to have a dog under your direct control, so dogs need fences and leashes. I won't chain a dog.


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