Mink vs hen

Grapefruit Moon

In the Brooder
10 Years
May 21, 2009
49
0
22
The plan was to take the chickens up to the small island summer home. For a few reasons it seems the perfect place to have egg giving chickens for the summer. Reasons most readers here will well know, eggs, manure, composters and bug eaters.

At one time previous owners of this island had fowl of some sort, the "pen" or coop remains, but was in need of repair. We spent the afternoon making the repairs, creating a nest and roosts, and working the rust out of the old hinges. All seemed perfect as the hens happily scratched about the island. Oak leaves and pine needles really don't break down well by them self, well they do but it takes a bit of time. I knew the hens would help this process along and I was happy to see them doing it.

Time to head away from the coop restoration and have some dinner. After dinner we headed out to the deck to hear a rucus. My son (AKA fleet feet) hauls it down to the noise emmitting area to see a mink dive into the river. A pile of feathers and not a trace of any of the three birds. We (nine of us) being a search. Then more rucus - AKA Bird 911 --- and we all head to the noise emitting location again. This time a hen and a mink are in the water, rather well connected. Connected in the fashion that the mink was attempting keep the hens head under water as it puller her further from the shore. Fleet feet was the first bird EMT on the scene. He bonked the mink in the head with a stick and pulled the what we all assumed to be dead hen to shore. She was struggling to breath, and made a gurgling sound. He gave her a gentle squeeze on the breast bone and she spit out water and then was breathing OK. Soaking wet, not moving a bone in her body, but alert and breathing.

Eventually she came out of her trance and started to preen herself while the 8 yo neice watched after her. The remainder of us searched for the other two hens. We were about convinced they had become gourmet fare for the mink when some one said, did you look in the boat? Lucky we were to find one other hen sitting on the gunwale on one fo the boats. She ran out onto the dock and hopped over /up there! Good for her. As to the fate of the other bird, no one knows. It may be hiding, it may be gone. Myself and Fleet feet had to leave the island paradise shortly after dinner, and our deadline leave time was nearing so we had to cease looking for the bird. I don't hold out much hope that she will be found, alive or dead. Not after watching the tiny Mink pull the grown hen underwater.



So. . I guess I have a question or two about this. These birds wings were clipped, if they had not been, do you think they would have flown to a higher roost to safety? If we had a rooster, would it have been able to fight off a mink? Are they any birds you can think of that can fight off a mink?
 

Cetawin

Chicken Beader
11 Years
Mar 20, 2008
13,752
144
333
NW Kentucky
well leaving their wings unclipped does give them the better chance to fly up on something higher. I persoally do not clip my girls' wings...a couple clear my 6' run fence with ease when it suits them so I know they can get to a low tree branch.
 

19hhbelgian

Pigs DO Fly!!
10 Years
Apr 9, 2009
2,737
15
191
New Tripoli PA
I know for a fact that a flock of ducks will chase a mink... When we lived next to a large creek at the last house, we had ducks and geese. I personally saw the ducks gang up on a mink one time. He quickly changed his mind about trying for a snack! The geese are also excellent protectors, but you can't mind their honking either
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I personally loved every noise that came out of those birds, but the geese can get LOUD! Good luck with your mink problem. I also wouldn't clip their wings... That's one of their only ways of hopefully getting out of harms reach...
 

Grapefruit Moon

In the Brooder
10 Years
May 21, 2009
49
0
22
Thanks folks for the helpful replies.
The wings were clipped when I purchased the birds. It is not something I would do.

Ducks! Muscovy ducks might be the way to go. I understand they eat a lot of insects as well. We have plenty of geese around naturally, Canada goose. But they are wild and don't really roam the island for food, at least not when people are around.

I do agree, they are loud but the honking is a pleasure to hear.

Thanks again for sharing your experiences and knowledge.
 

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