Yesterday we had a mink in the duck house. We lost all of the black Cayuga ducks. The three white Pekins are looking pretty tough. One is just sitting around but didn't want to be put down so we left him in the chicken house. The other two are walking around but we'll see if they get better. The carnage...well, you don't want to know.
The chicken house, unlike the duck house, is on a cement slab. The duck house is wooden with a flip door and a dutch door also, and double walled with metal walls on the inside. The mink (smart little bugger, and that is not even close to what I've been really calling him today) chewed an area at the edge of the window. It was only about three inches long and about 1 1/2 inches high. If it is big enough for his head to fit through, he can get in. And, he did.
When we realized the mink was still under the duck house, we removed the bales of straw around the outside and lifted it with the loader tractor. Marty looked under it but didn't see him. We had no choice but to just leave it. We left the duck house wide open and I'll clean it out today. So, we put the three remaining alive white ducks in the chicken house last night with the one turkey and about 15 chickens.
At 2:30 am I woke up thinking I should go out and check the chickens. I had checked them at 9:30 last night. But...some of you will understand this...I'm a worrier. So, I laid there and worried. Marty always tells me everything will be okay. He is usually right and I am usually just lying there worrying for no good reason. At 4:30 I listened for the rooster crow. None. I thought maybe I was too early so at 5:30 I was still listening for it. Still none. By then I was too scared to go out and see. Not scared of the mink, just what I might find.
At 7:30 Marty got up and went out. I watched from the house. Sure enough, he opened the door and then shut it again. He started toward the house. I knew.
I got my coat and went back out with him. Eight lovely little chickens gone. All three of the "little kids" including my favorite chicken Belgie were gone. And, my big rooster Glory Be also. (Named so because I would tell him "Glory Be you got gorgeous legs" and he did.)
We got the mink wedged in the wall. He had eaten a small hole, same size as on the duck house, in the bottom of the west door. He crawled inside the wall and then ate another hole into the chicken house thru the wall. Well...needless to say, he was beautiful. A male, and very stinky. Minks stink. In more ways than one. They just kill and don't eat the poultry after they kill it...they just kill.
My second favorite chicken (or my favorite large one) Dee helped me count the casualties, line them up, and do the memorial. She's seen some pretty tough stuff in her five years. She's my girl friend chick and is always there to help me out. I'm glad she was okay. We'll clean the chicken house today too.
To answer the question...we already have 30 chicks on order to arrive in May. I'll have to see if I have any money to get ducks. Maybe not this year. I'd really like more Cayuga ducks, so I'll have to save up some for them.
Here's to my kids...Belgie, Glorie Be, Little Guy, Napoleon, Sister, Dot, Lang, Choco (the chicks) and Speck and her sisters and brothers (the Cayuga ducks).
|Marty holding Belgie |
(photo courtesy of Lisa Predko 2008)