Monday, December 13, 2010

Doctors are very smart but sometimes annoying, and the rodent update:

Many of the readers of Java's Barn blog are probably horse ladies... horsey women usually don't like talking about babies, pregnancy, etc.  I am one of those.  Especially since I am 5 months into this pregnancy and have found out that the worst symptoms and conditions of pregnancy are not talked about... until you are pregnant.  This is a trick to make us think we can have babies and not go insane.

Either way, I think horsey ladies need our own doctors.  Or we should be allowed to be treated by our vets.

Case in point:
I'm a the baby doctor's office (OBGYN) this past week.  You are scolded if you are not eating anything home made from your own organic garden, and put on a plate while singing nursery rhymes.  I've promptly and unfortunately gained 20 lbs, am constantly hungry, but have not skimped one bit on the barn work, upkeep or dog walking.  I just do it a little slower than normal.  But I am not miserable, but getting used to being perpetually uncomfortable unless I'm wearing size XL fleece pants, but smiling and happy.
The baby doctor informs me that I should watch my weight, eat more vegetables, fruit, beans and exercise.   I explain to this doctor what activity I do on a daily basis and she looks at me like, yeah right, sure you take care of 3 horses and their millions of pounds of manure daily and walk the dogs through the woods in all weather for acres and acres.
Mr. Java's Mom and I agree that these monthly check ups are not fun.  I will get back into my britches by next July, so the less weight I have to lose the better, but good greif! 

No matter, I will take this angst and use it to finish eradicating the rodent population on the property. 

The head count:
No mice in traps or zapper.
No rats in zapper.
Lots of dead rodent smells throughout the property from rodents eating poison and going somewhere discreet to die.
One horse (explained below).
Two dogs (also explained below).

Java and Zapper: I had the zapper in an corner of Java's stall under her food bucket, but she decided it was a toy.  I'm lucky it still works.
Mackie and Zapper:  Then Mackie found it, thank god it was off, and it took more abuse and I'm even luckier it still works.
Note to self, keep zapper away from dogs and horses, but near rodent places.
Bandy and mouse snap trap:
Bandy was spotted carrying a set mouse trap in her mouth, and thank god dropped it when i said her name in a confused, bewildered, and shocked way... "bbbbbandyyyyyy?????"  She gently set it down.  No wonder the trap has not caught anything, if the dog could get it out of it's hiding spot, start to carry it in her mouth and put it down without it going off, i probably won't when a mouse touches it.

Bandy the mouse trap inspector:

Mackie the Rat Zapper inspector:

That's OK, I walk the dogs 3,289 times a day, and as I come along a spot where dead rodent smell fills the air, I gladly relish the moment for a nanosecond and appreciate that they are killing themselves conveniently.

And, as for the baby doctor, I will hone my selective hearing skills.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Compost cooking and rodent body count:

Every weekend, Mr. Java's Mom heads over to what we call the farmyard area of the property and takes the manure from the "turning bin" and puts it into one of the 3 other bins of the Manure Cabana.  I'm pretty good in the kitchen, but I make good compost too.  You can tell by the steam.  We bed with straw, so it cooks down fast.

Nice and steamy:

Making sure he gets a good bucket full:

and, into the other bin for more cooking:

other compost shots:

I turn around, and see that everything is under control, we are being supervised:

The rodent count:
Rat Zapper has caught 3 mice, one of which got blasted out of the zapper.  Zero rats.  This means that I have many less rodents than I thought, they are eating the poison and dying politely somewhere else, or I have very smart rats and mice and they avoid the zapper.

Java has a confirmed abscess in her front right hoof.  It is a doosey (this does not spell check but you know what I mean).  Her heel bulb is bulging as the abscess is working it's way out of her hoof.  Yikes.  She is tolerating her prescribed veterinary treatment well (OK that's a small lie, she will not tolerate having her hoof soaked, but will let me wrap it in anything I want 24x7), and I hope we're done with this in a few days.  I'm not complaining, I'd rather an abscess any day over most other lameness possibilities.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Rat strategy and general Java update

If you are lucky enough to not need to know about rats, this is an important fact:  They are smart.  If you have tried ever to kill rats, you are saying to yourself, "duh! they are not easy to trap".

I have not caught one since the wonderful snap trap kill.  I know there is at least one more.  Darn thing doesn't even bother to be shy, GRRrrrrrrrrrrrrr.   

So... I bought a "Rat Zapper".

This thing is supposed to kill rats and mice with an efficient zap of electrocution.  Nice and easy.  Then a light goes on in the box indicating that something dead is inside, you slide the dead thing out (or over the wall, he he, just kidding) and re-set for more wonderful moments of dead-ness. (nevermind that this section of text for some reason is highlighted).

BUT.  I have not caught a thing since getting it on Friday.  This is disappointing for a few reasons, including that I was going to measure the rats for bigness (fun!).  Bait is supposed to be dry.  So the bait currently is a dried date and some dry dog food.

These rats are smart.  I will get them though.  Because I don't want to get a cat, I'm motivated to get the Zapper going in high gear.  Tonight I'm going to try some left over stuffing... dry, but barely moist at this point.  And I have plenty left over in case it works.

Meanwhile, Java is painfully lame.  Her right front is the problem.  I'm hoping abscess.  The vet arrives tomorrow.  She's tough as nails, bright, and weight bearing, but I can see it hurts her.  She does not soak, but will leave a bandage on, so she is getting her hoof packed and today is on stall rest today (it's raining like crazy anyway).  Well, at least I don't have to worry about riding.

Yesterday Java and Sugar were very interested in something across the neighbors chemically green lawn and into the woods.  I'm guessing a trail rider.  Sugar was sure it was a monster, before the pics he had his little arab tail up and was snorting.  I took the opportunity to take some photos of the two of them, even though they are dirty.  The third horse "T" was actually spooking at something in the opposite direction, so she did not make it into the photos.

OH, and Bandy's haircut.  The one she got after getting into the burrs (a couple of posts ago).  Poor thing, she likes it, but it's not exactly the best haircut I've given her.  It's her long haired Jack Russel mixed with I-don't-know-what look.