This one is for the folks who question the animal welfare we farmers provide.
While doing chores this morning, Cindy was collecting eggs when she came upon a chicken that appeared to be setting on a nest in the corner of the coop. Upon closer inspection, the chicken was dead.
Imagine Cindy’s surprise when she turned to see a full-grown owl within about 4 feet of her, sitting in a feed bowl. I couldn’t see it because the sun was blocking my view through the screen. We’re still not exactly sure of the breed. I thought it was a barn owl, Cindy thought maybe a Great Horned. We’re sure it isn’t one of our local Long-earred Owl’s.
I gotta’ tell you, Cindy was just a little undone. I can’t repeat what she said, as there are some youngsters who follow this blog. Let’s just say she was more undone when I wanted to lock the outside door (that meant her in),
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All over the Escalante Desert Valley, you here the sound of gunfire. Yep, we’ve been invaded and as farmers/ranchers, we’re fighting back.
The main critter is a chisler. This little guy looks a lot like a tail-less squirrel. He has a voracious appetite and loves everything from alfalfa to zucchini. They breed frequently and have simply exploded this year.
The next critter is the cotton-tail rabbit, one we normally allow 10% of a crop… but, that 10% was taken long ago. So… it’s on hit list.
The last critter is the jack rabbit, a large eared, long legged rabbit that is only good for coyote bait. We’ve got so many jacks, the coyotes are exceptionally well-fed.
Around here, we practice a “live and let live” policy, until the ecosystem gets “out of balance”. We determine the balance. If a critter is in our yard and eating something,
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Rarely mentioned, but an integral part of our little piece of desert is our wild bird population. We’re fortunate to have numerous species nesting as well as visiting on their migrations from north to south and back again.
We have several different bird feeders in our front yard, and several large trees for all sizes of nests. Because we have such natural habitat, to date we’ve not built any specialty bird houses. Things could change, though, if we thought we could attract even more wild birds.
Our largest resident bird is a Golden Eagle who roams over about a 50 square mile area. We often see him perched on a telephone pole looking for some unsuspecting varmint to swoop onto and carry off to his nesting spot.
Next are several Bald Eagles, who have a nest just down the road. We have seen young eagles as well as mature Bald Eagles.
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