"Self-sufficiency does not mean 'going back' to the acceptance of a lower standard of living. On the contrary, it is the striving for a higher standard of living, for food that is organically grown and good, for the good life in pleasant surroundings... and for the satisfaction that comes from doing difficult and intricate jobs well and successfully." John Seymour ~ Self Sufficiency 2003

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Mouse hunter


Our neighbours up the road called us very excitedly one day a few weeks ago.

The local labourer, John, had been walking home one night and saw something white and odd in the long grass.  So he stopped to inspect it further.

What he saw caused him to pick it up and take it to the nearest house.

The inhabitants were ecstatic.

They already have a number of sheep and lambs, a male and female Springbok (plus a baby whose sex is yet unknown and which was born 2 days ago), a single male peacock called Pretty Boy, a gaggle of geese, a flock of chickens and their chicks.

And, like everyone else around here, a plethora of field mice.

So what John found was welcomed with open arms...

... it was a pair of owlets.

Their mother was no where to be found, so it fell to the Mrs of the house to feed them - with an eye dropper - until they were big enough.  Unfortunately, the one didn't survive, but the other one did.

And, Ollie the owl thoroughly loved being indoors and spoilt.

Until it grew larger and it's poop started becoming a problem.  Then it was relegated to the car port outside.

We waited a couple of weeks until Mike joined us then we all trooped off to see the owlet.
It may be a baby still, but look at those claws!
Mike was absolutely delighted :)
From the smile on Mike's face you can
acurately deduct his emotions
Mike couldn't get enough of it - even when the owls claws started digging into his arm.
The owl has the most amazing colour and
patterned wings
It was not so happy about being kicked out of the house at nighttime - so at dusk it apparently claws at the front door to be let inside.  Once inside, it sits on the back of a chair and watches TV with them...
...after having partaken of it's evening meal.  Mr very thoughtfully source fresh field mice which Mr kills (shudder - I couldn't do that LOL) and Mrs cuts up into owl size bite portions (I couldn't do that either). 
The re-purposed dog kennel - just the ideal
owl box
None the less, Ollie, the owl has made itself a very comfortable home in the carport
Hopefully soon it will learn to catch it's own supper...

Instant eco-friendly pest control - how cool is that :)

15 comments:

  1. Better than any mouse trap I ever saw. But cutting up mice into bite sized portions - not so much. Still, nature's solutions to rodent problems are awesome.

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    1. Vicki - Hopefully Ollie will find his down our end of the road ;)

      Yeah -I'm not keen on disectibg mice either. Mrs says her old biology teacher would be proud of her.

      Best pest control there is, I reckon...

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  2. Be glad you don't live in the U.S. Here if you find a wounded or abandoned young animal, and raise it, the Forest Service Nazi's come to your house, arrest you and kill the animal. The latest case involved a couple who found an injured baby deer. They raised it, and it lived on their property, which was wooded and not near people. Somebody called and reported them, the FS came out, and shot the deer. They also arrested the man. This happens all the time in the U.S.

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    Replies
    1. Harry - That is unbelievable! I have to confess I am battling trying to get my head around it...

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  3. What a beautiful bird, I'm not surprised Mike didn't want to let go of it.
    Love from Mum
    xx

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    Replies
    1. Mum - I reckon there could be a vet in the making... :)

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  4. That's brilliant. I love raptors, and owls are a favourite :) We sometimes hear them around the house at night but never get to actually see them.

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    1. Rosemary - We often let Scallywag out before we go to bed and disturb an owl perched on the "pergola" beams on our porch. Magic :)

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  5. What a gorgeous bird! Kudos to your neighbors for managing to keep it alive. I do hope it's instincts will kick in soon and it will be able to hunt for itself. I don't know how long a young owl will be fed before it is told to "go get it's own" dinner, do you? But that looks like a pretty good-sized bird already, even if still a juvenile. Such pretty feathers!

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    Replies
    1. Quinn - Ollie is a magnificent specimen, isn't he :)

      Actually, I think as soon as owls can fly, they can feed themselves. Perhaps Mrs misses her grandkids (who live in Cape Town) and she just loves "feeding" a young'un...? :)

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  6. Absolutely stunning, you have lovely neighbours to take so much trouble. Ollie looks like the bird we'd call a Barn Owl in England?

    No such thing as co-incidence but at 3.00am last night (this morning?) my dog wanted to go outside and as I opened the outside door a Barn Owl flew across the garden, we don't see them very often but they're such beautiful creatures.

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    Replies
    1. Jayne - LOL - Yes, Ollie is a barn owls :) You're seeing a barn owl is what I call synchronicity - always gives me goosebumps when it happens.

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    2. {chuckle} me too, but nice goosebumps :}

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  7. barn owls are big aren't they! wow

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    Replies
    1. Sol - They are huge LOL And even bigger when you walk into an abandoned house and disturb one, which flies off over your head. Then they are even bigger {grin}

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