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Country Discussion Topics
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Rut Ro
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Fawteen    Posted 01-21-2003 at 08:43:36       [Reply]  [No Email]
My egg production went from 4-5 eggs per day to 1-2 eggs per day, practically overnight. I've been a little curious, but attributed it to the cold.

Yesterday afternoon when I went down to collect eggs, I noticed the llama alerting on something in the barn. Just caught a glimpse of movement out of the corner of my eye.

After I collected the one egg for the day, I went back to check on the llama's hay and now he AND the dog are staring at the back corner of the barn. I leaned up against the hayloft ladder and watched and after a minute, a little white furbearing varmint stuck his head out of a gap in the corner and started cussing me out.

I'm thinking it's an ermine (short-tailed weasel) but I didn't get a look at anything but the head and front shoulders, so I'm not positive. It COULD be a long-tailed weasel, as they're common in this area too. If it is, I got big problems as they're notoriously fond of fresh chicken.

I'll keep an eye out. I don't begrudge a few eggs, and he's a cute little beggar, but the first chicken he kills will be his last!

Jim in Michigan (trying not to freeze)    Posted 01-21-2003 at 19:31:31       [Reply]  [Send Email]
We have both Ermines and weasels here, cats catch them all the time and try to bring them in,, one cat brought a live ermine in last year, but thats a different story,, here the Ermines change color in winter, they are white with a black tip on the tail, the weasels stay brown,,,Jim

Fenwick morton    Posted 01-21-2003 at 14:39:20       [Reply]  [No Email]
Sounds to me like you had an incounter with the feared Bushy Footed Snork. If so, be careful!! A native of the Russian Steppes, they were bought to North American by Phillip Farquar of London, Ontario in 1893 to control the rabid catfish population. Their presences stopped the westward settlement in western Texas and eastern New Mexico for some 20 years. Hope this helps.

Ludwig    Posted 01-21-2003 at 12:09:33       [Reply]  [No Email]
So what you need now is a .22 revolver. You load it with .22 shorts and when you see him you pop his little furry butt. .22 short is very quiet and the chance of ricochet is pretty small, especially with hollow point lead bullets.
Of course at any distance its quickly going to become quite a shot to get one, but its handier than carrying a rifle.
Actually a pellet gun might even be better, especially if you had to shoot back toward the house.

Nan(TX)    Posted 01-21-2003 at 10:49:22       [Reply]  [Send Email]


Some info I have coped from various sites.
Habitat and home. The basic requirement for mink habitat is permanent water. The presence of standing timber adjacent to water is attractive but not necessary for their environment. Minks dwell along the banks of streams and rivers or the shorelines of lakes and marshes. The increase in the number of farm ponds and lakes has provided additional habitat. Minks make their homes under the roots of trees, in cavities in banks, under logs or stumps, in hollow trees . Minks are chiefly nocturnal, but they often come out at dawn or dusk and less frequently during the day. Most of their victims are killed by a bite in the neck.
Foods. The mink preys upon mice, rabbits and other terrestrial animals as does the weasel, and like the otter, feeds on fish, crayfish and other aquatic forms. The principal winter foods frogs mice and rats fish rabbits crayfish birds fox squirrels and muskrats Miscellaneous items include insects, spiders, snails, domestic cats, shrews, moles, bats, turtles and their eggs, snakes, birds' eggs, blood, grass and leaves.
Mink may occasionally kill domestic poultry around farms. They typically kill their prey by biting them through the skull or neck. Closely spaced pairs of canine tooth marks are sign of a mink. Mink will attack animals up to the size of a chicken, duck, rabbit, or muskrat. While eating muskrats, a mink will often make an opening in the back or side of the neck and skin the animal by pulling the head through the hole as it feeds. Like some other members of the weasel family, mink occasionally exhibit “surplus killing” behavior (killing much more than they can possibly eat) when presented with an abundance of food, such as in a poultry house full of chickens. Mink may place many dead chickens neatly in a pile. Mink can eat significant numbers of upland nesting waterfowl or game bird young, particularly in areas where nesting habitat is limited.

Salmoneye    Posted 01-21-2003 at 11:05:48       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Mink and Ermine are two differenet animals, but the feeding habits are somewhat alike...Ermine can swim, but are primarily found on dry land with rocky outcroppings within travel distance...Mink will almost exclusively be found near water...Though Mink can change colour, (it is more environmental...they react to blue surroundings for some reason) it is nowhere near as drastic as the Ermine changeing from summer dun to winter white...Winter Ermine may have black foot tips, but will almost always have a black tipped tail...


Nan(TX)    Posted 01-21-2003 at 11:24:46       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Thanks for the info. I don’t think we have Ermine in Texas. We unfortunately have mink.
Take care Nan

LH    Posted 01-21-2003 at 09:43:34       [Reply]  [No Email]
Fawteen those Ermines are cute as heck but can be downright viscious if ya corner one like any other member of the weasel family.

Fawteen - Yep    Posted 01-21-2003 at 09:51:57       [Reply]  [No Email]
He was about 10 feet away, facing down me, the dog and the llama, and just giving us Holy Old He!! the whole time. I wouldn't let the dog near him, he'da prolly shredded her face.

Ayuh...    Posted 01-21-2003 at 09:01:33       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Bet you got an Ermine...

You are right about the Weasel...I think if it was one of them you would have lost a chicken by now...

Too bad the bottom fell out of fur...Used to get darn good money for Ermine in either seasonal coat here...


Fawteen    Posted 01-21-2003 at 09:35:44       [Reply]  [No Email]
This is a little bitty feller. I'd need to get his girlfriend too to have enough to make a pair of earmuffs...

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