Winter has been playing all kinds of tricks on us this year. Early December found us in short sleeved shirts as we got chores completed that would have had to wait until much later in the season. Our bees were able to take several cleansing flights to take care of bathroom duty (fun fact, bees don't use the restroom in their hive) and we even saw some dandelions attempt to poke their heads out of the ground on days when it felt more like mid spring than early winter.
Winter has also brought with it the usual cold, rainy weather that is so usual for Indiana. The ground has been frozen for the past couple of weeks and we know that the ducks miss their opportunity to hunt for large night crawlers who have since burrowed deep beneath the earth to escape the frigid temperatures.
Predators have also upped their hunting game and we need to be more vigilant than ever to ensure that the chickens and ducks are protected from a hungry creature attacking from the ground or the air. When we first moved to the farm, when people would ask if we had problems with predators tormenting our livestock we always said "no, not yet." That saying is no longer true.
We've had to work harder at keeping the bantam chickens protected from a determined hawk that has managed to reduce the number of birds in the flock from 15 to 4 in the course of about three months and the other evening an unwelcomed night visitor fatally attacked one of our ducks. Farming is so much more than getting to spend time with the animals and feeding - farming is also surveillance.
Thankfully, we have been able to adapt to these threats and have taken steps for covered runs for our bantams and secured the perimeter around the ducks. There is truly never a dull moment on the farm.
Again, we'd like to take this moment to thank each of you for your continued support of our farm and for letting us be a part of your furry family in feeding your puppers I.P.A. Bites. Since you all are loyal followers now we want to let you in on a little secret that the Mutha Clucka is experimenting with fresh pumpkin to hopefully have a new treat flavor out soon! Stay tuned!
Until next time...