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Walkabout Farm

Four chickens were lost to the fox (pair) when they were free-ranging on Sunday. Four out of eleven and all over 2 years old, not much nutrition for the fox, I'm afraid. The fox are more aggressive in the spring when there's a family to feed, I've noticed. Two years ago we free-ranged when Walter Jon Williams came over for dinner and lost two down by the pond. That was a Mem Day weekend, so it was exactly the same time of year, though those girls were young and stupid. These were old and senile. But still. My hardy group of 11 old chickens was still laying about six eggs a day. It was poor animal husbandry, not really the fox' fault. We've saved this bunch from hawks and fox over the past couple of years, so it's frustrating to lose them to a couple hours of inattention when we know better.

Meanwhile, we have this massive new chicken run that G-Dude put in. And I'm fighting off a woodchuck who wants to go under the fence and have some feed. Which I wouldn't mind so much if it didn't mean other animals (like a fox) could also go under the fence.

Chuck: tunnel under fence.
Frog: cinderblock blocks tunnel.
Chuck: tunnel under fence to the side of cinderblock.
Frog: second cinderblock blocks new tunnel.
Chuck: push apart two cinderblocks, walk into run.
Frog: push dirt in, push blocks back together.
Chuck: steal bowls used to scoop chicken feed.
Frog: accuse everyone in household of losing bowls or misplacing bowls that should always be on top of the metal cans that contain chicken feed. curse self for allowing other folks to handle chickens on frog's birthday as a present. frog should have done feeding and bowls would be there. Scoop chicken feed with hands and slop feed and mud all over self in rain-soaked run. Notice that a new tunnel is present. Use concreted post to put additional weight on cinderblocks. Scoop mud with boots back into tunnels.
Chuck: Dig around cinderblocks.
Frog: Scoop chicken feed with dustpan found in barn. No sign of bowls stolen by Chuck. Presumably they are under the coop along with several bricks from a previous struggle with a Chuck. Drag over additional concreted post and block new tunnel, scoop mud with boots.

You're now up to date with the latest woodchuck battle of wills. I've even tried tithing chicken feed on the ground in the barn so the woodchuck won't go into the run. No dice.

Here's the new run. The gate, unfortunately, is by the barn, which the Chuck finds most convenient. It was put there because of a construction "feature." You can also see the concreted posts that I'm using to discourage the Chuck. Note the thing looks like Ft. Knox. Until you tunnel under it. I'll trade arwensouth a skunk for a chuck any day.


Frog Out

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Comments

( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
karen_w_newton
May. 25th, 2010 12:38 pm (UTC)
Hilarious! Good luck with the Chuck! You should find the very old book THE EGG AND I (or rent the movie).
pale_chartreuse
May. 25th, 2010 12:54 pm (UTC)
Sounds like a great game of existential chess!
tcastleb
May. 25th, 2010 01:01 pm (UTC)
He he he he he he he he he. That is a lovely run, though.
arwensouth
May. 25th, 2010 02:36 pm (UTC)
Done! I don't have chickens, so chuck would probably be pretty bored here. And skunk has already tunneled under the fence and the front porch.
kelly_yoyo
May. 25th, 2010 07:38 pm (UTC)
Ah, that is one very determined woodchuck. I'm rooting for you, though.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )