Friday, 4 July 2014

Big Sigh


It's been a week since we returned from Sweden
And in that week
I have had no casualties to the badger

Three new girls arrived this week to boost the egg numbers
And the new ex battery hens are due to arrive next week..so
I have made a decision
I am going to learn to use a shotgun
( ok I can't kill badgers but I can kill the odd fox)
I am going to have a word with the RFWF 's son
I am sure he'll teach me
Don't hate me readers

79 comments:

  1. I don't remember you writing about foxes bothering your chickens. I had hoped it was just the badgers.

    cheers, parsnip

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  2. I understand, while I don't like it (or the necessity). Be careful. Please.

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  3. You have to do what you have to do.

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  4. No hating here. (BTW, that ad is hilarious!)
    I don't know if you have talked about it before, John, but is trapping an option?

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    1. Not really.....too many badger

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  5. There is really no reason why you cannot make your coops secure, but this won't save you from daytime raids, or even night time raids from badgers, since you aren't allowed to shoot them anyway. If all else fails, make sure you get BB shot for your 12 bore. You don't want to just wound them, despite what you feel. My advice - forget guns.

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    1. I am thinking more about foxes and I would like to learn a new skill

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    2. I'm with Tom on this one. You will need a license,reviewed annually and a special gun safe to keep your rifle/s in. You could just get a man in to deal with the foxes.

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    3. You will also need to spend a year or so (depending on your natural abilities) to be competent enough to be let loose on real wildlife without causing undue suffering to them.

      If your ambition is to shoot foxes, then you really need a rifled-firearm, which is a completely different licence to a shotgun, and much harder to obtain.

      If you just want to learn a new skill for fun, then I suggest you join the nearest clay-shooting club to get a feel for it. You will get free tuition - it's harder than it looks - and you can decide if it for you long before you take the step of asking the police for a licence.

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    4. Oh, and a shotgun certificate is renewed every five years, not one.

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    5. Scottish Law is different.....just because we can!

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    6. We can't afford to send the police around once a year down here. If things go according to Sean Connery's plan, neither will you!

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    7. Sean Connery?! ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

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    9. Nana - you ok? Not choking, I hope?!

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  6. Shit, that's so much better than colonic irrigation. Order me shit loads.

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  7. I am surprised you don't have one already living in the countryside like you do.

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  8. Why are you not allowed to shoot badgers???? if they endanger your animals.

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    1. They are protected in th uk

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    2. Because they aren't tasty enough.

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    3. "I swear to you officer, it WAS a fox, that damn badger must have tried to protect him!"

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    4. This is TRUE story.

      A Scottish man was had up in court for shooting a Golden Eagle.

      The Judge asked him why he shot the eagle, and he explained that the bird flying over seemed to be in silhouette when he pulled the trigger, and he did not identify it in time. This is common, if John ever does any shooting, he will understand.

      When asked what he did with the dead eagle, the man said he ate it.

      The judge asked what the eagle tasted like, and the man said, "A bit like Swan".

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  9. I just deleted what I typed... sounds too heartless... but... do what you have to do... we did when we lived on our farm. Say... wonder what badger tastes like fixed as a roast?

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  10. I don't hate you,and if i had livestock that kept getting raided, i'd want a shotgun, too.

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  11. Put some wet cat food out with chilli powder paste hidden in the middle, someone will try it, hopefully the badger. Chickens are not affected by capsicum. Hopefully the badger will get there before all the cats and dogs in the area do. If not you can smear it all over the badger's arse toilet paper. Good luck John, I know what a heartache it is to lose your chickens to these predators.

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  12. Erm....we all know the real reason is in case of a zombie attack..can't fool us!
    Jane x

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  13. Poor badgers. A badger's got to do what a badger's got to do...

    Those ex-battery hens may soon wish they were back in their safe house.

    The only reason your dogs don't eat the chickens is because you feed them and keep them in, so feed the badgers and adopt them. I look forward to the sidebar photo of badgers in bed with you and Winnifred looking outraged.

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  14. Just curious....is there a special reason you can't shoot badgers? Is it against the law or something? I'd think it would be okay if he was killing your chickens....just curious :)

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  15. Oops...sorry...just read the previous comments......had no idea they are protected in the UK. I guess badgers do some good afterall?

