Ermine (Stoat, Short Tailed Weasel)

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by france, Jan 1, 2014.

  1. france

    france Chillin' With My Peeps

    215
    0
    119
    Mar 2, 2009
    North East
    What can you tell me about ermine?

    We have a late 1700's colonial. Think old stone foundation and lots of holes. When we first moved in there were signs of rats including rat poison left by previous owner. There were no signs of mice anywhere. The first couple of years we knew there were rats based on footprints outside between the coop and barn. The hens were never bothered. Well starting about two years ago we have had loud noises in the attic. We set up a camera but never got anything so we tossed around ideas of squirrels or maybe rats. I stopped seeing rat tracks and instead saw what I thought were weasel tracks in the snow. Once again around the coop and once again the hens never touched. Meanwhile we suddenly have a mouse population explosion in the house. Two days ago I saw an ermine run out of our house foundation with a dead mouse. It ran under an old shed that used to be home to some porcupines we had relocated and blocked up the entrance.

    So as of today we know we have an ermine. I am pretty sure it is what we have heard in the walls/attic too big to be a mouse. No recent signs of rats. Lots of mice. I hear mice in the walls and the cat managed to get his first mouse in 13 years.

    From what I have read online it sounds like ermine generally do not go after chickens. But then reading on here they do. Based on tracks we have had ermine around the house/barn for two years and the hens have never been touched. Yes, now that I see how small an ermine is, one could get into the coop. The ermine here has a pretty big supply of mice. Do you think it might bother to work its way into a coop? Even when it has free access inside the house walls? Also does anyone know how well the ermine might take care of the mouse population? I am guessing not well, or I do not have enough ermine around just because of all the mice suddenly around.

    Our plan is to bring in a professional to help deal with the mice. Also working on beefing up the coop. Wondering if we need to trap the ermine too especially when the mouse population starts to decline.

    Thanks!
     
  2. bigzio

    bigzio Overrun With Chickens

    4,633
    132
    291
    Jan 20, 2007
    Wisconsin
    They will become trouble as soon as they run out of mice. I would set traps with meat. It works well to place rat traps on the corner of buildings in a vertical position with the bait and snap prolly 4" to 6" above the ground. The ermines (weasles) will stand on their hind legs and put enough pressure on the trap to get caught. I would try to catch them before the fact.

    bigz
     
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    34,519
    7,734
    596
    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Cover any openings in coop with 1/2" hardware cloth.
    Goggle weasel trap....box with rat trap inside and small hole for weasel to enter, keeps other critters safe from snap trap.
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2014
  4. chickencoop789

    chickencoop789 Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,629
    37
    153
    Jul 1, 2012
    New Jersey
    Weasels will EXTERMINATE the mouse population. When they run out, they may go after the chickens. They are aggressive little carnivorous creatures dispite their small size. Put the smallest size of wire mesh around the bottom of the coop and make sure there are no crevices they can get into. Build a weasel box (look it up) and put a rat trap inside. Bait with meat and you got yourself a weasel.
    Look up local laws regarding trapping before setting any traps.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by