Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Cats. Not the Broadway kind, either...

Well, was out getting the weekly cleaning finished, that I had put off for a few days more than a week... House was a bit cluttered with all the boxes and such I have for recycling, getting the last stray ornament or decoration snagged and boxed, and then...

The chicken house.

I have no idea how those birds can get rid of as much... poo... as happens in a relatively short period. Icky, even.

BUT, with the handy dandy Christmas present I received, (I asked for a scoop shovel, made of 'plastic', as it wasn't as heavy), I was able to clean up the mess in about half the time or less. The chickens were very appreciative, even started fluffing and rolling in the new cedar. I opened the hen pen door, and out they went, clucking and racing each other into the pasture. The llamas were in the pasture too, watching the chickens, probably considering how best to avoid them while grazing. (For some reason, the chickens think llama nose is a great thing to sample. The llamas consider this fair grounds for stomping. I really can't blame the llamas.)

Having cleaned, and fed the animals, I went back in the house. Phone rang, "can you cover an extra shift? Our afternoon volunteer at the substation is sick." After checking if Husband needed the truck, (he didn't), I said fine, and started to hustle about getting things finished up before I left. Husband then decided to make a quick trip over to visit and get something from a neighbor.

Fine, have fun. I went about cleaning up some breakfast dishes, and then when I was putting them in the sink, when I realized Husband was out in the pasture, walking to the back. The llamas were watching him (I thought) intently, and for the life of me, I couldn't figure out what he was doing! Finally, I checked, one of those benign "Whatcha doin'?" questions.

"We have another bobcat."

Oh, G*d.

He saw my expression, and quickly amended, we didn't lose any chickens, they were trying to fly over the fence, that's why I noticed. He trotted back to the house, and loaded some bird shot. After a couple of booms, the 'cat was hightailing it waaay away. I don't know that Husband actually hit it, but I think Mr. Bobcat was probably going to make absolutely sure it didn't become a rug. (I am happy to have that thought encouraged...)

So, we carefully put the birds back into the pen, closed the door, and decided that we'll have to keep a gimlet eye on them for a few days. The chickens were very unnerved, and I think they might not be so eager to go outside for a few days.

At least they will have clean accommodations for a while.

Note: Someone asked if my llamas would attack a bobcat. The answer, from what I saw, was "no". They watched the bobcat, the bobcat watched them, and that was about it. Heck, the bobcat even just watched Husband, so Mr. Bobcat wasn't exactly a fading Violet. But the llamas, they just, hmm, yep, bobcat. Oh, look, fresh hay.

So, now you know.


  1. Those whacky llamas! Glad your chickens are enjoying their fresh bedding. Next "warm" up we have here I need to scoop out our coop too. Currently dealing with arctic-like conditions, so for now just trying to keep them warm enough and alive.
    Best of luck with that bobcat! I'm waiting and worrying for the first predator threat to appear with regards to our chickens. So far so good.........

  2. Yes, we had some problems when it was in the low twenties... I did, sadly, lose one, but I think possibly it was picked on by the others, and was off by itself. I was able to keep the rest healthy, and ok, so far, and the weather is improving... (If you consider going from black ice to a rain/slush mix an improvement.)

    *&%$#!!! Bobcat, anyway. Grrrr. And yes, continued good fortune with a predetor free zone.


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