Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Wildlife abundant

Apologies for the lack of updates. Between the blueberry season and my trip to Edmonton with the kids, I have not had time to write.

The season is starting to draw to a close. We are coming up on the 20,000 lb. mark for berries. We have started to offer U-pick for the first time in a few years. There are just too many berries to pick. Our biggest challenges right now are finding space for freezer bags, keeping pickers on staff (as many are returning to school soon), and generally finding time to get everything done in a day.

This past month, we have seen an increased challenge from the wildlife. Prior to my vacation, we discovered a younger deer that was just curled up in our creek. It had clearly been sitting there for a few hours and it did not bolt when we approached. It appeared to have injured itself and it was unable to move. Several of us went down and we put it down and removed the carcass to a more suitable area so as not to attract the wrong sort of wildlife. Given the circumstances, this was the best thing to do for both the farm and the deer.

Last week, while I was away, Laura had to contend with a mouse, a bat, and a mink that all made their way through our part of the house. The mouse met an untimely end. The bat was captured and released outside. The mink was a whole other story.

Prior to our last batch of broilers going in we had spotted a few around the layer area. We were a bit surprised to discover that they had gotten access to the broilers and killed six of them. Fortunately, that was all they got.

While I was away, they got into the coop prior to it being closed up and took out two laying hens before they were startled off by someone hearing the commotion. We went out and picked up a trap and set it out. Within a day we had captured one of the mink. Knowing that relocation was not advisable, we put it down last night as quickly and humanely as we could. We expect to capture the second mink this week, with luck, and send it off to join it's companion in evil weasel heaven.

Farm life has it's challenges and having to take a life, even that of a pest that is preying on your livestock, is not something to be taken lightly. At the end of the day, we do what we felt was right.

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