Friday, 28 November 2014

An Interloper In The Silage Bale.

If my old literary hero Thomas Hardy was still writing tales about his magical and fictional Wessex.  He may of used the title of this blog for one of his compositions.  May be not?

Number one son got a  mobile phone call yesterday from a farmer up the road.  He had collected three round bales from our haggard (where the moo cows  and the tractors and silage live) and we duly loaded them with the Ford 4000 and thought no more about them.

It appears though that he had taken a creature belonging to us with him.  Not one of the lads and lasses with the ear tags.  No it was one of those creatures with the long tail - rattus norvegicus, to be precise.  Apparently it had tunnelled under the silage bales,, chewed through the plastic and tunnelled up into the silage.  Making a 'des res' for it'self for the winter.  The bar steward!

The farmer had noticed the rat jump out when he picked it up to feed his cattle.  The rat disappeared over the hill and the bale was completely rotten.  Lets hope the rat makes a new home somewhere else.  The silage contractor told me in the summer to place old silage plastic and lorry tarps under the bales.  Then when it rains.  There will be smallholding PUDDLES.  Yes we are talking about them again.  Apparently rats don't have wellingtons or "the rubber boots" and they won't make homes in your silage bales.

It's the same old adage isn't it?  "Never throw anything away".  Unless it's a rat of course and you can send it on it's holidays to another farm.  We will replace the bale with a fresh rat free bale - hopefully!

Do you get unwanted rodent visitors?

UB40 had a number 12 (I looked it up!) with "Rat In The Kitchen.."  I wonder if I could get an hit with "Rat In My Silage"?"

14 comments:

  1. You could try...it would be entertaining to watch at least :o)

    Rats here too. They are currently excavating under my bird seed feeders and I blamed the innocent moorhen! CT.

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  2. Thanks for becoming a follower of this blog, Countryside Tales. I look forward to your blogs.

    I got rid of my hens and ducks because every time I went to feed them. A couple of rats would jump out and terrify me. I found scattering their food about attracted them. Terrier use to like hunting for them. She prefers to sleep under the table while I am on the computer these days. She also likes choccie biscuits. Thanks!

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    1. We did same with our hens. Rats have reduced in numbers since. Both our dogs (westie and a JR) LOVE chasing the rats which has helped :o) Thanks for the follow also.

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    2. Don't think you ever get rid of rats. They are far too intelligent and numerous to eradicate. The Jack Russell terrier and the cat do keep them away. I place any feedstuffs in closed wheelie bins. The hens and ducks were costing 36 Euros a month in feed. You can buy a lot of fresh eggs for that. Plus you don't need to clean them out. Cheers!

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  3. bloody rats! hate those damn things and pigeons who wait for you to plant your peas out!

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    1. Hi Sol. They are horrible aren't they? The joys of country living? You never fully get rid of them. I have even seen them eating blackberries in the fields. They will eat anything organic - anything! Once saw a fox carrying a big dead rat in it's mouth. So foxes do help eradicate rats. Thanks!

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  4. And what about Boomtown Rats? .......... Tell you what I don't like Mondays.

    And they made him Sir Bob Geldof.

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  5. I thought: "I don't like Mondays" was their best record Cumbrian. They made him Sir Bob Geldof for his involvement with Live Aid. Raising money for the starving in Africa. I always remembering him swearing on Live Aid and it made a lot of people donate money. I like his hair style too.

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  6. One of the old farmers I know , knew a man who used to catch hay rats by slowly inserting his hand into the bale gaps and grabbi the bastards!

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  7. I would have died if I saw that John. I think fighting lions would be a better option than to fight those creatures. They ("who are they?") say that we are only six feet away from one at any time. Do you get many rodent visitors in your Ukraine village?

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  8. The cats left me a rat to clear up in my "office" the other morning; fortunately I went in there before leaving for work, and there it was, fortunately dead on the rug. I cleared it up as is my job. I spoke to my nearest neighbour last year about feeding the birds with food left on the ground and he said he would stop. His birds and chicken feeders seem to attract the rats I fear. My brother used to "do" the rats every week and keep a rat diary on the farm so that he could show it to the Farm Assured man when he made his annual visit. The rat diary showed the number of dead rats found and plans of the poison positions. My brother was very thorough. I dont think I am having much luck with my neighbour here who doesnt seem to understand country ways, or the ways of rats.

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  9. I have an "office" also, Rachel. It's really the front room. You are right you don't leave food on the ground or it will attract rats and mice.

    The rat diary sounds very thorough. I believe years a go you could take rats tails to your local council and they would pay you for each one.

    Rats are very intelligent and you can't eradicate them. You keep their numbers down and keep all feedstuffs in containers with lids on, if possible. They eat anything. Thanks!

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  10. Don't see rats because of the cat which is great but not sure about his gifts of dead mice and young rabbits minus their heads :(

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  11. Cats are worth their weight in gold keeping the rats and mice down. Sadly, they also destroy a lot of the good wildlife like robins and rabbits. I have heard of foxes catching cats. It's a predator world in the countryside.

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