CLUCK, CLUCK, CLUCK!!!
So, there is a major twist in the weasel drama here on the Shawhan farm. Our suspicions have changed from weasel to mink!
Let's back up a second here. After the latest attacks, we FINALLY broke down and bought some weasel lure. For $20.00, one can purchase four of these little containers (not even as big as a salt and pepper shaker) that contain a magical potion that will lure a weasel into your trap and find his instant doom, bringing justice to postmortem chickens all over the world.
What is actually in weasel lure, I can't tell you, though the place we ordered it from listed the ingredients. Me being of curious nature, took a big whiff and am convinced that skunk fragrance extract may be involved...at least that's what it smells like.
~Now ladies, I don't recommend this pregnant, as the olfactory senses are working in high gear during this time. I also don't recommend sniffing it pregnant right after a big meal, as it induces gagging.~
~ ~I also don't want to hear any bull/comments about sniffing weasel lure while pregnant and what affects one may say it will have on Baby Shawhan. (Or other chicken related activities...I sniffed weasel lure, not poo!)~ ~
Anyhoo, last night Dan and I went out in the freezing cold, after heating up a heaping chunk of old baked chicken, and spooned out some lure. Hoping for fast results and a late Christmas present, I was disappointed to find the trap empty this morning and again this evening.
Dan was able to to talk to Gene DeBruin (the man who really does have all the answers in life regarding livestock!) and Gene said it sounds like we have a mink instead of a weasel. On Christmas day when we rushed outside to save the ladies and Dan manfully entered the kennel armed and dangerous, he said the "weasel" looked pretty big...almost wondering how our weasel trap would even hold the animal.
Gene says mink are just a big cousin to weasels. Mink usually live near a water source (we do have a pond in the back recesses of the Shawhan farm) where they usually live off fish/rats/mice, etc. Perhaps with colder temperatures, or maybe not a lot of fish in said pond, Mr. Mink found himself an easy food source. Mink will stay the same color throughout the winter months, whereas a weasel will turn white in the winter and brown in the summer. Also, weasels are pretty small in relation to their larger kin.
Last winter when the perpetrator was spotted in the coop and Dan tried to spear it with a pitchfork, he remembers it being quite large and not white. We are beginning to think it has been Mr. Mink all along.
Gene says our weasel trap won't hold a mink and that mink are too smart for live traps. Which only means one thing: a very cruel, Becca isn't against using, claw trap. (Well, that's what I call it.) So more shopping for the Chicken Lady. Now we need to find another kind of trap...SIGH...and bait it with sardines. Yummy.
We still have the weasel trap set and will probably continue to fish for weasels. Better to rid the property of as many predators as possible. Oh, and it's probably only one or two mink, which is good. If we can finally end all of this and get some much needed justice, the ladies can enjoy the outdoors again!
...cluck... cluck... cluck...