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Not Much Night Owling

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    Not Much Night Owling

    I haven't been in the sewing room the last couple of days. Today was booked!

    I had the Post Office calling me during my shower to tell me our turkey chicks had arrived. I could hear them peeping in the background! I brought them home, got them to drink and eat, then left them to get warm under the heat lamp. 8 of the 16 chicks were going to a friend down the road. I told her I'd get them started and bring them down after my errands. She has 3 kiddos 5, 3, & 5 months. She has her hands full in the mornings. It was the least I could do to help her out.

    After settling the chicks, I stuffed the cat into the carrier and packed him into the car. He's breathing has been sounding funny for a while. It sounds wet and snorkely. He's even had a couple of bloody sneezes. I was afraid he may have picked up the cat respiratory disease. Nope! Lungs are clear, no fever. He has feline asthma and it can have seasonal triggers. They gave him a steroid shot and his vaccinations. He's good to go! Yea!

    The most disturbing part of the day was the stop at my aunt's house. They needed help trimming the hooves on their goats. Not a problem. I was shocked at the appearance of their front yard. The put up a fence to keep the dogs/ birds in. Their front yard has been taken over by ducks and chickens. There used to be a nice lawn that is now gone and there are wallows pockmarking the ground and filled with muddy water.
    We headed in to deal with the goats. The bird areas had encroached into the main barn. I heard what I thought were chicks, but were rodents squealing. Auntie said "We have some rats." OK. Most farms do because of the grain/feeds. We do our best to keep the population down to a minimum. I finished with the hooves, ran in to use the bathroom since I had no idea how long the wait at the vet would be. I came back out the front door and holy cow! There had to be 30+ large, brown rats running amok in broad daylight! Rats are nocturnal. If you see one, there are a whole bunch more you don't see. I had some harsh words for them. It's sooo unhealthy for everyone & everything living there. I'm still grossed out by the thought of what I saw today. The rats weren't even afraid of me walking by. One thought about challenging me for the right of way on the sidewalk. Apparently my waffle stomper trail shoes and my aim for it's head may have had something to do with it changing direction.
    I have a call in to my cousin to see if he knows what the situation is. His sister is a huge part of the problem, she's collecting the birds. She's leaving food out, including cat food. They also have a huge pile of garbage in the driveway (mostly feed & shavings bags) that the rats are nesting in. You can certainly have birds, even the number they have, and not have a rat problem like this. They even have rat bait, but they won't use it because they are afraid the other animals will get into it.
    It's so bad I'm considering calling the department of health or animal control. I'll check with my cousin first. I'm thinking at the very least, we'll have an intervention. Ugh. I've never had to deal with the likes of this.

    I would rather be in my sewing room!

    I hope things are much better in your neck of the woods!
    Cathy
    Be who you are and say what you feel
    because those who mind don't matter,
    and those who matter don't mind. - Dr. Seuss

    http://www.toggpine.wordpress.com

    #2
    Glad you are talking to your cousin. I agree something has to be done. I'm surprised the rats haven't bitten the other animals. If all else fails get them a couple of adult rat terriers.
    sigpic

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    • toggpine
      toggpine commented
      Editing a comment
      They haven't had eggs in months, just some shells have been found. With the bowls of food left out, the rats don't have to expend the effort to eat the birds. If there were chicks, that might be a different story.

      Oooh! I forgot about the rat terriers! I have a friend that has them. I think she even "rats" them., and if she doesn't I bet she knows who does! Thank you for that great idea!
      I'd say we would get them a pair, but all of their working pets end up being spoiled to the point of health problems, and end up not working.
      Last edited by toggpine; May 8, 2020, 10:13 AM.

    #3
    whoa, that is a big problem. Once the infestation of anything occurs , be it weeds or rats or rescue cats or dogs it becomes a major issue to deal with. I think I might call the county extention agent and ask for advise. They might be able to offer some assistance in the confrontation rather than a family intervention. I'm sure your aunt doesn't really want to live like this. I've only had 2 rats in 40 years on our farm (mice yes, rats, no) and both were irradicated with a 22.
    Walk in peace with the Lord by your side.
    Terry

    Comment


    • toggpine
      toggpine commented
      Editing a comment
      I agree. Several years ago, we were getting rats crossing the road from the trashed house as they were cleaning it out. Snap traps, bait under our hay stacks, and the dogs and cat kept them under control. We even had an owl take up residence for a few weeks.
      The difference is we weren't OK with the infestation. We made it as inhospitable as possible for the invaders. We still have a couple every year that sneak in from the woods and try to set up residence in either the wood pile or the hay stack for the winter.
      I may see of the extension agency has any help available.

