Yesterday afternoon around 1 p.m. I decided it was time for a little relaxation/contemplation/meditation, so I put on my very wonderful Dalai Lama chant tape, given to me by my acupuncturist/friend, Charles Meyers, and lay down to let it draw the stress out of me and put me in touch with the NOW…and I heard this terrible clatter of noise coming from the chickens.  It was not ignorable.  So, boots on, and out…to find a little weasel (they are very cute, 8″ long or so) trying to drag a dead chicken and alternately have some snacks from her neck flesh.  He/she looked up at me like “Who are you and what are you doing disturbing my work?” and continued working.  Called Julie: Greg wasn’t home.  Called Nancy: Mike would come over with his 22.  In my panic, I forgot that Mike is only 15 and doesn’t drive, and by the time he got here, old Mr. Weasel had decided it was nap time, and disappeared.  Meanwhile, a ewe went into labor.  Michael came, we moved a garbage pail full of minerals so that when Weasel came back, he’d have a clearer shot…and under it was a dead rat, obviously poisoned (blood, poison is anticoagulant, with no wounds), nasty enough, BUT also 10 little squirming, squeaking 1-1/2 inch long baby rats, pink and hairless.  Now, I thought we had gotten rid of all the rats way back in December…so this was not good news.  I drowned them.  Checked on the ewe.  Still laboring.  Raining, drove Michael home, since the weasel was clearly not coming out again.  Lambs born, twins, two ewes, in the house to make dinner, came out again with John while he brought water out while dinner was cooking, and there’s the weasel again.  Called Nancy back; Doug came over with shotgun, but sheep were in the shed, and we were afraid that some of the shot might go through the walls, so had to move the sheep: too much action for weasel; disappeared again.  Doug went home.  Ate dinner. Checked again, no weasel.  Chicken still there.  Checked 20 minutes later: chicken gone.  Friend, Joyce, whom I had consulted, allowed as how the weasel would kill all the chickens that night and one by one, drag them to a cache point…I was so tired…did I care?  Well, turned out I did: John and I went out with cages and thunder and lightning started…in the rain we loaded all the chickens up (by now it was pitch dark, so they were catatonic on their perches) in cages and put them in the back of the capped truck for the night.  Joyce will come over with a trap this morning.  Then we have to figure out what to do with the chickens in the interim.  Oh, bait: hmm…it says in the book that these little weasels are fond of rats…I wonder…the mama and 10 dead babies?  maybe.  I’ll see what Joyce says.  Somehow, I don’t think it will be easy catching a weasel.  “Weaseling out of things” seems to me to indicate that they don’t catch easy.  And I don’t have a gun…not that I’m likely to see it if there are no chickens in there for it to kill and drag…

Oh, and when I went out for the last check, and found the chicken missing, I looked out and there at the end of the winter paddock was Benjie, with two newborn twins…so had to get them in the shed and penned up.  She is from a non-penning sort of flock, new here this year, and was most unhappy to be penned up, but I noticed this morning, she seems much more calm and accepting of the situation.

Anyway, I’m hoping today is not quite so exciting.  Actually, I could do with a nice boring day!  What a year this has been!


3 Responses to “Weasel!”

  1. Sara Says:

    I’m already exhausted just reading your post. Any sign of the weasel this morning???

  2. gillian Says:

    I lost chickens to a mink. Trapping is the only way to go, they are too fast for shooting. I recommend the following: A connabear (sp?) is a killing trap although sometimes they make it enough through so that they don’t get killed. Arrange a chute so that they have to go through the trap to get to the bait – yucky meat works well. The other option is a leg hold, set up a bit more complicated – call me if you want.

    Good luck. Get the little sucker. I have developed a serious weasel family antipathy.

  3. The Woolley Farm Says:

    Wow! What a day. Weasels can’t drag a lamb can they??

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