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I think I'm dealing with a mink, need help please

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by yomama, Dec 21, 2010.

  1. About a week and a half ago, I lost one of my favorite hens. She had snuck out of the chicken yard, and into my regular yard, where my dog, Lacey was. Lacey has been real good with the chickens, even leaving them alone, to my surprise, when the neighbors chickens sneak into our yard. When I found my hen, she was all intact, except her neck was ripped to shreds. All that was connecting her head to her body was her trachea. With the exception of some feathers plucked out from her chest, all that was bad was the neck area. I instantly assumed it was my dog, since she was the only one out during the time, and this happened in the middle of the day. My husband was very perplexed that she could of killed a chicken, since she had shown no signs of interest towards them. I basically blamed Lacey, due to the fact that she was the obvious suspect. However, since I didn't catch her in the act, I didn't punish her. No point, IMO. I was so upset, that I didn't think to examine my hen further. Wish I had. Today, I went out for 2 1/2 hours, and came back to my beloved roo Rusty, dead in the chicken yard. I found him to be in the exact same way I found my other hen. Everything on his body seemed ok, except that his neck was stripped down to just the trachea, with the head barely hanging on. This happened in the middle of the day too! Lacey had been indoors all day, since we had construction workers in our yard all day, and no other animals had been in our yard. He was also in the chicken yard. If anything was in our regular yard, it would have to of gotten through another fence to get to the chickens. Our chicken yard is bordered by the forest however. In that forest is a marsh. Prime place for minks. We actually did see a mink a few years ago, otherwise, I wouldn't of even thought about them being out here. I was so devistated, that I had my husband bury him. He decided to examine him first, and found little puncture wounds around the base of the neck. It also looked like there were scratches on his chest, where there were feathers missing. My girls also found some footprints in a pile of sawdust that looked like little dog prints. My daughter even went online, printed out pics of mink footprints and went out and compared. [​IMG] They matched. Anyway, does anyone have any suggestions as how to deal with them? I am keeping my hens confined in their 10' x 40' run and not allowing them to freerange for a while. I would like to try and get this guy, before it decides to try to get into the run and coop. I'm thinking live trap? We have alot of skunk, raccoons and opposums, but those are all nocturnal and dusk time animals. (not saying that they don't attack during the day, but usually at night and at dusk) If I did a live trap, I don't want to end up catching all those guys too, so I would probably just leave it out during the day. I'm so upset, he was such an awesome roo. Did everything for his girls, and was very respectful of people. I'd be lucky to find another like him. I'd appreciate any advice. Thanks!
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2010

  2. jhm47

    jhm47 Songster

    Sep 7, 2008
    IF it is actually a mink, he will eventually get into your run and kill every chicken you have. Mink are extremely hard to keep out of whatever they are not supposed to get into. They also go on "killing sprees", and kill every living bird in the pen. Try a live trap and bait it with tuna. Mink like tuna, but so do skunks and coons. Whatever you do, don't relocate. Mink will return very quickly and resume their bad deeds.
  3. BeccaB00

    BeccaB00 Songster

    Jun 16, 2010
    Yes, minks will come back and kill every bird you've got. I'd try a trap.

    No promises you wont catch a coon, or opposum, but your best bet would

    be to leave it out until you catch the mink. Day and night. I had a mink attack

    a few years ago, on my hen. Alls she had were 2 puncture wounds one on each

    side of her head. That happened at night. My cat has killed one, May have been the

    one that attacked my poor hen. Anyways, very sorry for your losses. [​IMG] I know

    how it feels. I would think being in a fence would put them in more danger being the

    chickens can't run away very far. Minks can go through wire. They're tiny little buggers.

    good luck

  4. mgw

    mgw Songster

    May 29, 2010
    Eastern Wa.
    Are you sure it wasnt a weasel? the minks ive seen would be hard for my cat to kill.
  5. theFox

    theFox Songster

    Sep 21, 2009
    Standish, Maine
    Get a live trap, bait it with the carcass of the most recent kill, even going so far as to remove the liver and smearing it inside the trap on the trip pan.

    Set the trap. Mink or weasel it will return.
  6. patvetzal

    patvetzal Songster

    Aug 12, 2008
    Bancroft, Ontario
    I don't know of any housecat that could take down one of our full grown minks around here. Then again in the 4-5 years that we have had birds, the mink have never bothered any, even though we see them around the lakeshore on a regular basis.
    We do have a fisher in the area that I worry about though. Saw it giving the flock the eyeball last summer but didn't have a gun....The birds were in their fenced(?) run, middle of the afternoon and I had been going back and forth past the run on the tractor for an hour when I spotted it.
  7. aprophet

    aprophet Songster

    Jan 12, 2010
    chesapeake Va.
    Quote:at times a mink may take 6-15 days to return but they will be back

  8. Inkheart

    Inkheart Songster

    Aug 15, 2010
    Columbus Ohio
    Might be a weasel - i had a "mink issue" and yes they are known for beheading - and/or just biting and killing them for "fun" at the neck. I was told they can get thru any hole that is the size around of a hot dog and will come back and back till the chickens are gone - i live trapped - a beautiful animal but mean as heck hissing and lunging at me thru the trap
  9. Talihofarms

    Talihofarms Songster

    Dec 4, 2010
    Minks, Martin , Weasel, Fisher. Cats.

    All of them will do the damage that you have mentioned. I have dealt with them all. I don't think it is a mink, as others have mentioned, they will go on a killing spree. If I was to bet on what would do the damage to the neck area that you are talking about I would say a Weasel, cat or small young bird of prey.

    A live trap is your best chance of getting the chicken killer.
    I use caned cat food as a universal bait in the trap.

    Keep the chickens in max security until you get the culprit.
    Let us know what you catch.

    Just my .02

    Good Luck
  10. emarble

    emarble Chirping

    use a live trap but make sure that the holes on the trap are small enoug the mink cant get thru! Myself if you don't have the most recent kill get chicken livers from th store and and bait with that leaving the blood on it! That is mostly what the members of the weasel family go after BLOOD


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