I'm a new member, but have been reading the forums to learn.
We've lost hens in the past while they were free ranging to a feral cat and a fox. I can deal with that, not happy, but at least I know how to keep them safe(r).
Last week we had what we think is a mink or weasel get in the coop at night and kill 7 hens, all of them older hens, heavier, and not the best fliers (not sure that is relevant since it occurred in the dark, although a bright moon). Just dead birds, some chewing on necks, and what looked like an attempt to pull some down a hole. We have 12 girls left.
The "coop" is a converted horse foaling stall with a fine packed gravel floor. The predator dug in through the floor from the outside, the hole is 3 inches or so in diameter. It came back the second night looking for another kill, we know because we filled in the holes and new ones appeared and live traps were sprung.
To keep the hens safe, we've moved them to my horse trailer (all metal, except for a marine grade wood floor with heavy rubber mats) each night. Not the most convenient deal, but at least I can sleep at night.
So....2 questions: is there a mink/waesel proof coop? If so, what is it? And, we'd like trapping/killing advice. We have live traps set (both tripped the 2nd night, but no luck in catching) and now 2 Conibear 110 traps, too, inside the coop. There's been no sign for 5 nights now. I'm assuming it will be back eventually, am I right?
I have a barn cat who we close out of the coop at night. If necessary I can temporarily move her if we need to trap outside the barn. She's a great mouser, we do not want to lose her.
We've lived here 27 years, never have seen a mink or weasel, BUT 3 nights after the attack one ran in front of our car about 9 pm on our way home. Of course, we did not hit it, that would have been just too poetic.
thanks in advance for your help.