Putaruru eggs help to trap rodents
Free eggs produced in Putaruru could be the key to keeping Sanctuary Mountain pest free.
The first batch of fresh hen eggs from Heyden Farms of Litchfield, was delivered in April and Sanctuary Mountain’s pest team leader, James Matthews, hopes it is the start of long-term and much-needed sponsorship.
The idea was hatched by cochair of Maungatautari Ecological Island Trust, Tony Wilding who approached Heyden Farms late last year.
Last month Heyden Farms donated 18 trays of eggs, to Sanctuary Mountain for its network of traps.
Eggs are dearly prized by mustelids like the least weasel.
The eggs are commercial grade and Heyden Farms office manager Wendy Farrow said they’re usually sold to bakers. ‘‘Commercial grade eggs sometimes have cracks in their shells, but their inner membranes are intact.
‘‘Sometimes they’ll have extra calcium or markings on their shells which make them unattractive to people buying for domestic use.’’
Sanctuary mountain’s natural heritage manager Matt Cook said the eggs will be placed in single-set Doc 200 and Doc 250 traps for a month.
Then, after they’re cleared, traps are set for another month with Erayz # 8 mustelid blocks which contain dried rabbit meat and bone.
Before this generous offer, the sanctuary was spending at least $500 per annum on eggs. The sponsorship will ensure weasels and other mustelids, like ferrets and stoats, can be baited and trapped and killed, without becoming bait-shy on only one variety of bait.
Sanctuary Mountain’s pest team leader James Matthews knows the eggs donated by Heyden Farms in Litchfield will go a long way towards keeping the mountain pest free.