Mink - Chicken Predators - How To Protect Your Chickens From Mink
General Information & Description
Minks belong to the Mustela family, which also includes stoats and weasels. Minks come in different names like Ermine, Sable, Minque Nordique, and Sable Nordique. The mink has a hairy and large tail that complements its long body. Its build makes it easier for a mink to intrude the dens of its prey. Its upper molars are big and massive. The carnivorous mink feeds on fish, birds, frogs, rodents and crustaceans. Minks are solitary hunters and will only be spotted with their mates during mating, or when nurturing their young. Minks are fast when moving on land, and are adept in climbing trees. They are also excellent swimmers and can dive down to a depth of 30 cm.
Minks are found in different parts of North America, from as far north as Canada and Alaska through the United States except for the state of Arizona. In the US, minks are prevalent in the states of Nevada, California, Utah, California and the western side of Texas.
Minks prefer to live near bodies of water like ponds, marshes, canals, lakes, and streams. These animals are also known to travel a lot and can live far from water.
Methods of Kill
Male minks run and hunt instead of rearing their young. Minks are vicious predators of chickens and other birds. They are known for their propensity to kill every chicken and bird in an area or pen. However, minks do not eat every chicken they prey on. They only want to drink the blood of their prey, and this is their motivation for killing every bird they can find. Despite their size, they have the quickness to surprise chickens. Their athletic prowess allows them to jump at chickens and grab the throat. With their long body and athletic ability, they can squeeze in any pen and attack on a bird easily. Minks can also attack anytime of the day and won’t hesitate to come back for more preys when it sees the opportunity to strike.
Prevention & Treatment
Using a live trap can help in catching a mink and preventing it from making any damage on a chicken pen. The holes of the trap should be tiny enough so that the mink will not be able to get through it. Minks can go into a cage with holes of 1 inch in diameter. Minks are also excellent in digging allowing them to go through the hen house and go through the basement. Thus, owners should make sure that their chicken cages are secured and the holes plugged up well enough for the minks not to pop in inside. Setting up the trap entails putting it with foods to attract the mink such as tuna. Putting chicken liver with blood on it can also entice a mink to attack because of the animal’s propensity to go after bloody and wounded animals. A dead mouse can also attract the attention of a mink.
Keep cages away from areas near bodies of water because these are places inhabited by minks.