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Friday, May 16, 2008

Get your gun!

Before I go on with today's post, Caroline in NH left me a link yesterday. Some interesting news for all you No NAISers out there. If you haven't read about it yet Farm to consumer legal defense fund has sent a letter of intent to sue to the USDA over NAIS. You can read the intent here on Farm to Consumers Legal Defenses website. You know I will be watching this one closely.

I had a massive head cold yesterday, so it was good thing that for once no one had any questions. If you had, my answers might have sounded a little drunken. But I digress. My husband came home after work yesterday and we were talking a bit in the living room, suddenly my husband jumps up and runs into the bedroom. I look out the window and there in our field was that fox that had been killing our good neighbors chickens. I, in the drunken head cold state I was in, was a little slow to the point. "Get your gun! it's a fox." Of course by the time I said that, my husband was flying out of the room with our antique bolt action riffle.

The fox with what looked like a bird, in it's mouth was to far off to be shot at safely. So we watched where it went. Hoping to find it's home close by. Within a few moments one of the neighbor kids called my oldest son to tell him he just saw a fox. My oldest said yep, we saw it. My dad was going to shoot it. Now this statement might not seem like a problem, but it is. This kid's mom has no livestock. They live in the country just to live in the country. They want all the animals to be free to roam and live. There will be backlash on us for this wanting to shoot a fox. But here is the problem. Turns out that the the fox lives closer to the river then to us. It is stealing rather then hunting and it does so in the middle of the day. This fox has been found in chicken pens. The good neighbor did not have his gun on him, so screamed at it to scare it off. It had killed most of his chicks.

If this fox was hunting rather then stealing, we would leave it well enough alone. Not only are there small children playing out here, but goats are getting ready to kid. We can't afford to lose anything to a lazy/sick fox. If they are hungry enough, they will take down a kid or a calf. Before owning livestock, I too would have said live and let live, but between the fox, human thieves and dogs, I am tired of losing my birds. I will be doing all my chores today with that rifle strapped to my back.

In happier news, my veggies are doing well and I have peaches this year!



peach

11 comments:

Gina said...

Oh my Gawd, first, your neighbors sound like my former neighbors and talk about synchronicity! Shawn said when he got home he planned to sit outside with his gun waiting on the coyotes. I, too, am sick and tired of losing my chickens *and* goats & sheep to dogs (wild or domestic). I realize the area for wild animals to hunt in have been encroached (especially by people who want to live in the country just to live in the country), but it is hard to lose $ and time to these guys.

As for coyotes (and I saw a fox a month or so ago as well), I have such mixed feelings. I love them. I think they are such a resourceful, evolved group of dogs (one of the few species that have naturally expanded their range when other wilds are losing ground) and I have read quite a bit on them. They are beautiful, social creatures.

That being said, I have to protect my family and farm and right now we are at odds with each other. I have only a small window to raise and process my broilers for next years meals (the Amish family I go through only processes May thru start of deer season), so I will have to hurry and reorder a batch of chicks, brood them and then send them off. It is a real set-back. A frustrating one in light of all the lose over the past year.

My tame, half-grown chickens were such an easy target for them. And the kitten, assuming that was her fate, is a lot to stomach. I love them dearly as interesting creatures on a diverse Earth, but I, too, have to draw a line and anything crossing that line will likely be shot.

This is a much different philosophy than I had in my pre-homesteading days!

Phelan said...

No don't. I think foxes are great. My husband and I use to sit on the front porch and watch a mama fox with her pups in the morning while having coffee. The problem with this one is that there is plenty of wild game closer to where it's den is. Stealing chickens in the middle of the day shows that there is a problem with it. We have tried trapping it this last 2 months, but it won't fall for the trapping. The county won'tr do anything but bring us live traps, then they will pick it up. our new cattle fence does nothing to dissuade it from coming onto our property. If there was something else we could do to keep it out, we would. But at this point nothing has worked.

Phelan said...

I meant no doubt, not no don't. sigh

Tim Appleton (Applehead) said...

Shoot it.

Phelan said...

Tim, where have that before :D Oh, that's right I said it to you.

Stephanie said...

I agree with my husband!

lisa said...

Hey, you do what you must. I got some flak on my blog over shooting a porcupine last year, including one very nasty comment that showed up just a few weeks ago.(I deleted it, cuz'if anybody cusses on my blog, it's ME :) But those remarks come from people who know nothing about the animal in question, and likely nothing about wildlife in general. (Heh, the nasty guy said I should call "animal control"! Gee, if only all the world were suburbia with officials to "take care of us"...right.) Besides, you and I have the same goal-eliminate one animal that's causing expensive problems for us. At least I'm not one of those people who murder every porcupine I see just for the heck of it.

The Unusually Unusual Farmchick said...

Sneaky fox! Hope you can eradicate the problem soon.
Hope you feel better soon Phelan. That way you can get a better sight on the varmint!LOL.

mommymommyland said...

my husband left a 5 am this morning to look for the raccoon and coyote that has been plaguing out chickens. The chicks are all gone, the raccoon trap has not seen any action, and yesterday in the middle of the freaking day a coyote took off with 2 of our older birds, we heard the commotion from the field but by the time he had run back to the barn it was to late.

We love the wildlife here, we want to leave them in peace, but when they take our food and income it is really hard to let them be.

No one has any LGD available in our area, our rabbit hunting dog, is no good at watching the smaller animals for obvious reasons, and we have gone through 2 sets of birds already this spring. If the last batch doesn't make it we will not have any eggs, or chicken to eat, nor any eggs or feathers to sell. We can only afford to replace them so many times, you know?

abbagirl74 said...

I have peaches too! Tons of them! I decided to only do tomato plants this year. What do you have coming up in the garden? Can you post a picture?

Anita said...

My grandpa got some sort of critter in the hen house back in the late 40s, and grabbed a gun... went out to the hen house, shot 7 times, and as the critter ran off grandpa realized he'd just shot 6 of his best layers. (he never did figure out what the critter was)

If people don't like things that are in (and go on in) the country they should live there... Of course, there are those who abuse the killing of animals, too... shooting those who are seen attacking livestockis a necessity, no question...

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