AMKuska's 2020 Garden

AMKuska

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I went out to plant peas today, and my daughter went along to help. All was good for a while as she practiced putting dirt in the containers, and just as often got it out again. I gave her the pea packet to hold while I finished filling them up, which she was exceptionally delighted about.

I turn around after finishing the last bucket to find her plopped down with the pea packet torn open, eating the peas like they were chips! 🤣 Good thing I bought a couple extra packets lol
 

AMKuska

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Today I went to check the coup and see how a broody chicken was doing, and found her dead. I'd noticed she was broody but not sitting on eggs, and indeed there have been no eggs--despite having gotten regular eggs before. She was killed and consumed inside the coop.

Looking around, I found that something had tunneled under the fence. Our coop has never had a door on the actual house itself, as my husband normally builds these things and didn't. I figured since what ever it was must have been a pretty small predator (Guessing a big rat or a little ferret) a door on the hen house was the most practical solution.

I built it today while my daughter played in the yard, and felt quite accomplished since I not only made a door, but a little slider for it to slide in and out of. A predator may still be able to get through, but I feel like I've made the chickens just a bit safer. We'll see how it goes though. It's a never ending battle.
 

AMKuska

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So far it's working. I miraculously am getting eggs again. At least 2 every day, and yesterday 4 from my 5 hens! The tunnels keep reappearing under the fence, but the chickens and eggs are unwounded. When it stops raining, I am going to bury fence around the edges to try and at least make it more annoying for the predator to get in.

I've finished all the planting I am going to do for the season. I've got far more than I have room for, but I thought I'd put together some plant packs to give to the neighbors. Everyone is suddenly interested in growing, and I figure now is as good a time as any to bring fresh food to the neighborhood.

Today I planted pumpkins, melons, cantaloupe, zucchini, cucumbers, cabbage, cherry tomatoes, paste tomatoes, bell peppers, jalapenos, shi****o peppers, dill, parsley, oregano and basil.

I have beans but will direct sow those, as well as corn if I can possibly find a space for it.

UPDATE: What ever is tunneling under the fence has been identified as a rat. I saw it pop out of a hole, drink from the chicken's waterer, and then whisk into a separate hole. I'm glad to know what is making the holes at least. Now, what to do about it.
 
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AMKuska

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They are easy to kill with poison.
I thought about putting poison up on the shelves of the shed where I know they go, but worry about dogs/kids finding it. I heard there's a kind of trap you can put it in though that a rat can squeeze in and eat the poison, but can't take the poison out. My other thought is to set a rat trap right outside his hole and see if maybe he's stupid enough to run across it. I don't know.
 

flowerbug

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rats are a bit smarter than mice, but you can find all sorts of various trapping possibilities on youtube... hardware mesh would be what i would use around and under any chicken coop. chicken wire is just not that sturdy and can rapidly rust from our experiences here (luckily we don't try to keep chickens) with it.
 
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