Nothing is safe neither furred, feathered nor finned. There lurks a danger in the moat and not even the frogs are safe. What can it be?
At first we thought it was a bird doing the killing perhaps the Sparrowhawk or one of the Owls. All we would find would be piles of fluff, or feathers and then we found the scales, the remains of a Crucian Carp. But nothing else.
Then we started to find the bodies - a half eaten carcass here and a half devoured moorhen chick there. Nests were suddenly empty or abandoned. Where were the water voles? Where were the ducklings? There was even a strange lack of rabbits around.
In the space of two weeks this little haven has become like the Marie Celeste – nothing is safe and it won’t be long before my chickens are the next course and it’s NOT going to happen.
A fox or two I can deal with; they kill but not like this.
We have mink.
Unlike most wild animals, mink will kill even when they are not hungry. Rabbits, ducks, water voles, shrews, fish, frogs, crayfish, eels, moorhens, rats, birds and eggs are all taken by the mink.
And now whenever I hear a flurry of wing beats and a harsh call from the ducks in the middle of the night I will know it’s out there getting closer to my chickens and how do I protect them? Something that can run down a water vole will look at my pathetic attempts to secure the chooks and laugh - it will be an open invitation. There might as well be a red neon light flashing above the coop saying “Finger Lickin’ Chicken Here!” “Free!” and “For Limited Time Only!” and I though all I had to be frightened of was Bird Flu!!!!So what do I do now? Call in the Cavalry I suppose – get Ferry to do the dirty. It’ll be right up his street why are young men so blood thirsty? He was such an angelic looking boy when we first met him…but that’s another story.