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  16. John you need a real bona fide farm dog. One that will tangle with the odd fox and win but smart enough to leave the badger alone. Ok, can't shoot the badger but could you harass it enough to get it to look for easier pickins....Might mean you have to stake out your hen house for a night though....

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  17. A man has a right to protect his flock John. Good for you.

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  18. Ok, a little practical advise regarding shotguns:
    Don't get a 12 ga, much too much cannon, unless you're going after large geese at a long distance, or have big brown bears in your neighborhood.
    I'd suggest a 20 gauge, with #4 or 6 shot. Minimal recoil, a good all around shotgun. If you decide at some point to take up upland bird hunting (grouse, etc), the gun will serve well.
    Probably don't need to mention this, but store the damn things well; don't let people who break in find them easily. Store the ammunition and guns apart, same deal.

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  19. This is the most patriotic thing you could do in the States...be a farmer and buy a shotgun on Independence Day. Now you just need to declare an allegiance to Ford or Chevy and pick a college football team. (No, the other football, get with it, Farmer John!)

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    1. You are absolutely right! Haha. You must live in a red state too!

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    2. North Cackalackie!

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  20. Don't point your shotgun at you foot. It would be a shame about those Crocs!

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    1. not if he aims really carefully...

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  21. I don't think that you could shoot an animal, John.

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  22. Have the Queen's Christmas speech running on a loop all night long.

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  23. Have you thought of trapping them and "relocating" them far, far away instead?

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  24. We had trouble with raccoons in our pool in Florida. We hired a guy to trap them in cages and move them out of the City. Could you not trap and release. Every person we told in Florida laughed at us for hiring a trapper and told us to go buy a gun and shoot them.

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  25. I think you've been quite tolerant. You have livestock to protect. Doesn't bother me at all.
    Have a great weekend!

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  26. I'd still go for the .22 option, but I have no idea about UK permits for such things.

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    1. To own a .22, or any rifle, requires a Firearms Certificate, just about unobtainable in UK.

      To own a shotgun requires a Shotgun Certificate, easier but still very difficult to obtain. All shotguns are registered on the holders certificate, and must be kept in a secure lockable cabinet, approved by the inspector from the police who visits on renewal to ensure conformity with conditions. Strangely, it's easy to buy shotgun cartridges (unless they've changed the rules)

      Never shot badgers, we don't have them here, but they seem like a big heavy animal, I think you'd need to be close to ensure a kill with a 12-bore.

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  27. I actually enjoy shooting at targets with a .22 rifle. Even a big chicken with guns (like me) can handle and enjoy them!

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  28. I can hear the little fox cubs now....'mother, mother, where's mother?'

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    1. John will probably adopt them...

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    2. Nail on the head, EW!

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  30. a mans got to do what a man s got to do with guns ablazing

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  31. I couldn't shoot anything. And I don't like guns. But that's me.
    I'm surprised there are any foxes and badgers left on the mainland UK,though, given the number of dead ones I've seen on the roads during a recent trip south :-(

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    1. Ah, bad logic there Wanda... the more live ones there are the more likely it is that you will find dead ones on the road (Yes, I am a pedant)

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  32. Why aren't you allowed to shoot badgers when the government want to cull them?
    Predator-wise, why are foxes allowed to be killed but not badgers?
    (questions from a townie)

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    1. I can't understand that either, doesn't make sense does it?

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    2. You aren't allowed to shoot them because they are a protected species in the UK. However, a cull is necessary to prevent the spread of Bovine TB. Foxes are classed as vermin. People have even been known to hunt them down on horseback, while emitting cries of 'Tally Ho' and accompanied by packs of very excited dogs.

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  33. Oh my GAWD! Shooting foxes now, are we? What next? I'm bracing myself for seeing you attired in hunting pinks. ("D'ye ken John Gray...."

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  34. Now if the Bad-gers have TB...............Did they ban the cull in Wales or did it go ahead? Can't remember the details. I know in parts of Derbyshire they are vaccinating them against TB, perhaps they don't have so many free-ranger birds?
    No, wouldn't want them to suffer in anyway but, heavy dosed chilli powder might work lol!

    Have a lovely weekend.

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  35. I don't feel easy about this at all , do try other alternatives as suggested above. What if you had an accident ?- could you live with that ?

