Oz Whiston writing as Oz Drummond (birdhousefrog) wrote,
Oz Whiston writing as Oz Drummond

Heidi Chronicles II

It's getting toward fall on Walkabout Farm. And long-time readers might know what that means. The woodchuck is hungry. The woodchuck is always hungry. The woodchuck intends to bloat himself on soy crumbles that belong to the chickens. And so the epic annual battle begins.

Several years ago, we proved that you can pile concrete blocks on an aluminum trash can filled with soy and the woodchuck won't be deterred. Somehow, he will knock them off. The urge to gorge himself drives him until, about the time it gets dark and cold in early November, he finally hibernates.

This year is no exception as another bachelor woodchuck has taken up residence again (along with the rats). We've put the smoke bombs down his hole and while he vacates for a day, he never leaves permanently. So once again, the feed cans are under daily attack.

One can contains soy crumbles, his preferred food. The other contains two-grain scratch, which he doesn't much care for. I don't know why. I just know that even the new woodchuck prefers the protein diet over the high fat one. (The chickens prefer the scratch, but need the soy to make eggs.)

So for a while there, the can was being tipped over or opened every day. Knowing that concrete blocks were of no use, I tried a 5-gallon gas can. Oddly enough, he can tip that over, too. But at one point, I put a gas can on the crumbles but not on the scratch. And he didn't get into the crumbles, tipped the lid off the scratch, and was disappointed.

He's gotten better at it though. Really good, once he figured out where the crumbles were and now as the days have grown shorter. He's desperate for crumbles. Five-gallon gas cans, full or half-full have been found lying on the ground and the can tipped over. Argh. I do NOT want a broken plastic gas can.

So I got clever too. I started to barricade the trash cans with gas cans. As long as they're mostly full, I can put two around the base of the cans and one on top of the crumbles. And put the extra LP tank against the cans too. And a huge bag of pine shavings that's on a pallet. AHA! The woodchuck can't really get in close enough to get the leverage to tip the gas can off the crumbles.

Unless, of course, one of the chicken helpers decides both cans should have a gas can on top and he or she removes one of the ones from the base, giving him access to knock the other one off and get into the crumbles can. Note to self: make sure the rest of the household knows The Plan.

This is fall around Walkabout Farm. The pitting of human intelligence against the raw drive of a woodchuck's need to gorge himself.

Frog Out
Tags: farm, heidi update

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