Well after a bad day yesterday I had a bad night and a terrible start to today. I head the chickens during the night and so Brendon went out. His second rechargeable torch is not working, so without light he managed to lock the chook house but he said there was at least one already dead. In the morning we saw they were all dead. A stoat or ferret got in and killed all 5 of our birds. And typical to these terrible creatures - it only ate from one but broke the necks of every other. Apparently to "store" the meat for later. Brendon said the cats were in the chook area last night too, so he suspects it was a ferret which is bigger than a stoat. In December we found a dead stoat in our garden (although at the time we thought it was a ferret) - but a ferret would be apparently be too big for them to kill. We have also since learnt that February and March are the months when these creatures are on the move. So it was fine that we did not lock the chooks up - but not ok for Feb. A very hard way to learn that lesson. The only positive side of this story is that our chooks were quite old and not laying very well (not being very good laying chooks to start with). So within the next few weeks we were going to replace them anyway. It was just really upsetting to have them killed in such a cruel way.