Brisbane Local Food

Growing local

Of possums, water cress and rats. The update.

September update:

Dear diary:  Just over 2 months have passed since I first posted this blog.  Time for an update!

Pleased to announce that the Percy problem has been solved with no harm to her or myself. I've now removed all the damn skewers and wire from my garden beds with no further worries in that regard.

The great War of the Grey Rat Clan is continuing.  Greens are still vanishing from the aquaponics bed.  The bloody things have almost killed my Kang Kong!  They fear no spotlights.  I got 3 yesterday and 2 today. The grand total of casualties over the last 2 months stands at 43!!  Can ya believe that?!

Original July post

I've continued to wage the War of the Possum for almost two months now.  As the greens in my aquaponics beds got slaughtered, I hooked up a new solar light system, complete with movement sensor, to scare him off.  All to no avail.  I keep planting my aquaponics bed, he keeps eating. But, this week...  

It began when my mate from Kilkoy brought me some water cress.  Of course, it was planted in the aquaponics bed.  Next morning, I found a rat floating in my duckweed box.  Nothing to do with the water cress, I just must have left an old bait in the shed.  The water cress doing fine.  The day after, two rats floating.  Jeez, I got rats in the shed.  Great.   Possum in the tree, rats in the shed and Percy the Bush Turkey continuing to engage in random attacks.  However, the water cress is still doing well.  At least the possum seems to have moved. 

Tonight, I forgot to put the chooks to bed.  So around 9, I went out to shove them up onto the perch (complete with, "You idiots are meant to do this yourselves!" abuse).  As I approached, there was a ruckus on the chook pen roof.  I pointed the torch and saw four rats scurry off into the shadows.

Put the girls to bed, with their normal abuse, when I thought, "Hang on a minute."  On checking the aquaponics bed, I found my water cress was gone.  Nearby was some rat poop!  

I don't have a possum.  I have goddam rats!  Many goddam rats! Tomorrow, I intend to buy some big rat traps.  I don't like the idea of baits (I have a few old ones left around because I'm lazy) but I much prefer a quick and painless kill (I know they're only rats but let's be a bit kind).  

Now, even though the possum turned out to be several dozen rats, that does not make Percy a Plymouth Rock hen.  Just saying... although, I might cut him some slack as well.  I'm pretty sure he leaves my apuaponics bed alone. 

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Comment by Elaine de Saxe on August 2, 2015 at 21:00

The could be composted but you would need a lot of dry material and a rat/dog-proof bin in which to do the deed.

Comment by Andrew Cumberland on August 2, 2015 at 20:53

Such a shame I'm too squimish to eat them.  A lot of good tucker has gone in the bin lately. 

Comment by Susan on August 2, 2015 at 20:44

WOW!! 18 rats - where are you breeding them?   :)

Comment by Andrew Cumberland on August 2, 2015 at 19:21

One more today.  That brings the tally to 18.  This one was another young one.  I'm still hopeful the war is mostly done.

I also came up with a way to keep Percy the hell out of my aquaponics bed.  There will be a video reveal. 

Comment by Roger Clark on August 2, 2015 at 8:06

Great work getting rid of the rats! A lot better than your poetry!!!!!

Comment by Andrew Cumberland on August 1, 2015 at 19:24

Talk about organic beef!

On a bright note, (now sing this to the tune of No Milk Today by Herman's Hermits:

No rat today,

I hope they've gone away,

I went out after dawn,

and they'd all gawn.  

Comment by Roger Clark on August 1, 2015 at 8:00

Cows can beat rats anyday! Last Thursday I had a stray cow wander in off the street. A quite large bullock actually. I had my veges protected from marauding possums, rabbits and rats and wallabies, but cows were not part of the protection plan. By the time I got a call from my neighbour telling me I had a visitor, he had chewed through a good selection of veges. I watched him take two bites to demolish a kale plant, but unfortunately big animals like that don't run away when you approach. So with a bucket of porridge oats, I managed to eventually lure him down my back paddock and lock him in. When I got home again later in the day he had gone. He had just pushed his way out. I found out that cows are very partial to cabbages, broccoli, and kale. There is one very healthily fed bullock around somewhere, I hope that is the last that I see of him. 

Comment by Lissa on July 31, 2015 at 16:54

That's good. Hopefully you have already killed the adults and are working your way through the young ones.

Comment by Andrew Cumberland on July 31, 2015 at 10:59

They say another will move in, but I haven't had one before and hopefully, won't have another.  That's if I can actually catch the bugger. 

Oh, mostly younger Lissa.  Got another today for a grand tally of 17.  I suppose one is better than yesterday's four. 

Comment by Florence on July 31, 2015 at 10:00 Looks like the relocation of brush turkeys not as strict as possums?

Australia has one of the highest extinction rates in the world (one source), some people may think they have a plague of certain native animals, but it maybe they just happen to live where there's a population.  I have lived in several suburbs over the last 20 years, and have not seen one single brush turkey in any of those neighbourhoods.. have seen a few wallabies and occasional koalas about 15 years ago, but have not seen them for at least the past 10 years... I know they can be a nuisance for gardener, but I hope there's solution for co-habitation..

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