…or was it a wily weasel?

Dec 5, 2011 | 2 comments

Chicken Carcass

     It didn’t require even a basic knowledge of forensic science for us to recognize the remains of one of our chickens.  It was the black hen.  She had been discarded, pretty much intact, on the grassy verge of School Street about a thousand feet from our chicken coop.  We discovered her the day after all five ‘girls’ had disappeared in a flurry of feathers and a few spatters of blood.
     We were pretty sure that the culprit was a raccoon.  We’d had trouble with those midnight marauders on more than one occasion.  But, during our speculations, one of our neighbors mentioned that his mother’s flock had been wiped out in similar fashion — all on a single night — by a weasel.
     “Weasels?” I asked.  “Do we have weasels around here?”  That was a critter we hadn’t even considered.  You just don’t hear much about weasels in Oysterville.
     “Oh, I think they are everywhere,” was the reply.  “You can tell if it’s weasel work because they just go after the blood.  They leave the flesh alone.”
     Vampire weasels!  Who knew?  And, sure enough, when Farmer Nyel went with shovel and bucket to collect the carcass and dispose of it properly, he found all chicken parts accounted for – head (though partially detached), wings, tail, body – even the fleshy breasts were left.  Only the blood was missing.
     I did a little weasel research and learned that they go in to a killing frenzy once they start and in a chicken pen none of the chickens would be able to get away.  Typically, they kill by taking off the chicken’s head.
     Once upon a time I thought weasels were interesting because they grow white coats in winter – a camouflage tactic in snowy climates.  Perhaps I should be hoping for a white Christmas and an ermine muffler this season?


  1. Steve Wright

    The Ermine muffler will need an Ermine hat to complete the outfit!

  2. Jenny

    Or, perhaps, an ermine collar for a holiday coat?


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