Ermine Weasels Problems

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by zldema, Feb 1, 2016.

  1. zldema

    zldema Out Of The Brooder

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    [​IMG]We caught one of these guys in a mouse trap today. Has anyone else had problems with Ermine weasels? How do you deal with them? The one we caught was just a baby. Adults ermine are known for taking down full sized rabbits. So I'm worried about my chickens. Any helpful tips would be great.

    Thank you so much!
     
  2. Bridebeliever

    Bridebeliever Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dear me! Is this the one you caught! [​IMG] They are vicious little creatures and will have no problem taking out a whole flock of chickens in a night. I have a secure coop so I leave the ones that I know are around here alone because they also eat mice and rats...but if my coop wasn't secure it would be another story! That guy will turn brown in the spring, those are winter colors.
     
  3. chickencoop789

    chickencoop789 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Surround your coop with weasel boxes. I can explain how to make them if you would like me to.
     
  4. ducks4you

    ducks4you Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Please do explain how to make a weasel box. I have a friend who lost his entire flock last month to a white weasel. He had a camera and saw it. He lives near a river, and we had severe flooding in central Illinois last month.
     
  5. chickencoop789

    chickencoop789 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ok so this is basically what the end product should look like...

    [​IMG]

    They are pretty cheap to make. A 6ft x 6in x 1in plank of wood is enough to make one of these boxes. You are also going to need a hinge for the lid, a latch to hold the lid shut, and a small square of hardware cloth for the back hole (ill explain the reason for this later). This is the basic plan for the bottom of the weasel box...
    [​IMG]
    So what you are going to do is cut the plank of wood into 3 16in pieces, 2 6in pieces, and 1 20in piece. The 16in pieces will be the bottom of the box and the left and right walls. The 6in pieces will be the front and back walls. Nail these five pieces of woods together. The next step is to cut a 2in hole in the center of the front and back walls. The square of hardware cloth will be stapled over one of these holes. This hole is there to let the smell of the bait drift out of the box, but the wire prevents the weasel from getting through the hole and steal the bait. The open hole is where the weasel will enter the box and get trapped. After the holes are cut you have to put the 20in piece of wood on the box for the roof. Put the hinge on the end of the roof and attach it to the back wall of the box (the one with the wire covered hole). The roof will now be able to open and close, allowing you to get inside to place the trap and collect the ermine out of it. The roof will be 4in longer than the rest of the box, making a sort of overhang over the front hole. This prevents water from getting into the hole and gives you something to grab onto to open the box. Then put the latch on one side of the box to keep the roof locked down. If you don't want to use a latch, some people tie to roof on with a strong piece of wire or just place a large rock on top. Having something to keep the roof locked down prevents other animals from opening the box and snatching any trapped ermine.

    Ok so now your box is assembled. The next thing you have to do is put bait and a trap inside the box. Most people use a rat trap placed in front of the open hole. But the trap has to be one of the "pre baited" traps. This isn't the actual bait that you will use, but the pre baited traps have a large yellow pan on the trigger. This gives the weasel more of an area to step on and fire the trap. In the very back of the trap, place a piece of meat in front of the wire hole. You can also place a q-tip covered in weasel lure in the trap along with the meat. This is what the baited trap should look like...

    [​IMG]

    Place a few of these around your coop, and if everything works out as planned, you will catch the weasels before they get to your chickens. Hope this helped.
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. Bridebeliever

    Bridebeliever Chillin' With My Peeps

    Wow! That is really brilliant!
     
  7. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    When building my coop weasels were definitely on mind. Live by pod and brook, field and woods. Both long and short tail are in abundance. Instead of plywood roof it was covered in hardware cloth, screwed with washes, then the metal roofing was attached over that. Became the ventilation, less weight for moving and is weasel proof. Coop is on stilts and wood runners to drag about.
     
  8. Trefoil

    Trefoil Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Like egghead, I've found that hardware cloth is weasel proof. Just make sure your coop and run have no holes. Do it once,do it right and sit back & relax.
     
  9. hackermom

    hackermom New Egg

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    we have lost our flock to weasels/ermine twice now. they apparently slit the throat of the birds as they sleep and drag off the heads. but hardware cloth is $50 per 50 feet for half inch, three times that for quarter inch! so expensive. I will try making the trap boxes this time, but any ideas other than the hardware cloth to line the coop? many thanks!
     
  10. Folly's place

    Folly's place Chicken Obsessed

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    Unless you make your coop safe, trying to trap every evening visitor won't really protect your flock. Hardware cloth is cheaper and less heartrending than finding dead birds in the morning. Mary
     

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