Happy New Year everyone! I hope you are ringing in your new year on a better note than we are in our household. The dreaded stomach bug from hell has been visiting for the past few days. I swear I've never washed more bedding in my life. The washing machine has been going for the past two days without stopping. Greta threw up on Wesley's bed, then Wesley threw up all over his bed then it hit Sean and I. Luckily we've just been queasy....so very queasy. Like a roller coaster ride you just never can get off of. I ventured out to WalMart yesterday for my weekly food run, the whole time wishing and hoping I wasn't the cause of "clean up on isle 4". Luckily, I made it home without losing my lunch....oh wait, I haven't eaten much of anything in days....not much chance of losing anything.
Not a whole lot happening around here. I thought I'd share my newest rodent story. Yes, I know more rodent stories. I seem to be fixated on them. But I swear I've never had so many issues with them until recently. I'm starting to think Kitty did more to keep them at bay then I thought she did before she passed away. Anyways, while we were out of town for Christmas my friend Jessica came over to feed the animals. She's a life saver in the fact that I don't know of anyone else that would be willing to come over and feed the 20+ animals that we have. We'd never go anywhere without your help, thank you Jessica! Unfortunately things seem to happen when she comes to take care of the animals. Not her fault of course, just bad timing. The morning I left, I noticed one of the chickens wasn't walking very well. This hen has done this before and recovers just fine so I didn't worry too much. I asked Jessica to look in on them that evening. She came over, after dark, wearing a head lamp (you know, those flashlights you wear on your head?). She opened the door to the hen house and had the feeling that the floor was moving. She focused her headlamp on the floor and the ground was covered with mice, all of which stopped what they were doing and looked up at her before flooding the door way and spilling out onto her boots. She said there were so many she couldn't count. The whole time resisting the urge to scream like a little girl. *shiver* Poor Jessica. I knew we had a mouse problem in the hen house but I didn't know it was to that extent. She went in after the automatic light had gone off for the night and the hens were all roosting for the evening. I don't go out that late so I think I was oblivious to the problem (I'm going to tell myself that anyways).
So I decided to declare war on the mice. If you'll remember we built the hen house in the shop with an outside aviary attached. Things I didn't realize when doing this is that we are providing a prime real estate location to hundreds of mice. They live in the shop and go into the hen house to feed on all of the uneaten chicken food (chickens are very messy). I even have a constant supply of heated water in there. Plus our shop kitty passed away this fall so they don't even have predators. Well, they have me I guess (insert evil laughter). Two nights ago I placed 24 mouse traps on the floor around the hen house. It took half an hour and while I was baiting the traps (with peanut butter) I actually caught two mice. By the next evening I had caught 23 mice. Twenty three! So, I bought 16 more traps yesterday and will probably catch 16 more mice by tomorrow. Yuck. Talk about wiping out the population. I will just keep traps out there at all times from now on.
Oh and that chicken that wasn't walking well? She was dead by the next morning and her sisters had cannibalized her. They literally ate her. So poor Jessica had to scrape her half eaten frozen body off of the ground. Apparently caged chickens (non free range like mine) are prone to cannibalizing each other. Even after seven years out here with animals there are still things that surprise me. Let us all hope the new year brings fewer disgusting animal stories. Or maybe I should just stop sharing them?