Monday, March 17, 2008

Remembering our friends

Our four hens--Scruffles, Percky, Herbert & Nerbert were surprisingly interesting pets, gave us a lot of joy and a real bonus - delicious fresh free-range eggs. This past weekend they and several other birds were brutally attacked and killed by a mink.

I have nothing good to say about minks. Their need to kill is pointless. This was the third time a mink visited my friend's barn which housed our hens this winter. We all thought we'd mink-proofed the pens after the first visit. We were wrong. I feel terrible for my friend who had to find the 13 ravaged hens and ducks.

I'd been looking forward to writing a column on the joy of raising hens. And there is a lot to say. But that'll have to keep for another day. I think we will try again.


Michael said...

Ugh... We lost our whole flock of meat-birds, about 25 of them, to the buggers a few years ago. I don't think you can weasel proof a barn. We'd like to think our dogs and cat keep the villains away... and we cross our fingers. A lot.

Alison Dyer said...

Michael, I researched the net a fair amount over New Year's when I was staying at the farm & we had the first mink visit. One source said that they are rarely deterred by animals (like dogs), though someone said minks stay away from barn cats. I wish I knew the answer. Once I recover from this I hope to start again. But need to figure out the killer problem. A

clairesgarden said...

oh thats too sad. what a waste.

Alison Dyer said...

Hi Claire,
It was a horrid shock and I was surprised how upset I was with their death (murder!). However, both my kids have decided they'd like to try again AND... my friend emailed this weekend to say she'd trapped the mink - Yeah!!! now at least her turkeys will be safe.