Tag Archives: hares

Mouse in the house

As it’s a good season here in South Australia with rain, crops and hay so much so that the mice are breeding rapidly. Farming and mice go hand in hand and I dislike it very much. Most farm houses have cats for this reason, they catch the mice, they eat them and keep the numbers down.

Not so much in this farming enterprise, we have 4 cats, they were born feral, by that I mean feral. They were wild and as kittens my husband found them in his header and shed and got the dogs to help catch them. They lived in a cage in the shed on old woollen jumpers / sweater, then they were moved by the hay forks on the tractor to the back porch, then inside as it was a very cold winter. The farmer use to sit there and put his welding gloves on and pick them out of the cage one by one to pat them. They now after 7 years living with us, like the comforts of home, sleeping on beds and chairs.

The fourth cat Gatsby was caught, mid winter cold, starving and on the road, he now also resides inside and his favourite sleeping spot is on the top bunk. He climbs up there and sleeps. But what these four cats do is enter the house through the two cat flaps that my husband has had installed. They bring with them mice, hares, rabbits, the odd bat and reptiles of the lizard kind. They are so well fed they sometimes bring these mice in via their mouths, cough like they have a fur ball and spit the mice out, 8 out of 10 are eaten  and the other two are left to run free…. in my house.

It’s not abating, I had to travel to our major city the other day 300kms where I picked up our reusable shopping bags, left them in the car overnight. I drove to appointments and then at the end of the day without thinking about it, I grabbed them out of the car, put them in the trolley and went about my shopping. I came to the cash register, handed over my bags to the gentleman, started unloading my trolley to hear the cashier saying “ooo, ooo, umm” and as I looked up towards him I could see he was backing away from my bags. I did the eye roll and asked “is there a dead mouse in there?” he turned and looked at me “oh no love, it NOT dead.” he said I walked up to the bag, took it from him and walked it outside the shops. I emptied it into the carpark, watched the mouse run off and went back inside to complete the transaction.

The cashier looked at me and I said “it’s a country mouse and not likely to survive in the city, it’s travelled over 300 km’s to get here. He said “OMG, the last time I saw a mouse my partner saw it and screamed like a girl!’ I laughed and said “I think you nearly did too, didn’t you?” “oh yes, did you notice that?” it was funny as everyone within earshot stepped back as I went to take the bag outside to empty out the mouse. I have no idea how to be rid of them, I wish it wasn’t standard practice in farming hat you need to adapt to them, any ideas how to keep the cats from bringing them in? If you do feel free to let me know.

frank-look-alike-caryying-a-mouse

Road Kill

If you live in the country, one thing you notice when you travel a lot is the road kill. You have probably killed animals yourself and it is an awful feeling. I hate the noise they make when you hit them. But when being taught to drive you are taught not to swerve away from them – this can lead you to losing control of the car and killing oneself or veering into on coming traffic and killing other humans. It’s horrible but it happens.

In Australia, one of our biggest threats is the Kangaroo, they appear at all times though mainly around dusk, and they will jump off the shoulder of the road and into the path of your car, depending upon its size it can do extensive damage or panel damage. Cars normally kill the animal but have you thought about what you would do if it didn’t? Have you gone back to check? I drove past one the other day and he was badly injured and I travelled along our road until I waved down an on coming car (a lovely ex neighbor) and asked him to go shoot it. Which he did, to put it out of its misery. We could see it was male so there was no looking for a baby joey so we drove on.

I have encountered birds, one flew directly into the car, hit the nudge bar and died, it then fell between the bar and the grill and it wasn’t until I stopped that I realized it was still there and I had to remove it. I was bringing some German friends with me to the farm from the city at the time and they thought it was worthy of pictures.

Emu’s are also a road problem as they can cause extensive damage as their bodies are car bonnet height and if you hit them their heads can hit the wind screen as break that as well, wombats are hard as they get wedged under the car and we also have the problem of deer. Not native to Australia, introduced and become pests to farmers if they move into your crops. One does try to avoid them but it can look like they run directly into you,

Rabbits & Hares are the worst as they run across, jump back and then appear to run full tilt into the wheels. I try to avoid it all now, not only for the damage to the car but the sound of it. It’s awful.  The greater the speed the harder it is to stop and avoid accidents or slow-moving animals.

Australian Kangaroo & Joey

Australian Kangaroo & Joey