Some days I get so fed up of living on an organic farm

For the dairy folks and/or beef folks with questions about udders, milk and mastitis.
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Suzie Q
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Re: Some days I get so fed up of living on an organic farm

Postby Suzie Q » Thu Nov 24, 2011 2:30 am

Over here fridges and freezers that are kept outside and off are supposed to have the seal taken off. A child can climb in them and not be able to get out and can die from lack of oxygen.
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Re: Some days I get so fed up of living on an organic farm

Postby dun » Thu Nov 24, 2011 4:29 am

Suzie Q wrote:Over here fridges and freezers that are kept outside and off are supposed to have the seal taken off. A child can climb in them and not be able to get out and can die from lack of oxygen.

Even with the seal removed they're still rat/mouse proof
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Re: Some days I get so fed up of living on an organic farm

Postby regolith » Thu Nov 24, 2011 6:21 am

An old fridge is what I keep the rat bait in - it's the only place I could think of that would effectively control their access.
They've eaten the bait now. It just took them a couple of days to think about it - it was Monday night they chewed those teats, it's Thursday night now.

Suzie, when I moved here I brought a trailer load of pot plants and set them out on the lawn till I got organised, and every time I turned round there would be a rat hiding behind a pot or climbing in and investigating them... my dog was just starting to get into killing rather than just chasing rats when he died. I'd say we had an infestation, yet now I rarely see one around the house and the bait is only taken a couple of times a month.

Farmerjon, I hope you don't mind me saying that you're missing some of the details of NZ farming. There are no buildings here that you would describe as a 'barn' - the calfshed is a 3-sided lean-to, open to rats from every direction. I've never tested the theory but it's common knowledge that you don't bother baiting rats in a calf shed while calves are being reared there because they prefer baby calf dung to the bait.
I've learned a few things about this farm from a neighbour today that would give anyone the willies. One of the keys to the rat infestation - and the holes they've burrowed in the ground around attest to it - is the presence right behind the house of a stinking hole half-full of water and carcases. The person who thinks that is a suitable dead-stock disposal method also grins and claims to breed the rats as a hobby when you notice one and point to it.

The critters have been climbing on the piece of wood I leant against the milk bucket, but I've taken it down for now - I put a nail in one end so it wouldn't slide but it needs to be more secure than that, wouldn't want the ickle things to get hurt when it rolls over and give up trying. I'm thinking if you could get the milk level just the right height below the rim of the bucket they might too fall in and drown. Maybe steps instead of a ramp?
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Re: Some days I get so fed up of living on an organic farm

Postby Farmerjon » Thu Nov 24, 2011 9:25 am

Regolith, yes, please excuse my ignorance on New Zealand farming practices. And I do say that in all seriousness.
Rats, I HATE rats. Do you have any good ratting dogs? Years back, a dairy farmer in my school district had excellent looking rat terriers that were nothing more than lap dogs. He went to an Amish farmer that was advertising rat killing rat terriers. He inquired how the Amishman knew they were rat killers. They went out to the barn and there was a 55 gallon drum on end. He said each pup when weaned was put in that barrel with a rat. Pups will play with the rat, the rat will get mad and bite the pup, eventually the pup will kill the rat when good and mad. Evidently this event stays with the pups throughout their lives. He did the same thing and I did buy a couple of males off of him. They were killing machines. Opossums, ground hogs, raccoons, squirrels, cats, rats, anything that moved, rabbits, the downside of them, I did not have much wild game close by. The upside, no 'coons in the haymow, no groundhogs under any buildings. The jack russel we currently have is good with moving hogs in the barn or from trailer. But isn't a ratter.
I would get a good dog or a pair. They will work 24 hours a day. If you get one do the barrel trick and get it going on your own. I wish you the best of luck. I can't stand rats. We raise a few bottle calves here also. Never heard about a rat eating the manure. Makes sense I guess. Uuuuggghhhhhh.
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Re: Some days I get so fed up of living on an organic farm

