Ermine In The Barn

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Lisa in WA, Dec 16, 2005.

  1. Lisa in WA

    Lisa in WA Well-Known Member Supporter

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    My daughter came back from the barn last night panting, saying she been chased by a white ferret coming out of the feed stall. She was talking about an ermine in his winter white coat with a black tip on his til. I guess I know what got my last guinea hen. I don't know if she just thought he was chasing her, but she said he scurried right toward her, so she just ran. She's a seventeen year old girly-girl. Don't know where she came from. ;) On the one hand, an ermine would definitely take care of the mice in the feed stall, but on the downside, if he's going to chase off the "hired help"...not so good.
     
  2. sullen

    sullen Question Answerer

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    I'm sorry, but I think the only person who would run from an ermine already did.
     

  3. JAK

    JAK Well-Known Member

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    [snickering]
    Perhaps if you had some Friendly Feret's they might be Micely Murderous but Fowl Friendly. Then again if they were Erminely Enamourous the results could be unpredictable at best. They say if cross a Feret with a Mink and get a Mink's coat on a Friendly Feret you get a Merit, but if you put a Feret's coat on a Moody Mink, you will get a Fink.
     
  4. chamoisee

    chamoisee Well-Known Member

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    Ermines don't attack people, but they aren't afraid like other wild animals tend to be, either. We had one move into our house once- he would sit right up on the counter and squeak at us!! They will approach you, but only to a point. I mean, they're not gonna climb right up on your lap or run up your legs or anything like that.

    The poultry is a problem. Weasels/ermines (they're the same thing except that they're called ermines in the winter when the fur is white) reportedly do kill birds. I never had a problem with them preying on our ducks, but they're notoroious for killing chickens.

    Otherwise, I honestly think that weasels are the best thing since mousetraps! Better, because they're very hyperactive critters that hunt mice down ALL THE TIME. I have yet to see any cat that approaches a weasel for sheer efficiency and speed at killing mice, and for appetite. I really enjoyed the ones we had, they'd move into the house or barn or other area, kill off all the mice in a very short time (and amuse me in the meantime) and then move along again when the mice were sufficiently reduced in number. They won't come around much at all if you have a cat or a dog though, so after our neighbor got buku barn cats that overflowed onto our place, the weasels left. :-(
     
  5. Lisa in WA

    Lisa in WA Well-Known Member Supporter

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    This guy is sharing the barn with our two Great Pyrenees, who probably could care less that he's there. I'm glad he's there then. Since the last guinea is gone, and the chickens are in a weasel-proof coop, we're good. We do have cats, bu they can't be bothered to hunt in the barn. They don't like the Pyrenees.
    I'll bet he likes the dog food that is spilled too.
     
  6. chamoisee

    chamoisee Well-Known Member

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    I am surprised that you have an ermine, then!

    In that case, enjoy his antics...I love the intelligent expression on their little faces...they are a lot of fun to watch.
     
  7. ellebeaux

    ellebeaux Well-Known Member

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    How cool!!!! I've only seen some once - it was summer and they were with their mom. Very neat, thanks for this little nature moment.

    Beaux
     
  8. Pony

    Pony STILL not Alice Supporter

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    I am so cold, all I can think of is that ermine is supposed to have warm fur... ;)

    Seriously, though, I did not realize they were wild, nor that they are weasels.

    I learn something new every day.

    My friends own ferrets (weasels, right?) I don't like them for pets. They smell strange and move funny.

    Pony!
     
  9. BackwoodsIdaho

    BackwoodsIdaho Well-Known Member

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    Solved Lisa's problem - amazing what a 30-30 does to little guy like that. One big poof of blood and hair and the problem is gone. Didn't even get enough to tan.
     
  10. Cygnet

    Cygnet Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Okay, I can testify from experience that ferrets are NOT fowl friendly. I had a stray one (of all things) chew its way into a coop and kill five birds before my dog killed it. It was definitely a white, albino, domestic ferret. We don't HAVE wild weasels/mink/etc. here.

    Leva

     
  11. Lisa in WA

    Lisa in WA Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Uh-huh...big tough guy who turns to mush over wittle animals. :D
     
  12. sisterpine

    sisterpine Goshen Farm Supporter

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    I see ermine frequently during my snowmobile trips up and down our mountain. Many years ago, at night, i came around a corner and saw two bright red eyes glaring at me and it scared me so bad i fell of my snowmobile LOL. Now i just wave and keep on truckin.