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Tell me about minks

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
Never knew we even had mink in Indiana. Just turned the corner from my house today and saw one cross the road in front of me in broad daylight. This was only five hundred yards from my house/coop. I am confident the coop is secure at night once the auto door closes, but I didn't think there were any daytime predators around here. Am I going to need to secure my entire run like a fortress?
post #2 of 27

Mink can and do go after poultry, however, they are one of the more rare predators from what I hear. They prefer to fish in water, going after muskrats, fish, and sometimes birds and other animals. People keep them as hunters, as they are very good at it and very intelligent! I'm writing about them, so if you have any other questions just let me know. :)

post #3 of 27
Thread Starter 
Well I think it was a mink. I'm certainly no expert since I've never seen one. It looked almost all black, or shades of very dark brown to black. I didn't see any white on it at all, but I only saw its profile, and they keep pretty low to the ground. It was pretty big, like about two feet long from heat to tip of tail. I have held pet ferrets before, and I'm guessing it was a little larger than that--like somewhere between ferret and a otter. Well, I guess it was the size of an adolescent house cat, except obviously longer and shorter. We do have a river and creek not too far away, and a pay lake stocked with big catfish, which is the direction he was heading.
post #4 of 27

It probably was a mink.  We have them in Ohio so I'm sure you have them too.  Their back humps when they run across the road.  I think it is fairly rare for them to raid a chicken coop, BUT if they do you will have a massacre on your hands.  Mink are vicious.  They are one of the few predators that will kill every one of your chickens for no reason.  I've had coons take a chicken or two, I've had a hawk pick them off one by one, but the night I had a mink get in I lost every chicken in one night.  I had left the coop open by accident and it slaughtered them all.  Didn't even eat them, what a waste.  


That was just one time, prolly ten years ago, and it hasn't happened again.  With your auto door you should be safe, I would think they won't come up during the day.

post #5 of 27

We have mink around here as well. A few have been hit by cars near our house. However, I think the cats keep weasels and minks away. The few weasels we have seen around here were dead, the cats had caught them.

post #6 of 27
Thread Starter 
The mink has found my coop! Thank goodness I spotted him watching us today.

I was feeding the chickens treats (along with my 3 dogs and wife), and one of the girls started doing the "egg song" and making all sorts of ruckus, because of the dogs, so we were laughing. Then I look up and say "Hey there is a cat!" Like no big deal, just unusual since we NEVER see cats around here. Then it took off running out in the open and literally dived straight through our 4x4 farm fence and off to the brush. Definitely a mink. Probably the same one I saw on the road a while back. It seemed bigger though. My big lab gave chase but we didn't find him.

I gotta get seirious now because I know he'll be back real soon. I put out two live traps around the coop, and need to find some bait. This is only gonna end when the mink is dead I'm sure.

Edited by Toddrick - 10/10/15 at 12:10pm
post #7 of 27

I hope you catch it soon.

post #8 of 27
I would imagine a version of the weasel box would work, just guessing that they also like to hunt in a tunnel ...

Yep, I bet it will be back ...
Keep your eyes on the road ... And, your head out of your apps!
Keep your eyes on the road ... And, your head out of your apps!
post #9 of 27
Thread Starter 
I put my two live traps along the outside of the coop, threw some fresh grass and straw in the bottom, along with some feathers. I dropped some tuna in each from front to back, then I covered them in straw (there is straw all over the ground anyways).

I won't feel like my birds are safe until I finish him, but I know these are some of the smartest predators around, so I am not too hopeful about me catching him, so I at least hope to keep him at bay. I put a solar spotlight on one end of the coop, and put some dog dropping around the coop. Plus I took my dogs around the area a lot to spread their scent.

The bigger problem may not be protecting the coop, but free ranging during the day is now practically impossible.
post #10 of 27
Thread Starter 
Sure enough he came back. And what timing!!! I just walked out for the first time about an hour ago and scanned the yard with night vision. I saw a couple of eyes reflecting back at me instantly. It looked too small to be the mink at first but then he started "dancing" and bouncing around and I knew it was him. He was about 50ft from the coop, and being cautious, circling wide into the field. I lost sight of him for about fifteen minutes. I got my gun ready and came back out with the NV and gun (unfortunately not one unit), and sure enough, he was right in front of the coop!

I probably should've continued to observe, but my predator instinct kicked in, and I began to stalk him with the NV monocular (it's 1x so easy to walk with without turning on any lights). He must've heard me because he popped out of the berry bushes to look my way, and that's when I could see him real good because we were only about 15 feet apart. Long story short, I was barely able to flip my gun light on before he took off, and although I sat around for a long time longer I never saw him again.

Anyways, the threat is real, and this totally stinks because my birds don't have a secure run, only a secure coop. I'm hoping maybe I put enough stress on him that he'll be more likely to make a mistake, like rush into one of my traps.


Oh yea sorry so long, but I forgot to mention another bit of drama. I counted my birds and there were two missing! Turns out they didn't get in before the auto door closed, and were roosting on the dang compost box, argh!!! Glad I found them...
Edited by Toddrick - 10/10/15 at 10:01pm
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