Postby wbvs58 » Thu Nov 24, 2011 4:14 pm

Reg, have you had any trouble with rodents chewing out plumbing and wiring in your motor vehicles?
Leading up to winter we have to be very carefull of rodents moving into sheds and into engine bay of vehicles, a couple of years ago I had vacuum hoses, radiator hoses and a little electrical insulation chewed in my Rodeo ute, last year they got into ventilation ducts of my Isuzu truck, they died there from my bating but boy was it ripe when I got into the truck.
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Re: Some days I get so fed up of living on an organic farm

Postby highgrit » Thu Nov 24, 2011 5:22 pm

Moth balls under the hood will keep the mice and rats away. Good news Luck
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Re: Some days I get so fed up of living on an organic farm

Postby Gale Seddon » Thu Nov 24, 2011 5:28 pm

Farmerjon, I believe what you say. Honestly. But I have to ask...are there any particular health precautions that you take with your varmint killing terriers? Doesn't sound like an animal that's a pet in any case.

Regolith, in an effort to better understand what your do and where and how, can you post some photos? I'm having trouble with the carcass disposal thing regarding the rats. Somehow that doesn't fit in with the pristine "organic" New Zealand picture in my mind.
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Re: Some days I get so fed up of living on an organic farm

Postby 3waycross » Thu Nov 24, 2011 5:47 pm

When we were kids my grandma's chicken house was a haven for rats. they had tunneled all under the dirt floor and would come up at night and eat the chicken feed.
Our solution was to stick a hose down a rat hole and club the rats as they emerged. We killed 167 in an hour one day. Just remember to wear coveralls and tie the legs so they can't run up them. BTW the dog probably killed another 30 as they escaped outside.

VERY ORGANIC
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Re: Some days I get so fed up of living on an organic farm

Postby Gale Seddon » Thu Nov 24, 2011 6:36 pm

3waycross, I'd be wearing Kevlar undies!

Your description reminded me of my brother's tactics when we were youngsters. He would catch a black snake, aim it down a hole in the corner of a horse stall in the barn, then sit and wait for the rat to come out another hole in the other corner of the stall and shoot it.
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Re: Some days I get so fed up of living on an organic farm

Postby regolith » Thu Nov 24, 2011 11:10 pm

The carcass disposal hole is not normal Gale - I've never seen one like that before. My cows that died of bloat, I called for a truck they came and picked them up and take them away for skinning and rendering.
Nothing about this farm is normal. How I got here is too long a story, but you should understand it's only had cattle on for eighteen months and the person I took over from was closed down within a few months due to lack of knowledge/experience.

Terriers aren't really my type of dog, though I agree you can't go past them for rat control. I lost a border collie cross recently and will look out for another pup when I think I've got the time and energy to spend on one - and that's not now, and never likely to be a little yappy thing - my cats fill the role of small, noisy, and demanding. Thanks though.
And thanks for the tip on mothballs highgrit - it's a worry, I haven't sustained vehicle damage myself but know people who have. One of the dead rats I found at the house was in my ute engine.

I've been meaning to look through my photos, not taking any since my camera died. The images in the two calving threads I have on here might give you a better idea of what i'm doing - I know there's photos of a calfshed in the 2009 thread though they don't show the whole building.
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Re: Some days I get so fed up of living on an organic farm

Postby regolith » Thu Nov 24, 2011 11:24 pm

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Re: Some days I get so fed up of living on an organic farm

Postby Farmerjon » Fri Nov 25, 2011 3:39 am

Regolith, just the normal vaccinations and make sure to keep up on the rabies! Otherwise, that was it. They don't have to be yappy little dogs. Like most dogs that are actually working dogs, they will take their job seriously. Nice though to sit and have one jump on your lap and enjoy being petted. Yes the moth balls will help keep the rats from being interested in your engine bay.
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