Thursday, July 29, 2010

Being Stupid With Bees

Note:  just because we can trot out in our jammies at night to feed our gentle tame bees does NOT mean we can re-arrange a tower of Russian ferals in BARE FEET.

Quite sick, now.  Oh, look!  I'm allergic to bees!  Anybody wanna buy some hives?  With nice strong bees?  Rats.

A colleague says we comic book people are only good at doing comic books.  Nobody else is -- it's extremely difficult and demanding.  We're just not so good at anything else.

We'll see how long the chicken business lasts before I get some stupid infection or something.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Dead Animals So Far

So far, the dead animals of people I know who have taken on farming in forest or other wildlife areas:

1.  (Not quite a) Possum.  WOULD have been dead for trying to eat food on a goat/horse farm except a visiting friend and me took it down the road and found a place that looked like it had a lot of forage.  Are possums native to the Olympic Peninsula?  No.  But we saved it on principle, anyway.  The farm that tried it also stopped poisoning their flies around their barn to give the swallows a chance to build a population and control the flies (= bird food), so they get points for offset.  And they listened.  So far so good.

2.  Raccoon.  Mini-farmers from Colorado believe their chickens aren't secure enough, even though the fence would keep a horse out.  Nice people, but will never buy any rabbit meat from them.  Or promote it.

3.  Beavers.  Horse people trying to plant trees in a swamp bottom to help kill non-native grasses.  Logging company above cut all the trees, flooded the creek.  Beavers, taking opportunity to build a pond, which would have flooded out the grass, got trapped and killed.  Yeah, that's going to solve the problem. Humans not so much ever going to get me to visit their place again.

4.  Horse and cattle farmer trapped three young cougars in boxes.  Wildlife officer and he agreed that the animals, if hauled away and released, would die soon anyway.  So they made sure of it; the guy shot the cougars in the boxes (isn't he brave?). He did NOT use the hides or meat  because it "would have been too much trouble." Then he bragged about it to me, like I was supposed to be impressed (WTF?). These people sell chickens, eggs, hamburger and feed. Guess I'm going to have to get all those elsewhere -- and promote nothing they produce.  Oh, well.

5.  Fish:  Local woman letting her kid shoot mini plastic pellets into the water, where they can be eaten by local bottom-feeding fish, starve them, then rot out to kill ever more fish.

6.  Cougars and everything else:  Hilltop forest cut next to a neighborhood.  Young resident cougar, now starving, tries to get chickens out of a cage, snatches an attacking dog, and is shot.  Housing developer then files an environmental action statement claiming there will be no wildlife impact.  What timing.

7.  Buffalo.  In the way, and industrially useful.  A whole nation incurs traditional animal genocide karma. 

8.  Watership Down.  This novel, describing lovely English countryside, soon makes the reader aware the only remaining wildlife is songbirds and small predators.  Everything else has been wiped out.

8.  Me and my chickens: anything gets into their cages it's MY FAULT.  I at least have brain enough to know that if I decide I'm inconvenienced by wildlife, that's my fault for moving here, and that if we all decide we're slightly bothered by our neighboring life, we will wipe it out.

Conclusion:  I guess I'm just a better person.  Oh, well.

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Yeah, we've been busy -- mostly completely repainting everything and taking care of ANYTHING that frustrated us or needed fixed.

Chicken news:  Black was being so totally broody she stopped laying.  Could not convince her to stop.

In the cartoon book, Memories of a Former Kid, by Bob Artley, he describes how to de-broody a hen:  Put her in a small cage by herself and feed her naught but cracked corn and water.

So I cracked some of Dan's bulk popcorn in a blender and put Black into the little isolation cage for chicks or sick chickens.  After 3 days, I put her back into her own pen with Red -- she not only had stopped being broody, within a day she was laying again.

See?  Cartoons solve everything!