I thought my hens eggs where going missing. One day I would collect an egg for each of my girls, which, due to their young age, I should be doing. Then the next… only a couple. I had words with the girls; reminded them that their job was to lay eggs, I do not ask a lot of them. They have food on tap all day every day. They are very free range, so wander off into the garden and fields to eat bugs and beasties.
They have luxury accommodation and get treats before bedtime every day.
So one egg in return is not asking a lot.
I was out working in the garden with Tinker one of my cats, all of sudden there was a comotion. Tinker had her head in one of the hen houses, I thought she has a pheasant corners, as often they pretend to be chickens so they can eat the layers pellets. I went to investigate and there he was Mr Stoat. Just perusing the eggs to decide which one to eat.
Stoats are small predators, they are orangey brown, with a white underbelly and black at the end of their tail. They are good killers, hunting rabbits and unfortunately for me, chickens. They can kill animals larger then they are, and have in the past gone for some of my young chicks.
So I am not a fan, however pretty they look.
I think they are living in the lakeland wall that goes around the east side of the garden.
They have 1 litter of between 6 to 12 kittens (as they are called) per year, in the spring. I don’t mind too much sharing the odd egg, but with the chicks now happily running around, I do not want to share a chick with him. So I am afraid he was dispatched.