How long should I wait?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by yomama, Jan 7, 2011.

  1. About a month ago, a predator got my hen when she snuck outside of the chicken yard. Then about 1 1/2 weeks later, got my roo, inside of the chicken yard. Both during the middle of the day. I know it had to be the same predator, because both chickens were left intact, except there necks were stripped down to the trachea, with their heads barely hanging on. After alot of research, we determined it is a good chance it was a mink, since we do have them out here, and most anything else would of either taken the body or at least done more damage. Anyway, I have had a live trap out for about 2 1/2 weeks now. Nothing. First, I used tuna, then I switched to chicken livers, making sure to have lots of the blood with it. Twice, the bait has been stolen, but that is because the stupid trap froze! I lubed up all the moving parts with vasoline, and rebaited. That was a little over a week ago. Still nothing. The bait hasn't been touched either. My chickens are kept in a 10' x 40' fully enclosed run while I'm in and out. I only let them freerange while I am able to supervise. If I am going to be gone for a very long time, they stay in the coop. I know as soon as I allow them to freerange all day again, that darn mink is going to return. How long should I keep trying to live trap? I know most will say "till I get something" but I'm just wondering if there is a point that you just kind of give up? I know that 2 1/2 weeks isn't very long, but how long do most of you try for?
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2011
  2. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

    Apr 15, 2009
    Sorry, but you are trying to catch the wrong culprit. That is classic raptor MO. I had the same thing happen with a duck last fall. It was a migrating red-tailed hawk that committed the deed. Stripped the neck bare of all flesh and then started working on the breast. Night fell and I found the duck, which I buried. The next morning the hawk came back and was hanging around for the next couple days. It moved along shortly.
  3. shepherd

    shepherd In the Brooder

    Jun 19, 2010
    Red Tailed hawks dont migrate from here. I see em all year long.
  4. We did examine the body of our roo and found tiny little puncture wounds along the base of the neck. I didn't see any type of puncture wounds large enough from hawk talons. There were also scrape marks from what looked like little nails at the base of the breast, but the breast was otherwise left untouched. Looked like it was trying to scrape some of the feathers away. I was told by many BYC'rs that it sounded like mink. We do have hawks to though.
  5. panner123

    panner123 Songster

    Jan 15, 2007
    Garden Valley, ca
    I assume you are using a live trap. What you need to do is clean it REAL GOOD, then boil it in with some chicken parts, beef scarps and anything else you can think of that will take the human smell off it. Once this is done wipe it done with beef or pork fat. When doing this use rubber gloves, to keep the human odor off. Place your bait in it and set it. If you think it is a mink, use a mouse for bait. I use a live mouse in a wire cage. The movement and noise it makes will bring in almost any predator. Beings it is in a strong cage you can reuse the same bait over and over. I know you are thinking what am I going to boil the trap in, a 55 gallon drum cut in half works. You must keep the human odor off the trap as much as possible.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: