Monday, March 29, 2010

Coyotes in the backyard

Recently in the news a city in North Texas closed a city park so the state could send in trappers to remove coyotes. This is because a couple of pets in the area had disappeared.

The city declared victory when it announced 5 coyotes were removed.

Everyone needs to stop and examine the stupidity of this act in time, expense and the lack of simple common sense.

If you choose to live close or in the woods you will have visitors from time to time from those woods. Especially if you leave pet food outside. You might as well ring the dinner bell if you do that.

And speaking of dinner bell. Your small dog or cat is on the menu. But not just coyotes find your pet appealing. Hawks, owls, raccoons, bobcats and mountain lions all will view your smaller pets as food.

So to blame "coyotes" for the disappearance of a few pets is not completely accurate. There are a whole host of possible suspects. The city should have asked to remove all the hawks, owls, raccoons, bobcats, and mountain lions from the park.

I mean isn't that what it means to move out closer to nature, be outraged when nature does what it does every day whether you live close or not, then complain about it, then demand the city remove the parts of nature that are causing offense, then feel justified when a few unlucky predators get caught.

I love all domestic pets and I throughly enjoy the wildness of the woods; the pets get hugs, tickles, and belly scratches, the wild creatures of the woods get my respect and admiration.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Spring Snow

We had an unexpected spring snow storm this weekend and it was bitterly cold. The Redbuds are in full bloom, now decorated with the last of the snow.

On Saturday the wind was howling and just a few flakes were coming down. As the day progressed sleet came down and that shortly changed to wet snow. By evening it was fluffy snow. It was blowing very hard and the snow was vertical half the time.

Sunday the wind was still high and temperatures very cold, but it was above freezing and snow melted away by early afternoon. By Monday we should be back to upper 60's and low 70's.

The February kits are growing and doing well. Here are two.... They were moved outside since they have gotten bigger. They are now 5 weeks.

The fawn is just adorable and I would have kept her, but she has a hernia so she can't be kept.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Spring Cleaning

The spring like weather has the wasp out in full force. They have come out of their winter hibernation in droves. Looking over a small patch of flowers there was an equal number of wasp and honey bees.

Prepped half the garden and put in seeds for spring. In the fall the garlic and onions went in and they are already up. I have high hopes for them. The rains came the next day in a nice, slow manner and it lasted all day and then we had a bit more the following day.

I pulled out "stuff" I have stored in the rabbit shed. Last year the wasp built several large nest in the shelving. I don't want a repeat of that. I don't mind the wasp that much as they are really necessary and perform a great service. The stuff needed to pulled out and cleared of hay and dust.

For the rabbits it is time to pull down the tarps, pull out hay & manure, and brush down the fiber clinging to the sides of everything.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Death of a rabbit

I have one of my best bucks in the process of dying. He is young, energetic, eating food and hay as normal and in less than 24 hours will be dead.

Saturday evening he was perfectly fine and had finished his pellets as normal. We feed pellets in the evening so they have the night to eat and the following day to browse what's left plus hay in the morning. He received his normal ration of pellets Saturday night. Sunday morning it didn't look like he had touched his food and his breathing was incredibly loud. I have never heard a rabbit with such a rattle in the chest. He has no nasal discharge. You could hear him from quite a distance.

I brought him in and checked him over. He had a small bit of poop I clipped away from his bottom, but nothing major. I gave him a deep tummy massage in case he was blocked. Blockage is rare, but I did it anyway. I sprayed his nostrils with a dilution of Vanodine along with all the cages and other rabbits just as a precaution.

I think he inhaled his pellets into his lungs. There are still no sign of discharge from eyes or nose. The Vanodine is really to make me feel like I am doing something. This morning the loud breathing has stopped, but that is because his breathing is so shallow. When I held him he barely moved and is grinding his teeth a bit (signs of pain).

I fully expect him to pass within a few hours.