This morning, around 5AM Emily came into our room to say that the chickens were making a fearful row in the back garden.
Yesterday we got two new Chickens that we introduced to the hen house overnight. They often fight at first, until they have established their pecking order, but they have next to no sight in poor light, so it is very unusual for them to be active when it is still dark.
I confess I turned over and tried to sleep, while Michaela and Emily went to investigate.
They found the new pair of chickens still in the roosting box, but the two older ones out in the garden shouting their beaks off.
Then they saw a sleek shape move easily over the ground, up onto the wall where it trotted off along the lane. There is a streetlight on the lane, and so they had a good view of the animal against the light.
As far as they can see with research, it was a Pine Marten. The other options- Stoat, Polecat or Mink were all discounted by the intrepid pair as a result of being too small, too short of tail, too dark of face.
Now we have a bit of a dilemma. It is so exciting to have such a lovely wild and rare creature in the garden.
But we also know that they are perfectly capable of taking chickens. And we love our chickens.
For now, all we can do is shut them up at night (we have been letting them go to bed when they are ready and not shutting them in as we have never had any problems before.)