A POLECAT ferret has been caught red-handed and is the number one suspect for devouring over 60 chickens in the last four years.
Jinda Nelson, who stays out at Eassie, had been noticing a number of her beloved birds disappearing, often without a trace.
Foxes were ruled out as the perpetrators as they generally leave a wave of destruction behind them and Jinda even had specialists in to try and work out who or what was snatching her chickens.
She said: “I could not work out whether it was otters, mink, ferrets, stoats, weasels, sparrow hawks or even a cat!”
It was not until Jinda went out one morning to let the chickens out, after her father advised locking the hen house every night, that she noticed a bit of chaos and a body of one of her chickens wedged in the door way.
She added: “I could tell something had happened and wondered how on earth the birds had managed to get out after locking the door to the coup.”
Jinda opened the roof of the chicken house and could not believe her eyes when she saw a polecat ferret, commenting: “I didn’t know what to do I just shut the lid again and called my friend!”
The crafty polecat ferret was killed and now hopefully Jinda can be confident that her chickens will not be terrorised by the polecat anymore.
Jinda concluded: “What a relief it was discovering what was eating my chickens!”
r A polecat ferret ‘hybrid’ is a cross between a European polecat and a ferret.
Crossbreeds between the two animals typically have a distinct white throat patch, white feet and white hairs interspersed among the fur.
In some parts of the United Kingdom, the escape of domestic ferrets has led to ferret and polecat crossbreeds living in the wild.