There are days when "tales" take place in a moment
and I am lucky enough to have my camera ready to capture the moment.
And then there are tales that unfold over a number of months.
Today's tale is one that began last summer.
It is a tale that involves our henhouses.
We have three henhouses.
Numbers one and two share an enclosed yard between them.
(although the door to this yard stays open daily for free ranging)
Across the lane and behind the Nigerian Dwarf goats is another house and another enclosed yard.
This particular house is where my some of my oldest chickens live.
My fancy top-hat chickens are 6 years old, while the black and white Marans are about 4.
There are also a few younger chickens in this group.
Last summer I had noticed that egg production in this house had dropped to an all-time-low.
It was not unusual to only get 2 to 4 eggs (total) daily from these gals.
I assumed it was due to the fact that they were older hens and didn't give it too much thought...
that is, until I spied a rat scampering into a hole underneath the henhouse.
Last summer was the first summer on the farm that I actually saw a few rats.
I never took their pictures because...
1.) the rats were dead...on the floor of the barn...a prize brought home by my barn cats.
2.) the rat ran so quickly that I had no time to snap his picture.
Now I am not a lover of rats, but I realize that mice and rats are a common pest on farms...
so, I didn't get too excited about seeing a couple.
What I didn't conclude, however, was that those rats were stealing eggs.
Over the past few weeks, our egg production in this particular house bounced back.
We were back to collecting a dozen or more eggs daily.
This past weekend I spoke to Hubbs about the change in egg production and mentioned
that maybe the summer's decrease had been due to the rats...
and that maybe now that there had been so much cold weather,
that maybe the rats had been staying in their homes... hibernating?
And then Hubbs spilled the beans.
He had put some rat bait down inside the hole under the henhouse.
(That would explain the stench I noticed in the henhouse a few weeks back...
that caused me to completely strip out the house and clean it!)
And so... the rats are gone...the hens are laying (still) and our egg customers are happy!
I only wish I had been able to see those wiley ole' rats stealing my eggs.
Now that would have been a great photo!
Yesterday was a soggy day on the farm... morning ice was followed by afternoon rain.
And so I spent the bulk of the day indoors...
dividing my time between laundry, vacuuming, cooking, ironing, knitting,
and working on wedding decorations...
large tissue paper flowers in pink, cream and light brown.
So much to do....thank goodness we still have lots of time!