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Ermines!! My poor chickens!

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by slavedriver01, Nov 21, 2014.

  1. slavedriver01

    slavedriver01 Out Of The Brooder

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    We had 2 white silkie Roos that we separated from our flock because they were being picked on. Their temporary coop was exactly that...temporary! While we built a new coop separating Roos. They were sweet gentle Roos these guys. Until yesterday morning when we went to let them out....there they lay. Lifeless. Blood bath. Bodies still intact.

    We set up trail cams to see what the heck was around. Left the bodies there to maybe lure the culprit back. Went today to pick up the trail cam and out pops a cute little ermine. Pretty white little thing. Made himself a nice home in the temp chicken coop. Came right out to see what I was doing.

    I'm heartbroken over the Roos. Not because eventually they would have been dinner for me. But mostly because they were so funny and cool....and I was protecting them by taking them from the flock. So I thought.

    This afternoon I'm going back with a gun. Blast it right out of there. And I guess use the bodies of my beauties in the traps I just picked up to trap anything else around there. Sigh.

    I'm interested in what everyone does to protect/prevent rodents. I currently use chain link for the runs....obviously easy access for weasels. Can they get into the chicken wire? Our actual coop is like Fort Knox. I don't THINK anything can get in there.

    It actually bit one of my turkeys as well but musta been too much of a fight. They are also now in a new den. First time our turkeys have ever been easily moved. Like they knew we were saving them from being eaten alive. Poor guys.

    **Edited by Staff**
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 22, 2014
  2. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Chicken Obsessed

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    I'm sorry for the loss of your chickens to the ermine. I've never lost any chickens to weasels, but when I lived on the big island of Hawaii, I lost some to Mongooses, which biologically are very similar to weasels. I wouldn't use chicken wire on any coops or runs. I don't know if ermines can tear into it, but mongooses certainly can, and even if ermines can't, there are plenty of other predators that can. And there are other predators that can squeeze through the openings in the chicken wire mesh. You need to use hardware cloth instead. I've never had any kind of predator tear into hardware cloth. Good luck in protecting your flock.
     
  3. N F C

    N F C Home in WY Premium Member

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    My condolences on the loss of your roos. Michael is right about the fencing...forget chicken wire and go with hardware cloth. Your initial expense will be greater but it will prevent you from having to replace birds.
     

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