Spring on the Farm
Over the last month we have been busy fixing up the house, but it hasn’t been just a “This Old House” marathon. The animals keep us hopping too.
One afternoon, I saw our big dog Alamo chasing something in the pasture. I thought it was a little cottontail and went over to rescue it. Fortunately I had my camera with me.
It turned out to be a little armadillo!
Now even though this is the state animal of Texas, I have only seen a few in my lifetime – usually at dusk, digging around in some brush for insects. I have no idea why this one was active in the middle of the day, out in the middle of the open field.
I successfully kept both dogs away from it, although they didn’t understand why I wouldn’t let them have fun with the little football. I tried to herd it back to the woods – the armadillo of course viewed me as just one more predator, and kept zig-zagging in any direction except towards the woods. Finally I got it to run into some brambles in the woods where it could be cool and sheltered. I hope it has a long and happy life and the dogs never find it again!
And, we now have ducks! And they are just as adorable as the armadillo. I have no idea what kind they are; we just got whatever the feed store had. We will just have to wait and see how their grown-up plumage turns out.
In the daytime I am letting them roam in the outside dog kennel, and swim in a plastic tub. They don’t really care to get out and explore, and they all want to stay together all the time, so I’m not too worried about them escaping. I am worried about hawks getting them though – the ducks have no defensive skills, they are literally “sitting ducks.” So I have piled up a bunch of chairs and buckets into a barricade, hoping the hawks will think it is too hard to maneuver through. I also have a fake turkey (which is sold as a decoy for bow hunters) mounted on the fence, because supposedly hawks are afraid of turkeys.
I am worried about raccoons or snakes getting them at night, so for now, I just put their feed in a dog crate – they rush in and start eating – I close the crate and bring the whole thing into the house. When they see their feed coming, they start dancing around and peeping, and they will eat out of my hand! They are much more sociable than chickens, but they are also very messy.
I hope they will have a long and wonderful life of eating bugs and pond weeds, and I hope the hawks never find them!