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  36. I've lost chickens to a fox,really upsetting but its what foxes do, thats nature. They are just trying to survive like the rest of us. If you are going to get a gun, you could use it for something useful like scaring off tits on horses chasing animals for fun.......just saying :)

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  37. Go clay pigeon shooting John if you want to learn a new skill and use a gun.

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  38. Don't hate you John,seems a sensible thing to do. If I understand correctly the badger cull has been a complete waste of time and money. As to the foxes, I live on the outskirts of a small town in North Hampshire we are surrounded by familes of foxes; they treat humans with utter contempt, not frightened, they just stand or sit and attempt to stare you out.

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    1. "the foxes treat the humans with utter contempt"
      Well, I never!

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  39. For fox sake! You remind me of my father. Growing up in the East Yorkshire countryside, we lived next to a rookery and he was so annoyed about being woken by their morning cawing that he borrowed a gun and shot them all. Horrific. What if the foxes got guns and shot you?

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  40. No hating here.
    We got an air rifle when we had squirrels in the loft.
    I came home from work one day to find Nick shooting at squirrel shaped targets pinned to trees and bushes in the garden, perfecting his aim.
    We reduced the squirrel population enormously. To some people they are lovely fluffy cute little creatures but they did a lot of damage in our loft, which cost a small fortune to repair.
    I didn't know you were not allowed to kill badgers. It seems bizarre to me, not to be able to kill something that kills your own chickens.
    Are there badger police in your area - would anyone tell tales if you did, by chance, get one?

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    1. Red or grey squirrels?

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    2. Grey of course!
      There are no red squirrels in Derbyshire and the grey ones are a menace, stealing bird food and their eggs, digging up plants and eating through electric cables in lofts. We were overrun with them.

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  41. No hating here too. Years ago when I was overrun with chipmunks, I got a pellet gun. I take no delight in reducing their numbers, but if you've never had a squirrel's nest in the walls or lose garden crops to 'munks or someone is injured stepping in chipmunk holes, then action needs be taken. If all the people that want all the animals free run of everyone's property, then those people should pay double or treble for food/produce/eggs, etc at the stores to support feeding the wild things. People in apartments/flats who have nothing to grow/ nurture or defend think that humans shouldn't interfere with Mother Nature. They are naive. We've always had to deal with wildlife ever since we moved bears out of caves, planted first crops, domesticated/protected livestock, etc. I don't enjoy 'sharing' my gardens with deer as I'm not allowed to shoot them. But chipmunks? Squirrels? Racoons? Mice, moles, etc? You bet I can. Good luck with your shotgun lessons, John. And to heck with those that think you should offer up your laying ladies et al to predators.

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  42. Not hating you, John. Just hoping you'll miss.
    x

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  43. SHotguns aren't a good way to deal wth foxes. You need a rifle. The shooting school near you at Sealans has a range, and I would anticipate they do tuition as well.

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  44. Can you go by other routes first... we scare the foxes with a metal wheel barrow on its side and we use a catapult to hit the barrow with stones.

    We were told on our course, foxes and badgers will constantly use the same foot path (paw path), you can identify this by trampled grass and po op. put obstacles in the entrance to your field where this path starts. and then further through the path. and then you are going to have to pee on the obstacles. (large rocks). its the wimps way out...

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  45. LH has a high powered air rifle and has had to kill a fox in the past (you have to be a really good shot to do this with an air rifle). He's not a bad shot and managed it fine when he had to, I, however, am a crack shot and can hit anything you ask me to hit, but I could never hurt an animal. Sod's law isn't it !!

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  46. Won't hate you, but I wish you wouldn't. But if you do I hope you miss.

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  47. On the other hand... this blog may turn out to be like Hippo's, with lots of (self inflicted) horrific wounds... could be interesting!

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  48. Thanks all
    I think on reflection I will go for a 22
    And there is a gun club in Caerwys

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    1. Ruger makes a nice 10/22 LR with a walnut gunstock; nicely weighted, you can shoot quickly and accurately when under pressure as it balances well (under pressure as in predator is taking off quickly - most wont stand there to be shot at...) . I have a 10 ct clip, or i can slip in a bullet with bolt action. Im sure you will follow the laws and learn firearm safety and handling - you are a very responsible individual and I know you didnt make this decision lightly.

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  49. Adopt a dachshund to keep the badger at bay. That's what they were for.

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