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Topic-icon Pest Control on open land

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7 months 2 weeks ago #541210 by tahunakuaka

Furball wrote: Good on you for dealing to the cats and possums. If you like having the tui around and want to facilitate their breeding success, you may want to think about a comprehensive rat control programme on your land, as tui nests are heavily predated by rats. Rat control will benefit all the other birds, too.


Thank you for the tip on the cherry tree. The disadvantage of destroying wild cats is that now the rats have no predator. I have been laying bait around the house (in the ceiling too) and in the shed in the paddock where walnut shells are found in various places. I can use some old downpipe to make bait stations placed along the DOC boundry with my place, but that is the best I can do I think.

I have now seen most of the 29 bird species that I was used to seeing at my previous block, including one sighting of a N.I. pied Tomtit (my favourite). But I do miss the booming of the Australasian Bittern in season and the calls of the Ruru echoing up and down the valley in the late evening.

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7 months 2 weeks ago #541234 by Ronney

There is an old saying that goes along the lines of "you can't have your cake and eat it too". This is what you're wanting and it just isn't going to happen - ever!

Cats, dogs, stoats, weasels, ferrets, blackbirds, thrush, HUMANS who brought them all here, sheep, cattle, pigs, sparrows, blackbirds, mynas, green shield beetles, white butterfly, rats, mice, possums, hedgehogs, yellow hammer, llama, German wasps, starlings, rabbits - and that is only part of the list which is as long, probably longer, than my arm. Every one of them has been imported.

You have already learnt that getting rid of the feral cats has a payback - you now have rats and mice. For preference I would rather have the cats. You are going to have to think about it very hard and find a middle road. I personally do not like poisons to get rid of anything live if it can be avoided and 90% of the time I can avoid doing so by the expedient of keeping cats.

Until four years ago there had been four cats in this household. Then the last of them died of old age and because she had become very needy towards the end, it was a relief not to have the responsibility. 6 months later we decided we missed having a cat in the house. In that 6 month period we were overrun with rats in the house (downstairs), the garden (both of them) and the cowshed. They could be seen running across the paddock to the river. They were becoming a plague despite putting out bait. The first two kittens arrived - too little to do much but 9 months later there was hardly a rat or mouse to be seen anywhere. Another two arrived a year later and as they grew so did the rat/mouse population decline rapidly. I have mentioned in another post about the little cat (and she is little) coming down the hill behind the house dragging what turned out to be a stoat. That isn't to say they don't catch other wildlife, because they do, but my "gifts" are largely made up of rats. And the occasional small eel if we've been in flood mode.

This is my middle road. I can't have my cake and eat it in a country that had no natural predators until the arrival of man. At last count I could identify 36 birds, imported, immigrants, native and indigenous. For the first time two pairs of Paradise have over wintered here and live in very close proximity to the drive and cowshed - a compliment indeed. The Tui dive bomb the cats - and me! There are kiwi up in the bush - the cats don't go that far and certainly my two working dogs don't get anywhere near the bush. I've found the middle road which means losses and gains and at the same time been able to keep dogs and cats to help with the gains.

I'm almost tempted to delete this very long post but have decided not to - we don't live in Utopia.

Cheers,
Ronnie

The following user(s) said Thank You: Blueberry, tahunakuaka, Mudlerk, Belle Bosse, Michel

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7 months 2 weeks ago #541235 by Mudlerk

Sent you a 'thank' Ronnie, but couldn't resist a couple of riders -- A: I like neutered cats best and B: maybe your tuis have experience that leads them to dislike your cats. Ours trade whistles when I go for the mail -- or just ignore my poor imitations!

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7 months 2 weeks ago #541237 by Ramsay

Hi
So if you decide that you are going to keep cats to help keep down the rat/mouse population.
Is there anything that you could do that might help the native birds survive your cats?
I have seen those collars with bells on...are there any tricks like that or would they just warn the rats/mice as well as the birds?
Thanks
Richard

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7 months 2 weeks ago #541244 by tahunakuaka

I'm glad you didn't delete your post Ronnie. What you say about our imports (including probably the most destructive of all, we Humans) I can agree with.

Over the past week I have been thinking about my active participation in the deaths of all manner of creatures. Poisons for ants, wasps, mouse, rats, slugs and snails and sometimes flys (usually they get swatted). As a young teenager it was my job to kill chicken for dinner; I have helped herd countless cattle to loading ramps for trucks to take to the abbotoir; used kill traps for possums, rats and stoats; and this last week used a live capture cage. I have also waged war on gorse, blackberry, ragwort, foxglove and thistles, and a few other pest plants, using poison spray, but mostly by grubbing. Arranged for the butchering of at least half a dozen animals for family consumption. Oh, and in the past, have urged my faithful huntaway to kill rabbits.

So I have come to a decision about what and how I will continue to kill. Poison for ants, slugs and snails, rats and mice around the house. Kill and live capture traps for wild cats, possums, rats, stoats, and magpies. Cut down weed trees. In the future I will probably arrange butchering of the next round of sheep.

Others would make different choices, for instance I like to see the yellowhammer, but would imagine growers of grain crops would wage war on them and other seed eating birds.

(I am getting to love this area, but still miss the Far North people, bush and floods.)

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7 months 3 weeks ago #541269 by max2

Ramsay wrote: Hi
So if you decide that you are going to keep cats to help keep down the rat/mouse population.
Is there anything that you could do that might help the native birds survive your cats?
I have seen those collars with bells on...are there any tricks like that or would they just warn the rats/mice as well as the birds?
Thanks
Richard


In our house we had one good 'mouser'' who was extremely well fed indoors and so had no need to hunt but she did, so she had a collar and bell on. She learnt to run without tingling the bell.... grrrr.

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7 months 3 weeks ago #541275 by Mudlerk

Tahunakuaka, like you, I send my lambs off to be slaughtered [Bunnythorpe in my case]. Just before my old Rawene mate Steve moved back north I asked him, "Do you find it hard emotionally to butcher your own sheep?"
"Well, yeah," he said, "But once you say you're going to do it, you just put one foot in front of the other until it's done."
I have always been the same, but it's getting harder...got some pretty old hens out the back!

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3 months 2 weeks ago #543860 by george19

Hey,

Thank you for sharing the information about pest control., In addition, Please suggest me something about Pest control for my cats??????

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3 months 1 week ago #543951 by sandgrubber

Terriers also make fine ratters, and they're less inclined than cats to go birding.

Last Edit: 3 months 1 week ago by sandgrubber. Reason: Correct auto-correction

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