Lazy Gardener's Little Town Farm

Mini Horses

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They are sneaky, persistent, fast varmints! I hope you get him!!! They can (& will) take an entire flock out. Guess ya gotta feed the kits. Expand the hot wire. May help but, they jump very well. Sorry for all the losses. Keep those 2 hens confined, they may surprise you and recover. :hugs
 

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One of the hens has been returned to the main flock. The other one is healing as well as can be expected. She's feathering out well, and has just a couple of small scabbed areas left. I've been letting her and a couple of buddies out into the electronet area during the day, when I'm out gardening. She still doesn't move normally. In other words, I can catch her when I want to put her back in her broody pen.

I've ordered a fox "kit distress" call to try to lure the fox into gun range. He's brazen, showing up any time, day or night, appears to have no fear, though he is skittish, and moves too quickly to get a good bead on him.
 

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Last wounded hen has been moved back to the flock as of this morning. She's still pale at the comb, growing out new feathers. Not active like the rest of the birds, but, she's holding her own in the flock dynamics.

In the garden, progress has been slowed by work schedule and a nasty cold. I'm delighted that a garter snake appears to have taken up residence in the garden. I'm wondering if, and hoping that they eat ticks.
 

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Wow, you are having a round with the fox. I hope you can get that resolved, it sucks to lose livestock-of any kind. It's not "just a chicken" it is YOUR chickens and losing them hurts.
 

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Thank you for your compassion. Yes, you are right... it's not "just a chicken". It is an animal that I am charged with keeping safe. If I cull a bird from my flock, it is done quickly, without undue suffering. Very different than the outcome when a predator moves in and kills and maims with claw and tooth. The fox continues to hang around. Yesterday, the flock was on high alert a good part of the day. I have to work most of next week. Hoping that the added security of the electronet around the coop/run will keep the flock safe.
 

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Recent google search states that snakes are powerful allies in the fight against lyme and other tick borne diseases. Not only do they eat the mouse that acts as an intermediary carrier of lyme disease, but they readily feast on ticks.
 

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Further searching turned up this neat article re: snakes in Maine. For the record, we don't have poisonous snakes. I'm hoping to entice my garter snake to make my garden into his resort. There is a nice section towards the bottom of this article about building snake habitat. Obviously, the usual: rock piles and such are helpful. So, I'll add a bit of a rock pile. And, I'll also give him a warming area: either a piece of plywood, or a piece of corrugated steel roofing, propped up to allow easy entry, while catching the sun's heat.

https://www.maine.gov/ifw/fish-wildlife/wildlife/wildlife-human-issues/living-with-wildlife/snakes.html#top
 
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baymule

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No poisonous snakes? We have rattle snakes, copperheads, coral, and water moccasins. The only ones we've seen here so far, are copperheads. We have rat snakes and king snakes. there are little tiny grass snakes, but I haven't seen any here. I bet it is nice to have a resident garter snake. What kind of snakes eat ticks?
 

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found 2 ticks this morning on Millie's neck, just under the collar. They had apparently just started working, because there was a fair amount of fresh blood around them and they had not become engorged yet. These are the first ones I've found in several years. Wonder if it's the weather?
 

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This is a horrid tick year for us. I've killed 6 so far, one completely engorged and ready to fall off the dog. They are the large "dog" or "Wood" ticks.

there are varying reports of there being Pine Rattle Snakes in the southern part of the state. But, it depends on what report you read, whether they are here or not. I'm in Central Maine, so... what ever is in the Southern part of the state will most likely find it's way here b/c micro climates are getting progressively warmer. I've even seen an Opossum in this area, and hunters assure me that they are here. Their range was NEVER reported to be N of Mass.

I found a little brown snake in the yard this week, apparently, run over.

Interestingly, scientists are now saying that even the lowly garter snake is somewhat venomous. It has a neurotoxin, but lacks the fangs for effective delivery to larger animals. I can attest that the bite of a garter snake is extremely painful, and will leave a source of irritation that will last for more than a week.
 
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