Lost chickens

Discussion in 'Where am I? Where are you!' started by chickgma, Jan 9, 2017.

  1. chickgma

    chickgma Out Of The Brooder

    May 20, 2012
    [​IMG] Christmas Eve and Christmas day something got into the coop and killed 4 of my hens (think it was weasel or mink).The other 4 girls are safe in the basement for the time being. I need to secure coop this Spring, Rats and maybe those other varmits have been chewing holes in the plywood floor I have. I need to put something down that they can't get through. What do you think is best? Also I've only been able to kill one rat with a snap trap.....I havent set it on a consistant basis . Maybe that's the problem.
  2. chippy99th

    chippy99th Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 17, 2016
    So sorry for the loss of your hens! Smart move to get the rest somewhere else. I've heard weasels will keep coming back. If it had been my girls, they'd be out of there fast.

    Hmm, I've been lucky enough never to have your problem. I maybe would put hardware cloth over the floor and a little ways (maybe 6 inches?) off the floor. Make sure there are no gaps, and that the door is secure, as they can squeeze through tiny holes. There are probably other threads on this site as to predator-proofing a coop.

    We had mice once. The chickens took care of that problem before I could, lol. I don't think any weasels live around here. They're cute little animals from the pictures I've seen, but man have I heard horrible stories from chicken keepers! Hope you're able to solve the problem.
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2017
  3. Weehopper

    Weehopper Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 26, 2015
    I would use hardware cloth
  4. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Chicken Obsessed


    Sorry for your loss. [​IMG]

    Is your plywood floor on the ground? Even without rats, that would rot away. 1/2 inch Hardware cloth is a good suggestion. I put down concrete pavers in my coop that is ground level and covered with several inches of river sand. But never had any problem with rodents or wood rot in my raised coops. And any runs that need full protection will get hardware cloth base as well, with bedding on top.

    Weasel and Mink are both nasty. I would have myself a trap set out for them near the crime scene and be prepared to dispense of properly which does NOT include relocation! Rat traps have to be set in the right place to work. Usually along the fence or walls with the snap part facing the wall so the rat tuns across it during it's normal routine. If it's new to them they may avoid it for a couple day while they get used to it. We even tie our traps to something in case one doesn't do the job completely so they can't carry the trap away to suffer and die where only the stench can be detected. I even where gloves to dispose of the rat and set it for the next one.

    Stapling hardware cloth is not enough. It needs to have washers and screws or be secured with screws between boards. Anything bigger than 1/2 inch is not good enough.

    Here is a link to a type of rat trap that works really well. There are threads on here to, you can do a quick search...


    Good luck. Hope your girls recover well.
  5. chickgma

    chickgma Out Of The Brooder

    May 20, 2012
    Thank you for your kind words.....I'm so glad you've never had any such problems. I hadn't either till this year[​IMG]. I hope you never do!
  6. chickgma

    chickgma Out Of The Brooder

    May 20, 2012
    Thank you Eggcited4Life for the help. Yes, the coop is off the ground. We'd never had this trouble before now and am sure the weasel got in through the holes those darn rats keep chewing in everything. We'll buy hardware cloth this Spring and put it down everywhere. Surely rats can't chew through that!!!???

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