Predator News

We found a couple of additional game trails with telltale feathers here and there, showing that chickens had been taken that way by predators, and we set some more snares. So far we’ve caught a large raccoon in addition to the previously reported bobcat, and predation seems to be down.

I should mention that I learned predator control partly from the local Federal trapper (courtesy of the USDA-APHIS Wildlife Damage Program), partly from the instructional DVD that came with the Dakotaline Snare Package I bought to get myself started with my own snaring, and partly from Hal Sullivan’s excellent book, Snaring 2000 Read more...

Robert Plamondon on EmailRobert Plamondon on FacebookRobert Plamondon on GoogleRobert Plamondon on LinkedinRobert Plamondon on StumbleuponRobert Plamondon on TwitterRobert Plamondon on Youtube
Robert Plamondon
Robert Plamondon has written three books, received over 30 U.S. patents, founded several businesses, and is an expert on free-range chickens. His publishing company, Norton Creek Press, is a treasure trove of the best poultry books of the last 100 years.

Rabbit Resurrection

My 1975 VW Rabbit came home rejuvenated from the shop today. (As I wrote in an earlier post, restoring my 33-year-old Rabbit, which has been in my family since it was new, is the method I’ve chosen for achieving better gas mileage). Its main problem was that it had about a half-inch of rusty sludge in the bottom of the gas tank. This (and the underlying problem of water finding its way into the gas tank) had caused a variety of problems. The good people at the Independent Auto Werks in Corvallis cleaned the tank, blew out the fuel lines, did a partial rebuild of the carburetor (including replacing a clogged idle jet — no wonder it didn’t want to run!), and now the car is running better than it has in years, maybe decades. Read more...

Robert Plamondon on EmailRobert Plamondon on FacebookRobert Plamondon on GoogleRobert Plamondon on LinkedinRobert Plamondon on StumbleuponRobert Plamondon on TwitterRobert Plamondon on Youtube
Robert Plamondon
Robert Plamondon has written three books, received over 30 U.S. patents, founded several businesses, and is an expert on free-range chickens. His publishing company, Norton Creek Press, is a treasure trove of the best poultry books of the last 100 years.

Scratch One Bobcat

I found a bobcat in one of my snares yesterday, which was Day Three of having snares out. It was a big male — 26 pounds. Most my chicken losses are consistent with how bobcats hunt (dawn or dusk, with a short chase, a quick kill, and the chicken carried away without being dragged), but I think I’m losing chickens faster than can be explained by a single bobcat, however big, so I’ll keep up my anti-predator efforts. Read more...

Robert Plamondon on EmailRobert Plamondon on FacebookRobert Plamondon on GoogleRobert Plamondon on LinkedinRobert Plamondon on StumbleuponRobert Plamondon on TwitterRobert Plamondon on Youtube
Robert Plamondon
Robert Plamondon has written three books, received over 30 U.S. patents, founded several businesses, and is an expert on free-range chickens. His publishing company, Norton Creek Press, is a treasure trove of the best poultry books of the last 100 years.

Rural Trade-Offs

Living in the country requires trade-offs, and so does farming. Taking vacations in February instead of August, for example.

Sometimes the trade-offs seem like a good deal. Corvallis has an excellent fireworks display every Fourth of July, but we are so far north that the city waits until it’s fully dark at about 10:15 PM before starting the display. After it’s done, there’s a brief traffic jam and then (if you’re me) a half-hour drive home. Read more...

Robert Plamondon on EmailRobert Plamondon on FacebookRobert Plamondon on GoogleRobert Plamondon on LinkedinRobert Plamondon on StumbleuponRobert Plamondon on TwitterRobert Plamondon on Youtube
Robert Plamondon
Robert Plamondon has written three books, received over 30 U.S. patents, founded several businesses, and is an expert on free-range chickens. His publishing company, Norton Creek Press, is a treasure trove of the best poultry books of the last 100 years.

Didn’t there used to be more hens around here?

I recently fell into the free-range chicken farmer’s nightmare: missing hens. A few scatterings of feathers where hens had been nabbed, but obviously a lot more hens are missing than that.

Couldn’t happen at a worse time — during the upswing of the farmer’s market season. Demand for free-range eggs is increasing and I have a sharply reduced supply of hens, and therefore eggs. Read more...

Robert Plamondon on EmailRobert Plamondon on FacebookRobert Plamondon on GoogleRobert Plamondon on LinkedinRobert Plamondon on StumbleuponRobert Plamondon on TwitterRobert Plamondon on Youtube
Robert Plamondon
Robert Plamondon has written three books, received over 30 U.S. patents, founded several businesses, and is an expert on free-range chickens. His publishing company, Norton Creek Press, is a treasure trove of the best poultry books of the last 100 years.