Saturday, 5 July 2014

Flaxen's Guide to Ferreting

                                       'Wait a minute, that's not a ferret' 

                                       'That's better........'

I like ferrets. They encapsulate cute and vicious in one sinewy, lithe package. I think I have made this point elsewhere, but as it is a very good point, I think it is well worth reiterating (bum bollocks). They also have a very practical application. They satisfy the hunting instinct which doth lurk dark in the breast of every man and can even provide a meal or two, if you know what you are doing.

The sex of the ferret is not important. If you choose a female then make sure you get it de-sexed as ‘intact’ females can have serious health problems if they are not mated.

Rabbits are ubiquitous. They have made a remarkable comeback after being almost eradicated in many countries by myomatosis. Rabbits these days are resistant to the myxoma virus and continue to breed, er like rabbits. Tis easy to discern whether you have rabbits in your locale. Simply go to any relatively large green area and check for spoor. Rabbit poo is very distinctive, being small and round- bit like a mini-maltesers. If fresh, they smell like new mown hay and have a slightly nutty taste.

Next you need to find the entrances to the warren. There will be several. Like most small prey, rabbits like an alternative escape route if pursued by predators in their den. Once all the holes are identified, you simply secure netting over the holes except one. Keep the netting loose and arrange in a sack like manner. This is important as it ensures that the rabbit becomes entangled when it flees from your ferret. Here is the fun bit. Place your ferret in the remaining uncovered hole. Ferrets love small tunnels and will immediately race into the warren. Any rabbits at home will flee their advances with alacrity. With luck they will end up hopefully/helplessly entangled in your cunningly crafted trap of doom.

Remove dinner from the net, hold by the ears and deliver a sharp hand chop to the back of the rabbit’s neck. The neck is a very weak part of the rabbit’s anatomy and, if the blow is delivered correctly, you should be rewarded by a satisfying ‘crack.’ Don’t forget to retrieve your ferret.

Remove fur and innards, wash well. Your rabbit is now ready for the pot. Or, if you are like me, for the oven. Roasted rabbit is divine. The dark meat has a tendency to be dry but is very healthy as it is low in fat. Don’t forget to share your meal with your ferret, after all, he or she did all the hard work. If hand feeding, take care not to get any juices on your fingers, otherwise you may ‘lose’ the tops of your digits.

This is my second posting on ferrets and I’m hoping to write more on the fascinating topic of ferrets and ferreting. Next week I’ll explain the correct way of releasing your ferret into the wild in order to decimate the local wild life.            


                              Cuddles, doing his 'thing'

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