How can I "Mink Proof" my coop?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by cochins1088, Oct 27, 2013.

  1. cochins1088

    cochins1088 Songster

    Jul 17, 2012
    Southern Minnesota
    My current chicken coop is simply a large dog kennel set up in the barn. Is there any way that I can "Mink Proof" it without spending a fortune?

    Today I was at a poultry show and I began talking to a guy who told me that 90% of his flock was wiped out by a mink. $6,000 worth of birds dead in one night. Needless to say, he was devastated. 2 months ago I found a dead mink in our yard so I know they're out there.

    I'm worried about the safety of my birds, but I can't think of any economical ways to "Mink Proof" my coop. Does anyone have any ideas? I've read that they're great climbers and can sneak into the tiniest of holes.

  2. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Free Ranging Premium Member

    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.
    And that's what makes them so tough to keep out. You could put hardware cloth around the whole kennel, and use it to cover the kennel. But if your kennel is what I think it might be (10'x10' or so chain-link panels?) there is a gap at the bottom corners that you'll need to cover, too. That would be a start, but I don't think there is any 100% guaranteed way to keep a mink out if it really, really wants in. (Or any predator, for that matter.)
  3. hosspak

    hosspak Songster

    Sep 2, 2013
    Lake Elsinore, CA.
    if you want to be effective, I would place rat traps on the outside as well as the inside and bait with chicken parts. (keep your enemies close) or you can get some of these;
    And trap them live, these work extremely well...
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    1/2" hardware cloth is the only thing I have heard of that will keep mink and weasel out...and it's not inexpensive.

    Mink may be larger than the smallest weasels tho.

    Wonder what killed the dead one you found in the yard?

  5. cochins1088

    cochins1088 Songster

    Jul 17, 2012
    Southern Minnesota
    I figured. The chain link panels are arranged to make a 6 ft by 36 ft area. The hardwire cloth may help, but if one really wants get in, than there's no stopping it.

    I imagine that it'd be difficult to cover all the gaps at the doors.
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2013
  6. cochins1088

    cochins1088 Songster

    Jul 17, 2012
    Southern Minnesota
    That's a good idea, but should I really be encouraging them by baiting them?

    I've had chickens in this set up for 6 years without any problems, but I know it just takes one night for a mink to destroy a flock.
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2013
    Stephine likes this.
  7. cochins1088

    cochins1088 Songster

    Jul 17, 2012
    Southern Minnesota
    I have no idea what killed it, but it was definitely a mink. It was lying in the middle of our yard.

    We have 2 labs, so it's possible that one of them drug it up from somewhere else, but they showed no interest in it. Maybe it was sick? I really have no idea.

  8. GhislaineDel

    GhislaineDel Songster

    Apr 25, 2012
    New England
    My profile picture is our duck house with a hardware cloth "porch". We've got all kinds of weasel family members around here so this is our compromise for early morning and evening safety. We have been able to allow them to be in the pen or even free range during the day.
  9. Seppy05

    Seppy05 In the Brooder

    May 22, 2016
    Ketchikan Alaska
    When putting up hardware cloth, use lots and lots of fasteners. My run has a frame made of wood, so I use staples to attach the wire, one area hade just too few staples and a mink pulled it up, went in, killed all 8 of my hens and fought my rooster until it realized that he put up to much of a fight.

  10. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Crossing the Road

    Nov 7, 2012
    Unless they are the kind of staples that you pound in with a hammer, I would not ever trust them, no matter how many staples you use. Better to sandwich the HDW cloth between 2 pieces of lumber and screw them tightly together, or use screws and fender washers every 6 - 8".
    aart likes this.

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