On New Year's morning we spend a few hours at the farm feeding the goats and checking on their general well-being. Because our time was limited, we divided the labor. Mark wandered down to visit the beehives to make sure they had enough food, while I walked the interior of the net fence to make sure there were no issues there. I walked a little ways around, goats following faithfully behind me, and looked down, maybe about 3 feet from the fence was a dead rabbit.
I called Mark. He inspected the rabbit and found one small bite/mark on his neck (yes it was a boy, I checked). Knowing that a dead animal was nothing but predator bait and not knowing what the predator was, we took the little guy home to take care of him there. During New Year's dinner, I gave the entire scenario to my father-in-law. He's been around the wilderness block a few times and has a healthy amount of knowledge. Before I ever finished my explanation, he was ready and named our culprit. Weasel. Okay. Weasel.
Mark, suspicious of the unusual suspect, Mr. Weasel, took a more traditional tack and named Mr. Bobcat as the culprit, while I was basically clueless, but leaned in the direction of my husband...until we Googled weasels in Florida. It was all over the internet, so it had to be true. They are generally menacing creatures who hunt down rabbits. By the end of the Google search were kind of scared of Mr. Weasel. Father-in-law still had it! Okay, this was easy stuff! We can deal with weasels - baited rat trap at the base of a tree.
Saturday night we camped out. What I didn't mention in the post was that we took our little dog with us. He's a Cairn Terrier and is always, always on alert to scents and noises. He is the main reason we did not sleep well. He kept sensing, something, weasels maybe, all night long and barked to let us and everyone around us know. Along with our little dog there were other farm animals in the general vicinity that night making quite a racket. There were the ducks and geese and roosters from up the street. Down the way a bit a donkey was giving something the what for as well around 3 am.
We have a trail camera set up on the south west corner of the property. We've seen squirrels, a raccoon, an opossum, a coyote, a rabbit and an escaped goat on it, but no weasels...ever! Mark pulled the SD card today and we anxiously put it in the computer to see what was on it. Are you ready for it?
It's not hard to figure out, we now have a Wampus Cat, a.k.a. bobcat, hanging around the property. It's time to dispatch the predators. We have two more goats that are pregnant - one is really, really close and the other not too far behind. It's kind of funny, because we were chatting with our neighbor Saturday afternoon and he mentioned seeing some BIG cat tracks on the dirt road. No mention of weasel tracks.
We don't need these types of visitors. A nice rug for our bunk house will be nice.
Now I wish it was a weasel.//tr
In 2014 a couple of 40-somethings decided to make a change. The purchase of 10 raw, pine scrub acres along Florida's Nature Coast started it all. This is that story.