Friday, November 14, 2008

Mouse, Mice, Meese?

Our "south porch" is an glassed-in porch which used to be just a screened porch when I was growing up. Primarily it is a buffer between the cold outside, and the living room inside; and mainly we use it for storing tools, the chest freezer, dirty boots, odds and ends, and the livestock and pet feed.

Since we store livestock feed there, including grain for the chickens, the not-so-tight porch attracts a variety of varmints who want the feed. We used to keep a cat out there to help discourage that, but got tired of the havoc a cat can also cause on an enclosed porch.

With cooler weather, we had heard an increase in "critter" noises, so Steven decided to put four mousetraps on the porch, to help catch those stealers of our feed. Snap! Snap! Snap! Snap! - very soon those four traps were full. He "rewarded" the barn cats outside with treats of dead mice. Repeat that scene many times in rapid progression. Steven's traps caught 35 mice by the end of that day! 44 by the end of the next day! And finally, about 54 mice all together before the run stopped. I guess we got them all for now - the traps have been silent for about four days. I was just amazed at the sheer numbers.

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Walking back from the corral the other night, Steven suddenly said to me, "Is that chicken all right?"

I said, "what chicken?" (because he was blocking the view of it until we got closer).

Then I saw it and said, "Oh no. That's not normal."

There was a chicken, hanging upside down, from the top of the outhouse. (Remember from an earlier blog that our outhouse is lying on it's side on a trailer, as we work on rebuilding it. So the "top" is currently on its side).

It appeared the chicken had jumped or flown up, probably to get some insect or treat it spied, and somehow caught its toe on one of the nails protruding from the old rafter. That flipped it upside down, and there it hung, thinking it was caught, not fighting it at all. Just hanging there upside down by a toe. At first I thought maybe she was dead, but then she cocked her head to look at us. Steven went over and gently unhooked her foot. She then really came to life, squawking loudly and flailing her wings, as he dropped her to the ground, and she took off at a run, unharmed.

It was quite funny looking, and again I wish I had taken a photo, but I was more concerned with getting her loose at the moment. She couldn't have been there too long, and still had the balance to take off as fast as she did when put back upright.

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We had an interesting Tuesday, when I was off work for Veterans Day. But I will have to post about that some other time, when I have photos to go with it. Look in the future for a post called "The Cage Contest" and I'll show you what kept us busy that day!

1 comment:

Mel, Foxtail Farm said...

Whoa, that's a lot of mice.

The chicken thing is hilarious. Animals sure can get themselves into strange predicaments.