    #4
    Maybe it's time for a mental health evaluation of your aunt! Something needs to be done, and soon!

    Comment


    • toggpine
      toggpine commented
      Editing a comment
      My aunt has never been able to hold her kids accountable. 2 of the 4 managed to get their own selves together and be functional adults. The 2 at home, not so much. The oldest daughter, who is still living at home, is the one who has created the bird/rat problem. I am hoping with some support from outside family, they can get this under control.

    #5
    First off, love the word snorkely!!! Animal control won't do anything about rats, only domesticated animals. Check with the health department.
    Last edited by bubba; May 8, 2020, 03:48 PM.
    pat.

    No rain....no rainbows!


    sigpic

    If you can't be nice.....BE QUIET!

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    • toggpine
      toggpine commented
      Editing a comment
      Animal control may seize the animals for unhealthy living conditions if the Health Department and/or Code Enforcement get involved.

      Snorkely is fun to say too!
      Last edited by toggpine; May 8, 2020, 10:45 PM.

    #6
    Well I have no additional advice over what you have been given, but I sure wish you luck in coming to a reasonable solution. This does sound like it could turn into a serious health risk quickly.

    Comment


      #7
      oh my gosh I could picture this whole thing. The worst animal problem we had was bunnies. We bought two for the girls. We bought two females, then the neighborhood was amok with little black bunnies. I was assured they were going to the humane shelter and when I checked they weren't there. I was just hoping they didn't take them for food. ๐Ÿฐ๐Ÿ˜ข We do have a certain population that eat ๐Ÿถ
      "People were created to be loved. Things were created to be used. The reason why the world is in chaos is because things are being loved and people are being used"โ€• Dalai Lama XIV

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      • bubba
        bubba commented
        Editing a comment
        When I was young, my best friends parents bought her and each of her three sisters each a guinea pig. Within a few short months, there were TONS of them!!! I don't know what ever happened to them, but one day they were all gone.

      #8
      Regarding the rats -- Yikes! Yes, your cousin definitely needs to be made aware of the situation. It makes me shudder.

      On a lighter note, I'm glad your cat's respiratory woes are not too serious. When I read that he had feline asthma, my first thought was that you would be administering bronchodilator inhalers. To a cat. Wouldn't that be fun! Sure hope the steroid injection does the trick.

      Comment


      • toggpine
        toggpine commented
        Editing a comment
        Finn is doing much better. I'm guessing the steroids will dry up the snorkels and he'll be just fine.

      #9
      Update on the situation:

      My cousin knows about the rat situation. He is going to talk to Auntie on Sunday. The biggest problem is they won't say "No" to his sister.
      We talked about them getting an exterminator out to give advice about going forward. They want to clean out all of the trash and hiding places for the rats. It's good to clean up the mess, but then you have a bunch of homeless rodents. My guess is they need to reduce the rat population before removing their habitat.
      They also need to rethink the housing for the poultry. It needs to be a safe place for the animals to live, easy to keep clean, & efficient to get chores done.
      I am tempted to call Homestead Rescue to help, but it seems that they work more with people who don't have power, water, etc. and use thier property as their main source of income. Not so much a crazy 40 year old who's living @ home and plaguing the rest of the family with uncontrolled birds and rats.

      I did call my friend with the rat terriers. She is checking with a friend who does the ratting as a full time profession. I told her that the situation would be a good training for newer dogs. The rats don't have any clue that they need to be afraid of anything. A lot of success for beginners!

      In the worst case scenario, code enforcement or the health department gets involved. Cousin #2 needs to realize that she is going to have to change her behaviors, reduce the numbers, or face the reality that she may loose all of them. Thankfully, the animals all appear healthy, including those rats!

      Thanks for all of your helpful suggestions. It still gives me the willies just thinking about it.
      Be who you are and say what you feel
      because those who mind don't matter,
      and those who matter don't mind. - Dr. Seuss

      http://www.toggpine.wordpress.com

      Comment


        #10
        I just googled bubonic plague (remember the plague of the 14th century...black death) and yes, it still exists. The rats carry it and the condition is not prevalent but several people a year get it in the US. Perhaps that might be a wake up call pychologically. Just a thought
        Walk in peace with the Lord by your side.
        Terry

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          #11
          Good luck with this terrible situation. I canโ€™t imagine what a nightmare this is for you. Keep us posted on the progress.
          sigpicwww.whisperofrose.blogspot.com


          Scottie Mom Barb

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