I resorted to pulling the bugs off the plants and feeding them to the birds. The chickens do not mind at all! After a couple of weeks the plants are recuperating well. I'm still picking a dozen or so potato bugs off every day, but a big improvement over the hundreds I was picking off in the beginning.
My stunted little beets.
I'm not sure what is going on with them, they just don't seem to have grown at all in the last month. We've had a good mix of rain and sun lately, they're planted about where the beans started last year, and I've been keeping up well with the weeds. They started off well, and then just seemed to quit. I hope they get a second wind, with only 1 month to go.
The few surviving bean plants are just about to flower. We might get a meal or two yet.
We went to the auction yesterday, where some people were standing in the parking lot with a couple of cages of kittens to give away. Their barn cat population had gotten out of control. I told them I wanted a barn cat, a female, and they handed me this adorable little calico kitten, probably not more than 7 or 8 weeks old.
It tried to kill me.
I know that sounds hilarious, but I'm really not kidding. It hit me with the claws on contact, started hissing. I brought it to my chest trying to sooth it, it spun around, still clawing and went for my jugular. Luckily??!! I brought my chin down in time to save my throat, so I only had to pull the cat off my face, with one hand firmly around her neck. She was still clawing and hissing as I stuffed her back in the cage.
On the one hand, I'd have really liked to bring her home. I'm sure that kitty would have taken care of all the mice, voles, squirrels and chipmunks around here, and given the weasels and minks a good fight. On the other hand, the Littles would have wanted to play with the kitty, and I'm not sure they would fare so well.
The second kitten he handed me, a total sweetheart, fluffball. She cuddled up and started purring instantaneously. One extreme to the other. I figured he'd have no problem finding her a cushy indoor home.
In the end, we chose an older kitten. She's about four months old, and quite sweet. Hopefully still young enough to not be pregnant! #1 named her Mouser. Hopefully she'll grow into her name.
For now she's in a cage in the chicken coop, until she gets familiar with us and her new surroundings. #3 dropped her last night, outside, and it took over an hour to find her and catch her again. #1 gave her a squirt of fresh milk before bed. Mildred was not amused, lol. We'll give her a squirt every morning for the next few days, hopefully teaching her to come and say hello at milking time.
My other new arrival- Minuet.
She's an Emden Goose. Well, we're calling her a she, though honestly, we have no idea. She's sleeping in the brooder with the new chicks for now, but she'll be spending her days in the turkey pen with Goose and Gackle. Or at least, that's the plan. They haven't met yet.
I took 10 of my meat chickens to the auction with me to sell, but ended up bringing them all back home. The highest bid was $3. Unbelievable! It cost me $9 just to run them through the auction and bring them back home. A learning experience, I guess. If I try it again, I think I'll put fewer birds in cardboard boxes. They seem to sell better that way.