Life on the farm....

In a recent post I mentioned the damage that rabbits do by girdling the base of a plant.  They usually work on shrubs and anything special like my clematis I have wire collars around the base.  But this year they have started on my crabapple trees..  These are 35 year old trees that produce 100s of pounds of fruit for both birds and deer.. so when we discovered it yesterday we were out there in 3 degree weather wrapping the trees with chicken wire and hoping they survive the damage.

Tomorrow we have to make a quick trip to Seattle for our Global Entry interviews and will be gone overnight.  Ordinarily I would move the chicken's water to their inner area and keep them locked in there the two days...  but the heater is frozen solid to the ground and not to be moved without possible damage. DH said we can leave the inner door open for just one night and they'll be OK.

Well it's not going to happen and he has to make a trip to town today and me get another water heater.  After twice losing chickens to raccoons I make sure my chickens are locked securely every single night....every single night.

The chicken house is about 9x18' and divided into 2 sections.  The inner section is doubled wired on walls and overhead and the wire is buried a foot into the ground.  There's a ramp to their  roost and nesting boxes which are wood and I can put a heat lamp in there.  I have "mothered" these chickens for almost a year and not about to lose them now. Raccoons are rapacious, clever,  and persistent and kill chickens to just tear out their innards. Besides raccoons we have weasels who burrow in underground (although the ground is frozen solid now). 

Going over Snoqualmie pass in the winter is always risky but it looks like we are going to sneak through between storms.  These interviews have been scheduled since October and if we miss them, it will be months before others can be rescheduled.  I will probably be holding my breath and the hand grips all the way.  It seems so weird packing and not taking hand work to do in the car...  I might thread up a lot of needles before we leave and try French knots.  They are pretty loosey-goosey.  Loosey-goosey is my style now and even that for just short periods of time..


Magpie's Mumblings said...

Keeping your chickens safe is a good thing - miserable raccoons. Good thing they have a certain amount of cuteness factor or we'd hate them. Be safe on your trip!

Marlynne said...

Good for you not willing to leave until your chickens are safe! I know how you feel on handwork. I always have it planned and packed before my clothes!

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