Thursday, 22 October 2009

Scurrying creatures!

Not only do I have a hamster still on the loose in the kitchen (the trap is too small, we have decided), I have seen a rat this morning, and it shot back under the compost bin when it saw me, so I guess that it may be living under there with its mates/family. It is the first one I have seen since about two years ago - and it was a shock to my system this morning. I am very particular about not overfeeding the hens, so that there is no spare food lying around, and if the FH accidentally puts too much in the feeders in the afternoon, I always take the feeders in to the workshop for the night. However, I have realised that I should be doing it much earlier now that the nights are drawing in and I must get out there and shut the doors as soon as it gets dark. The FH rarely makes a mistake with the food, but I don't want to take any chances. The sooner the rat family starve into moving house, the better - and I do have a rat trap I can put down but it only kills one at a time....shame! I am reluctant to use poison because of the cat and the couple of hens which free-range - although they could get shut in for a while if needs be.

The chickens think that they are in heaven this morning, I think, as I have put a thick layer of straw in the yards as the ground is so muddy. It is as much for my benefit as theirs, though, as the mud was so slippery last night that I was in danger of going down on my bum! We bought several bales of straw a few weeks ago specifically for this purpose as once the winter rains start, the yards do get into a bad state and this is the best remedy for the hens to be comfortable. They love pecking through the straw!

We had to put the big white rabbit out of her misery last night, as she was suffering with the illness that has struck all her babies. I have buried her this morning. Her last remaining baby is in a box in the kitchen - he has the illness but is still Ok at the moment - we are bathing his eyes twice daily with the Optrex and giving him tiny amounts of Calpol. He is still showing signs of normal rabbit activity like washing himself and chewing the box, as well as eating, so there is hope for him yet. The breeders we spoke to said that the rabbits can get over this illness, although ours aren't doing so well.

The EFG has gone to school in a good mood as she breaks up for half-term today whereas the YFG has to go to school tomorrow as well! On the flip side, the YFG gets the Monday after the holiday off as well whilst the EFG is straight back to school on the Monday morning! Why can't these schools co-ordinate their training days so that all the children in the area get the same days off?! It would be so much easier. However, it does give me a day with each daughter on her own, which will go down well with them.

Well, today I am home alone until about lunchtime as the FH is out and about. I have grand plans to get things done, so I had better get the rubber gloves out and start on the bathrooms!


Bovey Belle said...

I seem to remember a saying - something like you are never more than 6 feet from a rat in this country . . . Our old farmhouse has incredibly thick walls and sometimes we have one in the wall behind our bed, in the wee small hours, which is blardy annoying. Jolly sight worse when they then snuff it inside the walls - you would not believe the smell such a small rodent makes decomposing.

Sorry to hear you've not recaptured the hamster yet, and sorry about the bunnies. It's not Myxie is it? It can affect the tame ones too.

Morgan said...

We are trying a different plan for recapturing the hamster - a bucket, with "steps" up on the outside and food to tempt - hopefully he will climb up, jump in, gorge himself and not be able to climb out again! Fingers crossed he's hungry...

We had a rat die under the floorboards in an old house we lived in - it could not have smelled worse if the drains had all blocked up and overflowed!! I know exactly what you mean.

From what we know of myxie, it is not that, but we are continuing to treat the young one.

Morgan said...

We caught the little blighter!!! The bucket trick worked, but then we lost him again in the moving from the bucket to the cage so we had to set it all up again - but he still fell for it again!! He is safely back in his cage - he's probably not very happy after two weeks' freedom, but that's life, I'm afraid!!