The Caliche Times Vol 1, No 2 10/4/98
New Calf Makes Ranch Plans
I saw the baby calf that belongs to Portia (the mother cow) yesterday as you know if you read the family narrative. The calf is black and white just like the mother cow and is a heifer. She is already making plans to become a herd cow here at Davis Elm Creek Ranch.
Wild Dogs and Irresponsible Humans
Folks, instead of being responsible with their animals, are using our property as an animal dump ground. Wild dogs are becoming a problem in this area and reported to be running with coyotes, we will have to take some action on the problem. We are fighting the coyotes in a small way by replacing fences with wire that makes it more difficult for them to transverse the property. We have a similar problem with coyotes as Australians have with wild dogs. They use a field fence wire to control wild dogs but this solution requires a constant monitoring and reacting to local trauma in the wire.
Squirrels and Wood Ants work on the ranch
Squirrels near the house have been a continuous problem since I was a kid and their population has to be controlled. We have many hollow oak trees here near the house that squirrels and wood ants like to peek out of. The squirrels and wood ants are both pests that we try to control since they are destructive to any wooded structures such as our house.
Bear Traps and Wild Hogs
I looked at some bear "live" traps in Brownwood this week, thinking I may have to purchase one if the wild hogs move onto our place. They are now ranging approximately within 15 miles of our place. That bear trap probably will work to trap dogs and coyotes also.
Sinbad the Cow Dog
Only two things bother Sinbad. People that smell like cigarette butts and have loud pickups that wake him up and raccoons that show their teeth. The only thing he kills are raccoons that come up at night and try to steal his dog food. I find them dead in the yard the next morning.... he never even mentions it during the night. We have a struggle trying to control armadillos. If I could just train our dog Sinbad to get mad at armadillos, I wouldn't have to shoot so many. I have had to lift up the propane tanks twice (and that is an engineering feat out here) and put new rocks under the tanks. The tanks sink down into the armadillo holes when the ground softens during a rain.
Fire Ants Have No Respect
What else can come onto our place.... fire ants are making their way into Eastland county and one man that lived south of here was riding his tractor through a muddy area (this happened some time ago). He fell off the tractor and got caught in a way he couldn't get out from under the tractor. The rescue team had a very difficult time getting him out of this situation and when they did, he had sustained hundreds of bites from fire ants and was in serious condition upon arrival at the hospital.
Emus Become Free as Birds
Another interesting thing that is going on in our area concerns Emus. The prices have dropped so low that the birds are being released to run free and we see an occasional bird grazing out in the country. That is potentially a problem for folks that grow crops or have gardens they like to feed on. Can you imagine telling a bird that size to get out of your garden?
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