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Sunday, April 14, 2019

Year of the weasel



In my travels this past winter I saw a lot ermines. Stoat or short-tailed weasel, if you prefer. Normally they are pretty shy and rarely seen. My guess is that either they had a spike in population or had to travel more to find food. Maybe it was a combination of the two.

They look cute but are mean little predators. Two of friends lost all their chickens to ermine attacks this winter. A single one of the little monsters can easily wipe a backyard coop overnight. One of my friends decided to give up on raising chickens entirely due to the attack.

The loss of backyard eggs isn’t the end of the world -not now anyway. It does go to show how difficult it can be to produce your own food. Currently it’s possible to order chickens and rebuild one’s flock. During an emergency, when you could really use the extra food, replacing them will be a lot harder or impossible.

There are plenty of things that can go wrong with homestead food production. Wild animal attacks, disease, bad weather, and don’t forget theft. Another friend of mine gave up on gardening as more of it was stolen than he was able to keep for himself. It just wasn’t worth it.

That’s not to say that one shouldn’t do these things to be more self-reliant. It’s best to learn how to deal with setbacks before the organic fertilizer hits the rotatory cooling device. Even if you are really good at small scale food production, things out of your control can wipe out your efforts.

So what do you do then? That’s where it’s good to have a fair amount of food storage. It’s good insurance against a bad harvest or animal attack. If you can add in wild plants, fish and game, your supplies can be stretched even further. There’s the added bonus of having some fresh food and variety.

Don’t let the weasels get you -be they cute little ermine or walk on two legs.

-Sixbears

13 comments:

  1. The two legged weasels are far more dangerous and also becoming less shy.

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  2. Glad we don't have weasels! I ran cross this historic way to save clean, unwashed eggs for eight months or more without refrigeration. I have the pickling lime and am going to experiment. Just passing on.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bTlcCvvUjl0

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  3. BTW, this lady has a you tube showing her cracking the eggs 8 months later.

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    Replies
    1. I was lucky enough to get some unwashed eggs in my travels and they lasted quite a while, even without doing anything special to them.

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  4. Last June we were out by the barn re-sealing the motorhome's roof. I am on the ground, picking up something off the grass and this little bunny goes blasting right between my feet. I look up and 5 seconds later here comes a weasel. Right in the track of that bunny. He saw me, stopped, stood up on his hind legs, and I could just see the thoughts going through his head, I could see he was going to continue tracking that baby bunny. My husband threw a bucket at him from the roof of the motorhome and the weasel decided to go back the way he had come. It was pretty funny actually.

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    Replies
    1. The weasel was wondering if you were too big to take on or not. :)

      Good story!

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  5. Being a ferret person, I have a natural amenity for weasels. They actually make good pets. There's a channel on youtube , called something like "the adventures of so and so the Weasel." He's really funny.

    I guess if they were eating up my eggs I'd fence them out. Ferrets are related to weasels and I love those little guys. I only have one now, the years have taken their toll, but he' a good companion.

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    Replies
    1. Ferrets are the friendly domesticated version. Wild weasels are very hard to keep out of a chicken coop.

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  6. Maybe someone knows what the song "pop" goes the weasel means . . .

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