Weasel - Chicken Predators - How To Protect Your Chickens From Weasels
The weasel is a small, wily predator. Weasels are known to be slender and furry with its white body and a brown or red upper coat. Its tail ranges from 9 to 13 inches in length. The weasels legs are so short that their bodies tend to touch the ground.
The weasel is predominantly active both day and night. Highly territorial, weasels are known to behave aggressively against intruders. A solitary animal, weasels typically feed on small rodents like mice and voles. Some species of weasels however, are known to feed on animals like chickens and rabbits.
Weasels are usually found in almost all parts of mainland USA and Canada, both in the mountainous areas and in areas along the coast. The coats of the European weasel stay brown all year round while the Eastern and Northern species turn wholly white during winter.
Methods of Kill
Weasels are known to be very cunning. Their cleverness and guile makes them first class predators, and their prey is often no match to their agility. Chickens with the back of their necks and heads missing, with its intestines out and bitten at the rear are most likely victims of this wily animal. What’s interesting is that weasels kill not only for food, but also for sport. In fact, they are known to keep killing until there is nothing left to kill. Due to its slender body, these animals can easily wiggle through chicken wires, small runways, and narrow holes—making them the bane of poultry owners.
Prevention and Treatment
To keep weasels away, make sure that the chicken cages are sturdy and durable. Try using 1/2 inch plastic-coated hardware cloth that is heavily gauged on coop openings. Thoroughly examine all possible back entrances inside your chicken coop that the weasel can exploit.
If your coop is near soft ground, look for tracks. If this isn't the case, try sprinkling flour around the coop to find where they enter. Seal the entrances up and set out traps. Created a 6x12-inch weasel box with a hole that is about 2 inches in diameter. Place bloody carcasses inside. Weasels are known to be attracted by the smell of fresh mean. If it is snowing, you can even drag the carcass through the snow to make sure the weasel finds its way. Set up baby monitors and cams so you can check on your chickens regularly, and visit the trap every day to see if you caught anything. Elevated chicken cages may also help to discourage these animals.