"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

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Sharing the love

I wrote here about feeding the ducks their grain / oat seed under water.

This was in an attempt to prevent my feeding the entire valley's rodent population - which would be an expensive exercise, and would encourage them to take up residence close to their convenient food source - just what I don't want.

It is amazing - even the wild birds watch out for me.  As I walk towards the bowls in the duck enclosure they arrive en masse and perch wherever they can until I leave and they can get to it.
The wild birds look out for me too - and all line
up in anticipation of a good munch
The other day as I was walking away from feeding the ducks I happened to glance back to see if the ducks had settled into muching and I spotted this...
Cheeky things - they barely allow me to
leave the enclosure before they climb into
the contents of the food bowls
 Birds, birds and more birds - of all descriptions...

I spy birds, and someting else...

... and not only birds.  Can you see what I spied in the bottom right corner of the photopgraph?

As the wild birds were busy with the one bowl, this ruddy field mouse proceeded to the second bowl, and, maling like the bird in the 2nd photo above, it proceeded to straddle the edge and reach down to the water to get the sunflower seeds which were floating on top.
Yeah, it's cute -
but it's still a rodent.
And it eats my veggies!
No wonder I found empty sunflower seed shells scattered round the bowls.  I thought it was strange that ducks would shell the seeds, and figured that the birds weren't big enough to do so.

All is now clear.  I have said before that sometimes I am slow - this is just another example ;)

So, when I go to town at the end of the week I am going to have to find some bowls which are shallow enough for the ducks to reach into, but too deep for the mice...  (and may I add, I have no problem if they do try, and they happen to plunge in and drown because they've stretched too far - there is absolutely no danger to the mouse population and any that do meet their maker will do so without poison and are thus safe for other wildlife to munch!)

I will not be thwarted in my fight against the rodent problem LOL


  1. That mouse hasn't missed many meals, by the looks of his chubby little self! I wish you all the luck in getting rid of the little beasties. Those birds look like they are all lined up just waiting for the all-you-can-eat buffet to open. ;)

    1. Vicki - No, it hasn't has it?!

      Yup - the birds have my predictable duck feeding routine down pat. I reckon they are on the lookout for me at 7.30a m and 4 30p.m. every day - their arrival is instantaneous!!

  2. We have a problem with them 'flying rodents' AKA 'the pigeon thieves' that eat all the chicken pellets in summer. I have tried all kinds of things that reflect and squeak and look scary to chase them off (blogged about it twice already!) - Thinking about making one of those 'automatic chicken feeders' that they need to step on to open and get the pellets... maybe your ducks might get the hang of opening it too, seeing that it is rodent proof as well?

    ...If you are interested, here is the link at 'the garden roof coop' for designs: http://www.thegardenroofcoop.com/2010/12/automatic-chicken-feeder.html

    1. Shroom - Thanks, I'll check out your link tomorrow when I'm on the laptop :)

  3. I want that little animal! Send him off to me disguised as food stuffs and he can live here. :-0

    Well, I know you can't do that but wouldn't you feel awful, Dani, if you came out and his little body was floating in the water. Years ago we had mice, and I put out poison. I found one laying dead on the floor, then as I watched, another came out from under the hutch, crawled up to the dead mouse, put it's little arm around her, then he died. I never touched poison again, honest to God. I use catch em alive traps now and let them go in the woods.

    1. Nope Harry. I'm all full up with rodents. Far too many of them around for my liking - snd I value veggies more than field mice.

      Yeah, I also used poison once and had the same gut wrenching reaction, but if the mouse dies due to it's error - my conscience is clean. After all - there is plenty of wild seed around for them - they must just stay away from my veggies / duck food.

      At least you have your ferrets to deter them - do ferrets eat mice?

    2. What about putting out some seed for them away from your veggies? Oh, I know it's not practical, but still...... : - (

      No, my ferrets are completely domesticated and don't actually kill anything, but I think if a mouse got in the house and became aware of them, it would decamp post haste.

      I have so many outdoor cats that mice aren't a problem. I did recently trap on in the apartment who was eating the match boxes (who knows why?) but I carried him out in the woods and let him go.

      Well, a gardener's gotta do what a gardener's gotta do, I guess.

    3. Harry - I have tried giving away a tithe, but that doesn't seem to help - more it seems to encourage them to become bolder and linger longer LOL

      Unfortunately we can't get cat's now as Scallywag (our dog) isn't "cat friendly".

  4. Replies
    1. Kris - Only possible when we have a cat friendly dog... :)


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