Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Ya Gotta Do What Ya Gotta Do

When I got to the barnyard this morning, I found a dead chicken in the chicken coop and one of ClaireAnna’s ducks was missing.  So I called Ted at work and asked him to stop at Tractor Supply and get some traps because our older one has been scrunched a bit and doesn’t set off very easily.  We often find the bait eaten and the door still open.  Ted worked late tonight and then went to Walmart and then Tractor Supply, so he got home after dark. As soon as we were done with dinner, I headed down to the barnyard.  As I pulled around the corner of the implement shed, I saw two opossums run off into the woods.  Then, as I walked up to the chicken coop, sure enough, something scooted around it and into the gap between it and the barn wall.  Inside the chicken coop, I took this picture…… PC200003
I called Ted on my cell and he and the girls rushed to the barn with the shotgun.  Hahaha!  Obviously, we had to figure another way to kill this critter so we didn’t blow a hole through our barn wall.  Thankfully, he sat quite still till we were ready to dispatch him.  I’ll spare you the gory details, but suffice it to say, the chore involved a pitch fork and a hunting knife.  Apparently, it takes a whole family to kill a barnyard intruder. 
So while we were getting the job done with this opossum, Kate went into the barn and happened to look down into the garbage can which ClaireAnna had just emptied, burning the contents only this afternoon.  Um….surprise!  Another opossum!  This one politely caught himself for us.  I think he fell off the ledge on the barn wall and plopped right into this can.  He could not get out.
  PC200006 PC200007 It’s an unpleasant fact of farm life.  Ya gotta do what ya gotta do to protect your livestock.  ClaireAnna and Kate know this well and are not bothered by it.  The two new traps are set in hope of catching the other two critters who ran off into the woods and any friends or family they may have. 
Whew! What an exciting night!  Oh, and my timing was perfect.  I happened upon the culprits before they could do any more killing.  All the birds are safe. 

Edited to add: Caught another one! First thing in the morning I checked my traps and low and behold! 


FYI: It is particularly important to keep opossums away from horses since they are the vector for a neurological disease that can be debilitating and even deadly to them.  Sadly, a close friend’s horse is currently suffering from this terrible illness.  This is all the more reason to eradicate opossums from our barnyard and pastures.  Check out this link for more information.

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