Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Lions and tigers and bears - oh my!

My neighbor told me this morning that her bird feeder was badly damaged and 4 or 5 pounds of seed all consumed sometime during last night. We're thinking it must have been a sizable animal, like a bear! I'm only two houses down, and tonight I made sure that my barn was locked up tight against any nocturnal visitors!

My handyman, Rick, has completed a waist-high rack for the rabbit cages to go on in the lower level of the barn, so once I polyurethane it, the bunnies can move to the lower level of the barn with the other critters. They'll be warmer, with 3 sides of the foundation against the ground or the house, and still get sunshine in through the windows on the exposed side. The cages will be easier to clean, since they'll be at an better height for me to reach, plus the droppings will go right through to the ground for raking up. Several of the bunnies are throwing their coats, and I've been plucking off the loose wool for spinning. They all have thick undercoats, so warmth shouldn't be a problem. The bunns are really enjoying the rose hips I've been trimming off the wild roses alongside my driveway!

The chickens are all getting along a little better - the reds (NH Reds) still sleep on the alpaca side and the buffs (Buff Orpingtons) on the other side, but there's been less squawking and bullying going on in general. Rick got the nesting boxes half done today, and the buffs were all piled up on the construction for the night when I checked on them. Guess they like it! I gave the hens some cut-up apples this week and they had great fun pecking and tossing the apple pieces in a little chicken soccer game.

I'll be getting a third alpaca soon to replace the one I lost - it's a matter of transportation at this point, so I'm just waiting to hear when that will be. The other two are doing well, thank Heavens!