mink proofing coup and terrified chickens

13hensandaroo

Chirping
Oct 21, 2017
34
11
66
Hi Chicken Family.
More than one black mink have been terrorizing our chickens. The coup is situated not too far behind the house where we can hear any unusual noises. lt took only 1 night of going out multiple times trying to figure out what it was. We couldn't see any tracks, the chickens were stressed to the max,bloodying themselves trying to get away. They refused to go back in their coup. By morning I heard the chickens going crazy, ran out to find two black mink about a foot long dragging what I thought was a dead chicken around in the coup. Once the mink let go of the chickens neck, the chicken came to and ran away. We have since hardwired all the vents on the roof with 1/4 inch hard wire. We use to leave just the chicken door open into a secured area but not with the mink, its no longer an option.
My big problem is during the day while in the chicken yard they press themselves up against the fence trying to get out. They won't go near the coup and I've had to put 14 chickens by hand in the coup and they go crazy and won't settle down. I just couldn't do that each night. Ive got them in my garage at night, and I've got to figure out a solution. I don't have lots of land to build or buy them a new coup in a new location. I've also got to figure out how to get rid of the mink or Ill just have to stop raising chickens. thanks
 

Howard E

Crowing
5 Years
Feb 18, 2016
2,881
3,980
296
Missouri
In the short run, this is how you get rid of your mink problem.......


The pan idea offers the most potential for success. A mink is big enough you may want to move up to the 120 trap (two springs vs. the 110, which only has one), but to get going on this, use whatever trap you can get your hands on until you can do better.

Duke traps are mass produced and mass marketed, but in my view, almost any other trap made would be a better choice. Biggest issue with the Dukes is the trigger is not sensitive enough to work well....so it may not fire at all. Of those I've tried, I like the BMI traps, and would get this one.......and maybe 2 or 3 of them. The BMI traps are about 5X as sensitive as the Dukes and the bell trigger may eliminate the need for the pan shown in the video.

http://bmi-traps.com/products.html?...ypage=flypage.tpl&product_id=11&category_id=1

Next issue is to find out what attracted the mink to begin with. Do you have a rodent problem?

If not, then what else is needed is to eliminate any means of entry into the run or house. Minks and weasels are both diggers and climbers, to a full on enclosure is required.

But you can work on that later.......after the minks you already have working your coop are eliminated.
 

Howard E

Crowing
5 Years
Feb 18, 2016
2,881
3,980
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Missouri
This offers a much better solution for how to build or use a pan trigger. If your trap has whiskers, go to the 8:30 mark to see the simple solution.


Or again, the BMI traps use the bell shaped triggers vs the whiskers and may work fine....once the animal gets it's head through, it may push on through with it's shoulders. But all traps can be made to work the the pans........
 

Howard E

Crowing
5 Years
Feb 18, 2016
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3,980
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Missouri
LG.......if the trap must be dog proof, then the Dukes will work. It has a pull only trigger and is not as sensitive as a lot of other designs.

If serious nabbing of coons and possums is the goal, we have a guy in MO who makes a trap called the Coon Dagger. It has a two way trigger (push or pull) trigger, in which the trigger used is a ring vs. a lever that has to be pulled up. With the coon daggers, almost anything that puts it's hand in there is going to get caught. And that may include a fox. Coon daggers are available from a lot of trapping places. If just getting a few, get the ones that have been powder coated. Serious trappers who buy them by the dozen get them bare metal, then dip them in wax before putting them to use.

BTW, even if it does catch a cat or small dog, it is not going to do harm. It just means it is going to get caught. You can always release them.
 

13hensandaroo

Chirping
Oct 21, 2017
34
11
66
Thanks Howard. Ive set out haveahart live traps with chicken meat with no takers. I'e done rat kill traps around coup and gotten small mice. We don't have rats,we never leave feed around at the end of day. We do have a small creek behind house and a pond nearby. New housing encroaching behind us and pushing wildlife to our small 2 acres,some woodsy.
How about conibear 1? Along creek?
 

Howard E

Crowing
5 Years
Feb 18, 2016
2,881
3,980
296
Missouri
Conibear 110.....but do place it inside a weasel box......or.........if there is a known entry point where minks are using and will push their way through works as well. Box serves as a tube with bait in the back.....but any choke point......like a hole in the run fence.......that you can create to get them to pass through the trap will work. But make it so they can't go anywhere or do harm if they do get past the trigger. Some type of dead end.

Word of caution.......conibears are essentially giant mouse traps. They will kill just about anything that trips the trigger.......so cats, etc are goners. These are big enough to break the arm of a small child. The biggest of them are big enough to kill a full grown beaver and also big enough to break a man's arm.
 

itsasmallfarm

Crowing
5 Years
Oct 27, 2016
2,230
3,652
351
canada
i use a conibear 120 (a 110 is powerful enough) i just like that 120 come with safety hooks on the springs, like others said be careful with them, they will kill any animal that goes into it. i made a special mink/weasel box (pretty much a box with a 2 and half inch hole in the center so only weasels and mink plus rats can enter the box and then get trapped)
 

Howard E

Crowing
5 Years
Feb 18, 2016
2,881
3,980
296
Missouri
This is the Big Hammer rat trap......but should also work on minks and weasels. This one shows a vertical paddle attached to the trigger the varmint has to push through to set it off. Trigger pan would work as well.

20180219_160438.jpg 20180212_145132.jpg

And yes, the hole in the end is a good idea. Varmints will use it anyway, but filters out stuff you don't want to kill.
 

13hensandaroo

Chirping
Oct 21, 2017
34
11
66
Ok thanks. Will do.
Now I have to get chickens to go in coup. They won't go in even if I put food in there. They huddle outside in the corner of fence or fly over fence and perch on our deck.
 

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