I’ve lived on farms for nearly 3 years now. When you have a lot of space, you seem to make room for weird stuff to happen. During our first 3 months here, we’ve collected a few stories.

Just a quick warning – not all of these stories have a happy ending.

Is it a pig? Is it a cow? It’s a…

Last month, Richard and I were looking up towards the back of the property. You can’t see the entirety of the back paddocks from our house, but you can see the upper corners.

In the left hand paddock, we had our 4 cows. They were making a lot of noise. In the right hand paddock was… a spare cow? Either that or the largest pig I’ve ever seen. It ran away over the ridge where we couldn’t see it.

We realised we’d have to go out there. We honestly thought we wouldn’t find anything, but we’ve lived on farms long enough to know that we might find something. When we got there, what do you know – it’s a cow! A little one – about 6 months old – but a cow that had appeared from… somewhere.

Turns out one of our neighbours had just bought some stock. One had managed to break away and make it through a native forest to our place. Its size meant it could get through the fence (note to self…). It was last-seen running back into the bush.

Water off a duck’s back

One of our ducks was a bit lame with bumblefoot. We call her Hoppy. We had isolated Hoppy in a pen to treat her and restrict her movement. Unfortunately, the drakes are very horny and very persistent – they managed to get through the wire fencing for a jailbreak.

We noticed Hoppy had escaped in the morning when we went to feed her. We found her a few hours later swimming around the trough. But something was really wrong – she was half underwater, and exhausted. Another duck was swimming with her and holding her up.

We managed to scoop poor Hoppy out of the trough. She was absolutely sopping wet. Turns out water can only run off a duck’s back for so long. The drakes saw this dripping wet, half-drowned female…. and immediately rooted her.

Hoppy still lives in isolation (her foot is getting much better), but we’ve increased security.

Run away Bun

Bunbun joined our zoo when our cat Samurai bought home a baby rabbit completely unharmed. This week, as I was cleaning out Bunbun’s cage, I had them in a temporary enclosure.

As I came back from composting the old bedding, I saw Bunbun had escaped. Doubting the bunny had gone far (and also fearing for my lettuces, which Bunbun has developed a taste for), I enlisted the cats to help me find them.

Soon enough, all 3 cats were fixated on a particular spot under the house. I cleared away some timber and the chase was on!

Sabre ‘cornered’ Bunbun against some long grass. Bunbun froze and Sabre waited patiently. I picked up Bunbun and got them back in the (now clean) cage. Sabre got treats for not going for the jugular.

Raiders of the lost lettuces

I had noticed some nibbling going on in my garden. My parsley and lettuces were being noticeably grazed. We’ve got an electric fence around the garden that keeps out the ducks, chooks, and cats – but it clearly wasn’t keeping out everything.

The only thing that wasn’t being touched was the row of strawberries, as it was netted to avoid bird damage. We had 3 big, juicy lettuces growing in there, so we un-netted the first one, set a labyrinth of leg-hold traps, and went to bed.

The next morning, we found a big fat papa possum caught by both the hands and feet, with a half-nibbled lettuce beside him. I took the honour of killing and plucking my first possum that day. We buried him under a feijoa tree near the garden.

I’m now learning the ins and outs of possum trapping.


I hope you enjoyed these animal tales. There might be more of these in the future so if you enjoyed it, please let me know!