It's my day off and I don't know where to start, but I've got a giant hot foamy cuppa Joe next to me and I can see the sheep grazing on the hillside covered with green grass. Oh, the joy of it. No more mudda forker here. I turned the dye pots off at 11:30. I have a huge drying rack full of overdyed black Bluefaced Leicester I'll blend with colored mohair from the 13 kids I had last spring. While I was checking on the dye pots I opened the door to the chicken room and there they were - the rats came out to party after all the animals were bedded down. They were blinking in the glow of my head light. I decided to open the door and let the chickens out to free range. I think most of them will go back into their room to get in their nests and lay eggs. If not, there are many places to lay around the barn and I'm used to checking for eggs from the free rangers anyway. I won't put down poison or lay traps. Too many other critters can be harmed by them. I'll prop the door open so the Kitty Cadre has free access to the chicken room. I've tried shutting cats in there but they always get out. This way they can come and go. I opened the front door to find a rat body on the steps, an offering from the cats to show me they are on duty. I don't have anything against the rats, but when they take ALL my eggs and feast on the egg layer I pay big bucks for, then it's war. Rats can chew on the electric wires around the barn and bye-bye barn. I had a terrible rat infestation in the last place I lived. It was an old stone farmhouse and I had rabbits in the banked basement. I could hear the rats climbing up inside the walls behind my bed at night. I would open the front door and see them scurry out from under my truck where they had been chewing the wires. The rats chewed through my rabbit cages and feasted on the pellets. When they saw me coming with a stick they would squeeze back out and run. It was totally weird. I traded a goat for a Jack Russell Terrier - - but he couldn't fly up to the rafters where the rats taunted me. Enter the kitties. Cats can go almost anywhere rats can - above ground that is. My cats drove the hundreds of pidgeons roosting three stories high on the ridge pole into the silos where they are still living. Better go feed my kitties to thank them for their service.