In a nutshell, back in the first days of February of this year, I went out back to the coop d'ville to feed my chickens only to find my entire flock of four (2 BR's and 2 BA's) wiped out... feathers everywhere, four dead birds, and hardly a drop of blood to be found. I did my research and concluded that the culprit must have been the only predator that I didn't take into consideration when constructing the coop d'ville and the run. As to not bore you with the details, here's the cliff note version of what happened next...
- Researched and plotted my plan of attack.
- Purchased one Duke #110 Bodygrip trap and dye/treated said trap.
- Purchased 2 fish heads (happen to be salmon) and some chicken livers from the local market.
- Set and baited the trap INSIDE the run to avoid trapping the neighborhood cat and as more proof that it was what took out my birds because it got into the run...Here's a photo of the trap set up in the run:
- Approx 2.5 weeks later, I figured that I'd go out and check the trap while I was out making sure my new flock was good for the night (I had them set up in the shed with a heat lamp for warmth since they were only about 2wks old). I didn't have any expectations but I figured that I'd check anyway... This is what I found...
....and HE WAS ******. The look that he gave me said..."I'm going to tear you up as soon as I figure out how to get out of this thing."
Well... the long and the short of it is that he didn't (get out or tear me up).
- I did some more research and then purchased an edged tool (not that I needed a reason to buy another one...).
- Again, to spare some of you folks the "details", I'll just show you what happened to Mr. Mink...
It gives the Coop d'ville a outdoorsy, rustic, fur trader cabin kinda look...
Additional info: This was a healthy specimen of a one large male mink. There's nothing cute and cuddly about minks. They are muscle, teeth and bad attitude. Pound for pound, it's hard to find a more aggressive predator....don't be fooled.
In light of this "new" threat, I implemented a three-pronged defense to protect my new flock... 1. Continue to trap (because where there's one, there has to be more). 2. "armor-up" the run with wire mesh that has a smaller grid pattern (it gained access thru the fencing...). 3. Close the access door to the coop in the evening.
That's it for now. I hope that this helps some folks out there....If your birds are near water, (unless you are in the deep south), you more than likely have minks roaming around and if you do, it's not a matter of if it will get your birds, it's a matter of when, unless you build your coop and run to keep them out!