Earthworms for teenage chicks? Ermine also lurking...

sarastamand

Songster
Jan 25, 2019
80
97
101
Grantham, NH
Is it okay to feed my (almost - few days away) 6 week old teenage chicks earthworms? They love crickets, mealworms, and wax worms but I wanted to introduce them to something new.

I’m hoping to get them in their coop soon, but we have an ermine lurking around! We’ve been trying for weeks to capture it. It loves the chicken livers we are using as bait. I went down today and all 6 baits were going with no traps gone off. We have a rat trap that we dangled meat in front of thinking he would HAVE to step on the trap, but somehow he got the bait anyway. We also have several mouse traps and two different sized havaharts. We also have a box with traps in it and the meat was dangling. The box was open and on the ground this morning with no bait and no traps gone off.

Any helpful suggestions? I’ve called fish and game and done everything they have suggested as well. I NEED this thing gone or I can’t let my babies out!
 

roosterhavoc

Crossing the Road
8 Years
Jan 5, 2012
18,742
33,639
971
Is it okay to feed my (almost - few days away) 6 week old teenage chicks earthworms? They love crickets, mealworms, and wax worms but I wanted to introduce them to something new.

I’m hoping to get them in their coop soon, but we have an ermine lurking around! We’ve been trying for weeks to capture it. It loves the chicken livers we are using as bait. I went down today and all 6 baits were going with no traps gone off. We have a rat trap that we dangled meat in front of thinking he would HAVE to step on the trap, but somehow he got the bait anyway. We also have several mouse traps and two different sized havaharts. We also have a box with traps in it and the meat was dangling. The box was open and on the ground this morning with no bait and no traps gone off.

Any helpful suggestions? I’ve called fish and game and done everything they have suggested as well. I NEED this thing gone or I can’t let my babies out!
Attach the bait to the trap trigger or pan of the trap. Dangling bait is better for the cages so they have to work to get it out and are more likely to fire the trap and close the door.
 

GC-Raptor

Crowing
Jul 26, 2016
3,106
3,887
371
Connecticut, USA
Is it okay to feed my (almost - few days away) 6 week old teenage chicks earthworms?
I don't dig up worms for my Chickens, but if I find one on the ground, I will toss it in the pen.
My Hens are let out to Free range an hour before sunset daily, weather permitting. They dig through leaf piles and find them I'm sure.20171028_171640.jpg.
My latest Chicks also found worms in their new pen at 6 weeks.20180921_092116.jpg. GC
 

Fishkeeper

Crowing
Oct 30, 2017
2,345
4,916
286
Central Texas
Chicks raised outdoors by a hen would be finding worms and eating them pretty much from birth.

For the ermine, can you just make your coop and run ermine-proof?

Make a long, thin box, with an ermine-sized hole in one end, just wide enough to fit a trap in it. Put food at the other end from the hole, and put a trap in the middle. It may take awhile to get anything, the scent has to wear off, but the ermine will have to go over the trap to get the food.
 

sarastamand

Songster
Jan 25, 2019
80
97
101
Grantham, NH
Chicks raised outdoors by a hen would be finding worms and eating them pretty much from birth.

For the ermine, can you just make your coop and run ermine-proof?

Make a long, thin box, with an ermine-sized hole in one end, just wide enough to fit a trap in it. Put food at the other end from the hole, and put a trap in the middle. It may take awhile to get anything, the scent has to wear off, but the ermine will have to go over the trap to get the food.
Thank You!
We have resecured the coop in the meantime so that he cannot get inside. I would prefer for my chickens to free range during the day though. He seems to be smart; I don't know if that's a trait of their's or if perhaps someone has trapped him before. We have been putting the trap in the box right under the bait, but we will move it to the middle of the box. We also typically wear gloves when setting the traps to hopefully not leave behind as much of our scent.
 

Fishkeeper

Crowing
Oct 30, 2017
2,345
4,916
286
Central Texas
I've never heard of ermine attacking chickens in the daytime. I could be wrong, but aren't they nocturnal?

The thing with the box, you need to make it so the ermine has to go past the trap to get the bait. Maybe add a bit of bait directly on the trap in an area where, if the ermine goes after that, it's guaranteed to get its neck snapped. The goal isn't just to catch the ermine, it's to kill it quickly.

How high can ermines jump? If you can figure out a good way to kill a trapped ermine, you could look up the bucket traps that people make for mice, and see if one of those will catch an ermine.
 

sarastamand

Songster
Jan 25, 2019
80
97
101
Grantham, NH
I've never heard of ermine attacking chickens in the daytime. I could be wrong, but aren't they nocturnal?

The thing with the box, you need to make it so the ermine has to go past the trap to get the bait. Maybe add a bit of bait directly on the trap in an area where, if the ermine goes after that, it's guaranteed to get its neck snapped. The goal isn't just to catch the ermine, it's to kill it quickly.

How high can ermines jump? If you can figure out a good way to kill a trapped ermine, you could look up the bucket traps that people make for mice, and see if one of those will catch an ermine.
I thought they were nocturnal as well, but I’m really not sure. I’ve def seen this little critter out in the day. One afternoon I put a chicken liver in my driveway and waited with my 22. Not 5 minutes and he was out there. He heard me coming though (I’m able to shoot from my front door!) and scampered off. One time after I was setting bait, I went to the other side because I was certain I had heard him while setting the bait. He was watching me the entire time and stared at me for at least 30 seconds following. Wish I had my gun with me then...

We lost our old flock of chickens due to this guy. I went out to feed/water them one morning and everybody was slaughtered. I went in to tell the hubs and then went back out to the coop. When I went back to the coop, I saw his eyes staring back at me in a hole we have now secured. This was about 8am so I’m not sure if I just missed the attack or he was still feasting. He is such a jerk but so adorable at the same time. But I need his beast face gone! I guess I should have posted this under predator instead...
 

Molpet

Crossing the Road
Premium member
Sep 7, 2015
7,811
29,512
872
New Lenox township. Illinois USA
My Coop
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I've never heard of ermine attacking chickens in the daytime. I could be wrong, but aren't they nocturnal?

The thing with the box, you need to make it so the ermine has to go past the trap to get the bait. Maybe add a bit of bait directly on the trap in an area where, if the ermine goes after that, it's guaranteed to get its neck snapped. The goal isn't just to catch the ermine, it's to kill it quickly.

How high can ermines jump? If you can figure out a good way to kill a trapped ermine, you could look up the bucket traps that people make for mice, and see if one of those will catch an ermine.
ermine can be out and about during the day
they can jump almost a yard up, sorta like a squirrel can
bucket trap for rats is usually a garbage can because they can jump out
 
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