Is resistance futile?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by shearenjoyment, Jul 30, 2008.

  1. shearenjoyment

    shearenjoyment New Egg

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    Jul 15, 2008
    Ontario, Canada
    I just went out to work on the coop (my girls are growing by the minute... why didn't I build first?) and found a weasel snacking on a lunch of two garter snakes. Can weasels sense chickens even before they've moved in?

    What I'm wondering is...is it possible to prevent a determined weasel? Do I need to wrap my entire coop in hardware cloth? I've buried hardware cloth 2 feet down around the perimeter of my coop - and I am now going to put wire over the dirt floor and bury it. I am going to put 1 foot high flatstock (metal skirting) around the base of the coop and put metal flashing on all the corners and wall to roof joints. The windows will be covered on the inside and outside with hardware cloth (so I can open them and still not have the glass broken). The roof is metal.

    When the girls start laying (if they survive that long)...is anyone interested in a $10 egg ($120/dozen)?
     
  2. ears73

    ears73 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 30, 2008
    Westchester, NY
    I hear ya!!!!!! I think our eggs will be $250 apiece!

    Hardware cloth is a safe way to go. While a friend was away, a mink (thought it was a weasel first) ate up all the new chicks... 7 of them!!! What a bummer!
     
  3. shearenjoyment

    shearenjoyment New Egg

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    Jul 15, 2008
    Ontario, Canada
    After posting, I went back out to wrap the coop in a metal prophylactic, and guess who was there.....

    I think it may be a mink (now that you mention it)...it was pretty large. She (I'm guessing here) seems to be building a nest 2 feet behind the coop. The sound of my hammering doesn't seem to intimidate her either (even when I hit my thumb by accident).

    There better not be a "Chicken Buffet" sign back there!
     
  4. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    Trap it.

    It and any babies it has will find a way into your coop. It may take them months but eventually they will breach your security.
     
  5. shearenjoyment

    shearenjoyment New Egg

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    Jul 15, 2008
    Ontario, Canada
    Thanks Miss Prissy.

    I was afraid that I might have to resort to trapping. Weasels/minks are only one type of visitor we've been getting...and the chickens are still in our home.

    We've got some nasty business ahead.
     
  6. Jyrrah

    Jyrrah Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 20, 2007
    Washington
    Is the coat a solid color? A mink normally has a solid colored coat although I've seen a few who have had a thumbprint size spot of a different color. If she's really building a nest I'd be really careful about trapping her. A mink protecting her nest (or young) can deliver some horrible injuries. It can be even worse when they feel cornered. i.e. Don't stick your hand in the trap when she's in there. If you can see your local wildlife agency for some tips on trapping her.

    Link to mink info and link to weasel info.
     
  7. shearenjoyment

    shearenjoyment New Egg

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    Jul 15, 2008
    Ontario, Canada
    The coat is solid dark brown and she/he is about 2 feet long (including the tail) - maybe longer. Could it be a fisher?

    I'm currently researching traps, and contacting Natural Resources is a good idea - thank you.

    The fact that this scary yet beautiful critter is lurking so closely, and doesn't seem to be worried about me working is unnerving to say the least. I have two children that like to play around the 'almost' coop/garden.
     
  8. Jyrrah

    Jyrrah Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 20, 2007
    Washington
    From the description it sounds like you have a mink. If you could get a picture of it I could probably tell you more. I wouldn't be too worried about the children as long as they don't try to pick her up or poke about her den. You mentioned that you have a lot of predators in the area. Out of curiousity do you have neighbors that leave out cat food?
     
  9. chickiebaby

    chickiebaby Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 2, 2008
    western mass
    Matter of time tile it figures our a chink in the armor, like spammers, no matter how much anti-spamming you do. . Got to get rid of the animal, I'm afraid. Maybe you could make a luxurious coat for one of the chickens? Just in case they decide to go to the opera . . .
     
  10. shearenjoyment

    shearenjoyment New Egg

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    Jul 15, 2008
    Ontario, Canada
    After checking the mink and weasel links, it definitely looks like a mink. I looked up fishers (martens) and they are also similar to minks (same family) but larger.

    We live in a moderately rural setting, that's why there are so many predators around - coyotes, fox, birds of prey, bears and potentially cougars. The main road (pretty busy) is really close to our house, so I didn't really think that we would be bothered by predators...guess I was wrong (perhaps I should have taken the raccoon and porcupine road kill as a sign:p).

    Thanks everyone for all the help.
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2008

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