Wednesday, 27 April 2011
I hate them with a slow burning passion, an indignation and a righteious one at that.
Thye have killed my chicks. Taken from under their mother, dragged those poor terrified little things through the fence, killed them then taken them to their nest near the moat and devoured them. Not satisfied with that they have also got one of my poults through the raised slatted floor of the hen house by grabbing one of her legs as she sat on the floor, held it while they evicersated her then tried to eat her through the slats. I found her lying there feebly trying to get away this morning. I put her quickly out of her misery.
I don't like rats.
And I obviously have a rat problem.
I hate using poison but now I see no way round it. This unseasonably warm weather has helped the buggers to breed like mad and my chickens are suffering as a result. I will never get rid of them , nor will I ever get rid fo the grey squirrels, but I will get on top of the problem. I have to, or I will continue to lose more of my chickens and that I cannot stand. All the ones I reared in the incubator are now dead bar one and to be honest I don't hold out much hope for that unless I hold a vigilence all night to keep the rats away and I can tell you from experience the buggers are bold and my presence is hardly going to make them falter.
I was stil at college and working one Christmas on a farm where they had some beef cattle and one or two dairy cows. I was there at a difficult calving. Thhe calf was weak and looked as if it wanted to give up the ghost from the very minute it was born. But I wasn't going to let it. I nursed that calf all night and the next day, it seemed to grow weaker but I would not let it go. Every time it closed it's eyes and looked like it had decided to die I would thump it awake, keeping it alive but you'll never guess what. Even though I was there keeping this creature alive, the rats had started to eat it and I didn't even notice in the dark. They started to knaw on its tail. I couldn't at first work out what had happened and the calf was too weak to make any fuss. I spent the second night keeping the buggers at bay as well as keeping that calf alive. I grew to hate them then, it was a personal thing. And it's personal now.
PS. As for the calf, he survived though his tail had to be amputated about half way up.