Ohiofarmgirl's Adventures in The Good Land is largely a fish out of water tale about how I eventually found my footing on a small farm in an Amish town. We are a mostly organic, somewhat self sufficient, sustainable farm in Ohio. There's action and adventure and I'll always tell you the truth about farming.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Solving Problems

We spent yesterday solving problems. The first problem that we needed to solve was to extend the new goat yard.

Dahlia in the daisies. 

Nibbles and the crew did such a great job of grazing down the initial area we set up for them that they needed more space!

The goats went nuts for all the new bramble. To make sure they headed for greener pastures I mowed down the lower goat and hen yard. This stirred up a lot of bugs so the hennies were happy also.

So many blackberry canes and wild roses - they loved it.

Setting up electric fence is pretty easy once you have the charger already installed. It's just a matter of  beating a path thru the tall grass, getting more push in posts set up, stringing up the hot wire, and connecting it all together. You can read more about it here.

These white push in posts are reasonably priced and easy to set up.

The only problem with this new bramble area is that I can't easily see the goats while they are down there. So I need to be vigilant with them out of sight. Technically the far perimeter fence line is not currently electrified so it will not keep predators out.  We'll work on that this week.

I also fired the first volley in my war on the new varmint - chemical warfare. I brushed the dogs out near the turkey house, on the side facing the woods. 

The dog did not explode. Just lots of brushing.

That slinky mink is going to have to creep over all that dog hair to make his way into the turkey house... only to find a trap set for him. The next prong of my strategy? I'm moving Debbie and Dahli over to the former goose house at night. Nothing to see there but angry goats, varmint, so just keep on going. No prisoners in the trap this morning.. but I'll get him.

Happy Monday, everyone! Are you solving problems today?


Heavens Door Acres said...

I had to "solve a problem" last night....when we came home from Ohio, to find all of the pigs out!! 6 piggies just lazing around, because they had just eaten a 50 pound bag of chicken feed! Grrrrr

anton said...

I've had my share of mink troubles as a creek borders the entire farmyard and they love water. They're almost impossible to trap. Mostly they take the bait and run off. So here's what I did: I started tying the bait to the trap so they'd have to fight to get it. In the fight take the bait they inevitably step on the paddle and set off the trap--gotcha! The other way I've gotten them is to leave one of the carcasses they've left behind in a deep wooden box and next to it I leave a heavy shovel. In the morning I sneak into the barn, the mink is in the box eating what's left and 'whack' on the head. I also learned that if I keep taking away the carcasses they just keep on killing so I leave them in the box. Yes, it's disturbing and gross but the killing stops until they've picked it clean and that gives me time to catch the little rascal. Good luck!

Diana said...

Git 'im, git 'im!

Are you gonna cure the pelt? It's mink, after all... :)

David said...

I like the dog hair trick I wonder how effective it will be? What kind of trap?

D.Hausmann said...

Good Luck to you Trapper Girl!!! I know what it's like to loose critters to predators, not good. I now keep several sizes of live traps at hand just in case.

Vera said...

Yes, but how on earth do you stop your goats from jumping over that electric fencing. One of our young girls is a jumper, and can easily clear a five foot wall, which has put us off using electric fencing.

But we did try electric fencing a while ago on the sheep, and all they did was walk through it. But they did have their thick winter fleeces on, which must have acted as a protection against the electricity, or perhaps an electric shock was worth getting so they could get to eat the richer grass the other side of the fence!

Ohiofarmgirl said...

Wow! glad they didnt do worse damage, HDA!

Anton, you are truly a varmint slayer and may ride with my army. Thanks for the tips!

Diana, I might make a nice little hat.

Dave, I do this dog hair trick and it works for lots of predators. It might not stop all of them but it slows them down for sure. We have a bunch of those box traps.

Yep, thanks DH, we'll get that guy - one way or another.

Vera, big dogs. Big dogs keep the goats from jumping the fence. The goats might not be the smartest creatures but they figured out that inside the fence is the safest place for them. There is a trick to training sheep on the electric... lemme ask my sheep pals about it. I'll pop over to your blog later when I find out.

anton said...

Vera- I've used Premier Fencing's electric moveable sheep panels for 5 years now and it's worked out great. I do suggest to get a solar charger because changing the deep-cycle marine batteries has to be one of the things I look the least forward to--they're heavy! The panel work for goats too but I have had the wethers jump over it if the charge is weak or if they've decided they've eaten everything there is to eat in the fenced off area (we often disagree on this point). The does always stay within the fence.

Ohiofarmgirl said...

thanks Anton! I've alerted Vera to come on over to check that netting out. I know other folks that use it as well.

Weekend Cowgirl said...

Hope you figure out how to keep your little lawnmowers inside the fence! They are very cute!

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