It’s been a long week. I would have posted this three days ago, but we are having internet issues again. The sad reality is we have no choice but to accept our poor access. We live in rural hilly region of America and cannot get any other service than high speed internet of 1.5 Mbs through the phone line. This service is spotty as all get out and we had to call and complain again to the internet provider as the service did not work at all. They sent us a new modem and it works again. This is our third router in a year and the provider won’t let us use an off brand version due to “lack of support”. Since their service is so spotty we never know if its on the providers side or our modem and if we have an off brand modem they will always blame it. So I am having to drive into town and piggyback onto our daughter’s internet signal. Bubba has been working on the barn a few hours a day. I managed to get the tractor inside and in two hours we got about 60% of the barn torn up and near a door ready to be shoveled outside. The smell is very bad! All this heat and the moisture getting trapped is causing a faster than normal breakdown of the compost material. It is even causing a bad smell out by the cars when the wind blows toward the house. I am hoping to be done with the barn in a few more days. After he gets the barn all dug out and cleaned the chicken coop needs its annual cleaning also! The fun never ends at StewartCreekSomethings! We need the barn to sort the sheep one more time before putting the ram in with everyone. We need to sort off the sheep we are culling or selling before turning in the ram so that they don’t get pregnant. This needs to happen in July so that lambs are born in January. Doing that will allow us to have two sets of lambs born in 2019.
We are still feeding the barn cats but almost never see them. The cat food keeps vanishing and we spot the occasional cat running around the barn lot that we know is from our summer release program.
We are having predator issues again, but not with the chickens. We have only lost a few sheep over the last ten years but we have lost two this week and they were only a 200 yards from our house. After I spotted the last dead one Annmarie made an executive decision that we had to bring the animals into the barn lot every night. The next evening when she went out she found another carcass. It was an older ewe who had been gutted about 150 feet from the first kill. This was Monday evening. At 0400 the coyotes were in our upper pasture raising a ruckus and they woke me up. It was pitch black so I just ran out into the front yard and popped off a couple of 22 rounds into the ground to scare them off. If you live in the country this endeavor is best done in the nude. This did scare off the coyotes and no one was injured in the barn lot. I was woken up again Wednesday night at 0200 by a large group of coyotes hollering at each other on top of the hill. I repeated my rural scare tactic with my Walther P22 and tortured the ground yet again with three rounds this time. This seems to run them off but it is not fixing the problem. The problem is with food being this abundant they should not be attacking our sheep. We don’t think it is a cat as the carcass is just left on the ground and there are lots of trees right by the kill site so it would be easy to hide or stash a body up in the trees.
On a plus side after three evenings of running in the cows, the sheep and the two horses everyone is just putting themselves in the barn lot now. We just have to go out and shut the gate. We are hypothesizing that the animals feel more protected so that is why they come in at night or they are just learning a routine. It is now officially summer in Eastern Oregon. The back creek is dry, the wheat is supposed to be harvested next week, the summer weeds are flourishing and its hot!
My nephew and I have been working in the evenings for a couple of hours a night in an attempt to get the bull enclosure done. It is coming along but I have way too much wood! I ordered enough to do the entire corral in wood and with the metal panels I don’t need as much. I am sure we have enough wood to do the entire barn addition even enough to side the addition. But the wood is warping so i need to do it soon. Just one more thing to add to the list. Zeke got to work the cows the first couple of days as Mouse is injured. He got a large splinter and torn toenail on one foot. The vet had to fix it and while he was there they pulled out a couple of foxtail from one ear. This was not a bonus find as we paid for that removal also. So he is now $220 ahead of Zeke in vet bills. He won the most expensive dog category last year also so he is off to an early lead.