A Prickly Situation

Yesterday morning started just as most mornings start.
Out of the house before dawn,

chores begun by gator headlights,

goats fed and watered,

chicken coops opened, cleaned, water changed, food replenished,

horses out to pasture in the dark,

pigs fed and watered.


well, donkeys were supposed to be out in the pasture,
but, you see, donkeys are very wary creatures,
and so they preferred to stay in the dry lot with me,

by the light of the barn,
as I scooped horse manure.

While all of this was taking place, I was aware that Sam was over by the garden
barking, barking, barking...
the sort of bark reserved for wild animals...
which may explain why the donkeys would not go out of the dry lot!

Several times I called to him and he came to me in the barn,
but each time he returned, barking, to that same spot on the edge of the garden.

Eventually, dawn came...

and I decided to investigate what it was that had Sam so worked up.

Oh, geez.....


it couldn't be....

Quickly I rounded up the dogs and took them back to the house.
There was no way I wanted either of them tangling with this little fellow.

Once the dogs were safely out of the area,
I had to decide what to do.
It seemed my choices were three:
1. shoot it
2. leave it alone and hope if eventually left the garden
3. capture it and move it

Well, if you know me, then you will immediately know that number 1 was certainly not an option.
Number 2?  Well, I couldn't risk the dogs getting tangled up with this guy,
(been there, done that)
so this was not an option either.
Leaving me.....option number 3.
Oh geez......

Ok... how to capture a porcupine without getting injured.....hmmmmmm. 
I decided that I would need to trap this little guy in something safe for both him and me.
A plastic trash can. (clean, of course)
Now, how to get him in there?
How about a long piece of wood to prod him?
Ok, let's try....

I placed the trash can on its side beside the porcupine and used the stick to push
the can as close to him as possible ( I didn't want to get close to him, myself!)

(Now here is where I have to bring in the rational facts.
Contrary to popular belief....porcupines cannot throw their quills.
You must get in contact with them for them to get embedded in your skin....
really...I did a little research on the subject.)

Since I had no plans to get that close, I figured I was safe.

Next I ran around to the outside of the garden fence and used the long piece of wood
to prod the little fellow towards the can.
Luckily, he turned on his heels and marched right into that can.

Back into the garden I ran and quickly set the can up on its end...
covering the top with the lid.
 (just in case he could jump high enough to quickly make his escape,
injuring me in the process....wild imagination!)

Safely captured inside the can and ready for relocation.
It was at this point that I knew I needed help.
(Thanks, Jim!)
Otherwise, how would I open the lid and allow him to escape...
all the while capturing the necessary photos to prove to you that I had actually caught him!

All's well that ends well....

We relocated this little guy about a mile down the road
and he slowly scampered off across the field and into the woods...

This was one adventure that I am not hoping to repeat at any time in the future.
One porcupine capture was enough for a lifetime.
The one thing that I take away from this experience and share with you is this:

You would be amazed at what you can do when you have to!!

PS:  I found this little quill in the grapevine next to where that little porcupine
had barricaded himself...
so glad it was there, and not in Sam or Oakely!


Anonymous said…
I am glad that you were able to move him/her without injury! My dogs once found an echidna in the garden. Echidnas are the closest thing we have here to porcupines, in that they are also covered in quills, or spines. They are a type of mammal known as monotremes, which means that their babies hatch from eggs, but then live in their mother's pouch and drink milk.

Kathy from Tasmania
Lynne said…
Amazing . . . happy you had a safe capture and successful release! And no quills in you or the pup . . .
Hi Bev,
What a close call that was, and quite an adventure.. Glad it all worked out for everyone.
This N That said…
Good Job, Bev..Everyone is safe and sound!!!
kmac said…
This was really interesting--and I read the post from before too with the dogs covered in quills! OMG. Thank you for relocating him!
jaz@octoberfarm said…
wow...lucky that no one got quilled. i've never seen one up close.
Jennifer said…
Oh wow! Good thing no one was injured and the little guy/gal was safely relocated.
theresa EH said…
talk about your catch of the day eh ;p This city slicker had one once in the yard, I used a dog crate. the capture was the talk of my sons grade 2 class for months.
Jody in Georgia said…
Amazing! I think you deserve a merit badge for "Porcupine Relocator"!
Carla said…
Hooray!! You are my hero!!
Carla said…
PS...Good on Sam for being wise enough to know that the slow little creature was not to be tangled with.
This N That said…
What a way to start the day..Glad everyone was safe and sound..
Sara Dixon said…
I have never seen a porcupine, over here in the UK. Thank you!
Anonymous said…
I love the donkey closeups and kudos to you for relocating that porcupine (without injury)!
Unknown said…
Wow, that was a narrow escape...great ingenuity!! You are very resourceful! But then working a farm does that to you...ha!