Ontario Agriculture

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I'm a young farmer. I can say that now - especially since just a couple of weeks ago we moved out to one of our family farms. This is a house my great-grandfather built in the early 1900's, and is the farm where the dry cows and heifers are kept. My mom and dad are a few kilometres away at the farm I grew up in - where the milking cows are.

As I get settled on the farm, I thought I'd share some of my experiences. Along the way I'd invite any and all pieces of advice I can get - as I start my farming career.

Putting a live racoon trap in the barn is easy. Catching a racoon instead of a cat is much, much harder. All summer there was an influx of racoons around the farm so it is no surprise that a few have found their way into the warmth of the barn. I know there is at least one around, I saw him scurry away one night into the mow.

When you have a heated water bowl, test it before you need it. There are three water bowls that need to stay thawed out in order for all animals to have access to water. When we flipped the switch to all three - do you think any of them worked? Of course not. Luckily our electrician is a beef farmer and understands the urgency - so there is no need to run out with boiling water and hot towels. So far.

The idea that renovations takes twice as long as you expect them to is a lie. They take much longer. I'll leave it at that until we finish what will become the office.

I know that it may sound like I'm complaining -- I'm really not. It is great to be out of the city and onto the farm. City life is not for me, and I'm grateful to be here.

And if anyone has any tricks to catching a coon instead of a cat - I'm open to all ideas.

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Comment by littlelamb on February 2, 2010 at 8:21am
Ahhh, the joys of farming...
Comment by Andrew Campbell on February 2, 2010 at 5:09am
You'll be happy to know I did catch him! I also caught a skunk though - so have taken a break from catching anything. The skunk was enough excitement for a while.
Comment by littlelamb on February 2, 2010 at 5:00am
We use peanut butter in the trap and got a coon. Not sure if the cats aren't attracted to it or not, but that day it worked for us. Now unless the three previous attempts caught my barn cat and he finally figured NOT to go in it and it was just luck or if the peanut butter worked. :)
Comment by Andrew Campbell on December 21, 2009 at 2:25am
The latest update is that after catching the same cat three times - he seems to have learned his lesson. Still no racoon though. May try moving the trap to a different spot.
Comment by rein minnema on December 18, 2009 at 12:07pm
Congratulation and good luck Andrew,
life is a learning curve, it will all fall in place.
Comment by Wayne Black on December 17, 2009 at 9:08am
The cat will not come back after you leave him in the trap for a few hours - unless it is domesticated (as compared to a "barn cat").
We used dog food (or cat food) and it was very successful... until the squirrel found out about it. the squirrel not only gets out, but it does come back.
Just leave a bit of cat food and as long as the same cat does not come back three times, you are good to go.

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