Here on the Law Family Homestead we are all about doing things as naturally as possible. Understanding that, we were presented with the problem a few years ago, of some form of rodents in my garden. We all love the fresh things a garden gives us. All our boys have grown up "grazing" in the garden from the time they could toddle and eat solid food. Now that they are older they have a habit of detouring through the garden, whenever they are on an errand somewhere, and grabbing a snack for the trip. While I do enjoy my own bit of "grazing," I also want a productive garden for storage and canning purposes. Plus, for the amount of effort one puts in to it, it's nice to have something to show for it.
A few years ago, while out looking for something to go with supper one evening, I spotted some likely looking candidates in the carrot bed. After looking through, and finding one of adequate size, I wiggled and tugged and finally pulled out a fine looking . . . but wait . . . what was this? Half a carrot, with bite marks on it? Upon closer examination I was pretty sure I could rule out any of the little boys who could have possibly thought to pull such a trick on their mother.
So I went looking for another likely carrot candidate. Another tug and another half a carrot. Okay - getting just a little peeved here. After looking over the whole garden I decided to call in reinforcements and after a hurried survey of the garden we concluded we had a problem. Family and friends were consulted as to the best way to get rid of the little creatures. Nothing worked. Traps, gum, water hoses, moth balls, and even my mighty BB gun hunters took a turn. We didn't want to use poison as I have too many littles running around, and didn't want them running across such things. So we decided we'd just have to live with them.
They pretty well demolished the garden that year. I wasn't looking forward to gardening the following year but along about spring time, a cat showed up at our place. She must have been dropped off, she was used to people, and very friendly. While I have little patience for people who dump their problems on others, this cat turned out to be an answer to prayer. She started hunting, and soon the little mounds of dirt were disappearing in my garden. She also started in on my husband's shop where we have to store the grain until our barn is built.
We soon discovered she was hunting to feed kittens she had hidden under some roofing tin. These soon grew up and took up the hunting trade from their mother. While she has moved on, her kittens are now permanent residents on the homestead. They keep the mice from the garden, shop, and from entering my house, and they are paid in fresh, warm Jersey milk, twice a day. So let us introduce to you our Rodent Control Police, annihilators, hunters etc.
We have Ginger -
We have Spice -
And we have Cheer.
Most wait patiently outside the stanchion area; Ginger on the other hand has to be first in line!
If you're not the first one there, you end up sharing the leftovers (in a snow storm!)
One can hog the entire dish, if you drink from the far side of the pan!
Some are more polite -
While still others like it straight from the source!
We've been working at this stunt for a while, and getting pretty good at it.
While not as clean and dainty as the others, it is vastly more entertaining!
Wait . . . Wait . . . for it!
Ahhh yes! the perfect shot!!! "GOT MILK!!!"
Okay . . . Well, I was impressed with the shot!
Raw milk drinking can be hazardous when the competition is bigger than you!
Missed a spot!
Tummy full of good food - Now for a good s-t-r-e-t-c-h!