Mink!

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Parrot

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Mink!
« on: May 18, 2007, 22:53 »
Finishing work early today enabled me to finish laying the railway sleepers around my new veg plot, and backfill behind them.  The backdrop of the plot is a retaining wall which drops down to the stream which runs through our garden.   At about 3.30 this afternoon,  I sat on the wall with a cuppa and watched the ducks in the stream.

Right in front of me, in broad daylight, and only 10 yds away from a blissfully unaware pair of feeding call ducks was a mink.  It panicked when it saw me and shot down an old rat hole in the bank.  Seconds later it was back,  just it`s face peering out the hole, with the ducks still dangerously close by.  After a good minute of the animal just staying still, peering from the hole, I decided to walk to my next but one neighbour`s house and try to borrow their air rifle.  It took a while to find my neighbour, who then had to go look for the air rifle .  It must have taken a good three or four minutes in total.

When I got back, air rifle loaded and ready just in case, I could not believe it but the mink was still in the same place!  In the rat hole in the bank,  just looking out.   I shot it in the head (couldn`t really miss as it was only about 6 yds from me) and that was that.  

What I want to know is ,  is this normal mink behaviour?  Sitting there waiting while I went looking for a gun?  :?    This one was a female.  Obviously if there is one there will be more in the vacinity.  So what`s my best option?  Traps?   I lock the ducks away safely of a night but this was in the middle of the afternoon in broad daylight!   Anybody here with any experience of mink,  your opinion would be appreciated.
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WG.

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Mink!
« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2007, 23:09 »
Mmmm ... my bet is that she has a litter of kits in that burrow & was defending them.  :(

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Parrot

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« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2007, 23:20 »
Possibly.   She does look pretty slim,  in excellant condition though.  I would have thought that if she had kits in that burrow that I would have lost at least one of the ducks by now.  :?     It would explain her behaviour though,  but why no carnage?

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kizza

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« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2007, 20:16 »
You sure it was mink? Mink are rather large, Didn't think they would be able to fit down a rat hole

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Aunty

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« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2007, 21:01 »
Mink

Stoat

Ferret

They all look similar
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Parrot

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« Reply #5 on: May 20, 2007, 02:00 »
It was a female mink.  100%.  All mustelids have the same basic body shape.  Stoats are the size of a female ferret, a rich red colour above, white below with a black brush like tip to the tail.  Weasels are a similar colour but a lot smaller with no black tip.  Female mink are  the size of a female ferret and tend to be a dark chocolate brown all over (as this one was) although other colours do appear due to fur farming, which is afterall, where all the mink in the British Isles stem from .  Male mink are a lot larger, and granted would struggle to enter a rat warren.    

A female mink has no problem getting down a rat hole, neither does a female ferret or polecat (which I have kept all my life) whereas a male ferret, male polecat or a male mink would not manage a rat hole unless it was a particularly unusually small specimen.   I have seen plenty of mink on the Teifi where I used to live,  the dogs often used to put them up whilst on walks, and on several occassions the terriers caught them.  I took a photograph of the one yesterday,  so once we install the driver for the camera (haven`t got round to doing so since we moved house a few months back) I will put a pic up of her.    Beautiful looking animal, just a very destructive alien invader, so she had to go I am afraid.  :?

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WG.

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Mink!
« Reply #6 on: May 20, 2007, 07:26 »
Quote from: "Parrot"
whereas a male ferret, male polecat or a male mink would not manage a rat hole
Is that not exactly why she chooses such a place to have her kits?  The male would kill them otherwise.

Talking of stoats, reminded me of ... http://www.chat.allotment-garden.org/viewtopic.php?t=3212  :D

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Parrot

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« Reply #7 on: May 20, 2007, 09:53 »
Very good point David.

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kizza

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Mink!
« Reply #8 on: May 20, 2007, 21:10 »
Can you post a picture please parrot?

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Parrot

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« Reply #9 on: May 20, 2007, 23:21 »
Will do as soon as the driver is installed for the camera.  Took a couple so will post them up shortly.  :wink:

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Parrot

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« Reply #10 on: May 21, 2007, 20:30 »
Photo as requested,  sorry about the blood.  :?


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Parrot

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« Reply #11 on: May 21, 2007, 20:43 »
Here is the mink actually peering out of the rat hole before I shot it;


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kizza

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« Reply #12 on: May 21, 2007, 22:09 »
yes, deffo a mink, very surprised that it could fit down a rat hole

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Aunty

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« Reply #13 on: May 21, 2007, 22:14 »
Quite a few more to go before you have enough for a coat  :shock:

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Parrot

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« Reply #14 on: May 21, 2007, 22:16 »
A male wouldn`t manage entering a rat hole,  but the majority of females I have encountered would have no problem doing so.   By the way,  I have decided that the best measure to safeguard against Mink will be to become a terrier owner once more.    A stock broken terrier of the right sort patrolling should keep the coast pretty clear I reckon.  :)



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