mink outsmarting LGD?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Phoenixxx, Jan 7, 2016.

  1. Phoenixxx

    Phoenixxx Chillin' With My Peeps

    I'm having a mink problem. At first, I thought my LGD wasn't doing anything because she was sleeping in the garage and couldn't get to it before it dug into the coop. Lately, though, she's been using her doghouse which is right beside the coop. I've done everything I can to block off the tunnels (short of pouring concrete in them, which is what I'll do tonight) but it's still getting past my LGD and into the coop. I also can't see where it's coming in. Is the mink just too clever or do I have a lazy puppy? She's awesome at keeping all the other predators away; I haven't had a single loss to fox, coin or neighbourhood dog since I got her. I'm guessing that her moving the others out is why the mink moved in. Ideas? Suggestions?

    Everytime there's an attack, I bring her into the coop to investigate/sniff and also around the perimeter. I don't know if she's putting two and two together yet, though. Also, because she's still a puppy, I'm not ready to trust her locked up with the chickens yet. The coop is a tiny space for her and she'll undoubtedly get bored and want to play.
     
  2. hayley3

    hayley3 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    How did you determine it's a mink?
    Can the dog get inside the coop where the chickens are? Are you saying the dog didn't bark and alert you?
     
  3. Phoenixxx

    Phoenixxx Chillin' With My Peeps

    There are mink in my area and it's the only chicken-killer I can think of that makes 2.5" diameter tunnels and only eats the head. My dog can't get in. She might be trying to tell me stuff's happening, but when I sleep, I SLEEP.
     
  4. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    Mink killed $2,000 worth of my chickens (6 flocks in 6 days) a couple years ago. All you can do is close off any opening over 1/2". They are extremely fast, agile and tiny, so even if the dog was aware, it probably couldn't catch them.
    They aren't smart however.
    The best way to catch them is with live bait and a #0 or #1 conibear trap. A mouse or rat works as bait.
    You can also bury a 1 1/2" PVC pipe in the ground at a slight angle with a mouse at the bottom. The mink can get in but can't turn around or back up.
     
  5. Phoenixxx

    Phoenixxx Chillin' With My Peeps


    Thanks! Yeah I have a live trap set near its original entrances but it's not falling for it. How much of an angle on that pvc pipe?
     
  6. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    1 person likes this.
  7. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    If birds lost at night, then get them to roost higher up. If losses at night with birds able to roost above 48" then consider predator ID not correct. Look into allowing dog into coop at night if it is trustworthy. Having birds roost up can help with that. Can coop / pen be moved up hill? Have another smaller and mature dog to help against predator.


    Can you determine when predator strikes?
     
  8. Phoenixxx

    Phoenixxx Chillin' With My Peeps

    The highest roosts are at about 5'. Occasionally some birds will roost on the top nest shelf at 6.5'. Coop cannot easily be moved, it's got a 6x8 footprint and made of 2x4 construction - I built it like a proper house. Attacks happen between midnight and 5am. I think I can trust my dog in there because she's been super good with the chickens lately but I do worry she might get bored in the tiny space and want to play. There is another, smaller dog (shelter said wolf hound/pyrenees/terrier mix) in my household but I don't think its owner would be okay with me "borrowing" her for a night of active duty; she already disapproves of me leaving the puppy outdoors when no-one is home.
     
  9. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Is the coop closed at night? Could chickens walk in and out or possibly fly out. Roost height makes me think mink may have trouble pulling birds off roost.
     
  10. Phoenixxx

    Phoenixxx Chillin' With My Peeps

    Coop is locked up at night, birds can't get in nor out. Lower roosts are at 3' and 4' approximately. Roost are arranged in a sort of crisscross pattern as they go up so climbing between them would not be difficult for anything weighing less than a chicken. I can remove the lower ones, if that'll help, and just put any that decide to sleep on the floor up on the top shelf before I go to bed.
     

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