Predator, HELP!

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by neetabeamie, Jan 15, 2017.

  1. neetabeamie

    neetabeamie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I live in a small rural farming town. we do not have many predators.
    We just moved in in September.
    My set up is this: I have a duck house that predator proof that I lock my ducks up in at night. they are free range during the day. our half acre is fenced in with a combination of farm wire fence and wood.
    the day after Christmas I found one of my Cayugas dead by the watering bucket. I had kept my dogs in that day.
    based on the clues (small set apart footprints, small hols in the snow etc) we think that the predator is a mink or a type of weasel.
    ever sense I have not let my ducks be out of there house unless my dogs were out as well. we have not lost any more ducks.
    the neighbors across the street however lost there hole flock of ducks and chickens to what they think was a mink/weasel. (I am sharing my eggs with them because they have allergy and need the eggs) it was so sad.
    any way, I have been trying to figure what I should do because even though this solution of keeping my dogs out back when the ducks are out works I miss my dogs.
    I really want to keep my ducks free range if I can...
    quick question, do mink or weasels only hunt at night/dusk? (I had forgot the night my duck was eaten, to shut them up until it was dark out)
    so solutions I have thought of, please let me know what you think.

    1: Get a pare of geese.
    because of the type of predator I think a goose If rased with my ducks would be able to protect, intimidate or at the least give a better warning so my ducks could get away.
    the problem with this is that I herd that even if you have a tame goose the males in particular can be aggressive towards kids especially during the mating season. I have three small children. so that wouldn't work unless they are not free ranging...

    2: get a bigger flock of ducks. I only had 6 ducks (now 5) If I had say 10-18 ducks do you think a mink wouldn't dare attack during the day? and if it did chances are it would be spotted by my ducks before it could do damage right?

    3: build a fenced in duck yard that I keep them in unless the dogs or I am out with them. I don't really like this Idea, but it seems like it would provide the best protection.
    If I did build a duck yard do I need to make a top? or do you think 3' hardware cloth is sufficient to keep mink, weasel out?

    thank you for your help!!
     
  2. birdmanmax

    birdmanmax Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sorry to hear about your loss weasel and mink are nasty little pests.

    First question: Weasel and mink will hunt almost anytime of day.

    Your first idea will not work weasel and mink may be small but they can take down the largest poultry. I have had a weasel take out 15 peafowl in one night not eating anything just killing for "fun".

    Second weasels or mink don't care how many birds there are they will kill and kill until there is nothing left.

    Third the only way to make a fenced in area work you need to use 1/2in hardware cloth (weasels can fit through anything an inch or larger) all around even extending a foot out level with the ground to prevent dig ins and yes weasels and mink can dig and climb so a top willl be a must.

    The best way I have found to get rid of weasels and mink is rat traps or regular traps. I have trapped many little weasels using a rat trap in a weasel box.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2017
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  3. TLWR

    TLWR Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Trap the suckers then dispose of them.

    Until then, keep an eye on them and don't let them free range without supervision.

    A goose won't work, predators like geese as well, even small annoying ones.
    More ducks just means more fun for the weasels
    Fence can work and would be handy if you need to go out of town for a day or two, but you'd really need to fortify the pen as well.
     
  4. neetabeamie

    neetabeamie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ok, how do you kill the weasel or mink after you catch them?
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2017
  5. neetabeamie

    neetabeamie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Do you think that an electric fence would do the trick so I wouldn't have to build a top?
     
  6. neetabeamie

    neetabeamie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I just realized that the trap would kill the weasel. so never mind.
     
  7. birdmanmax

    birdmanmax Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes that could work but they could dig under you would need it to lay flat on the ground covering at least a foot all around. Also keep in mind both mink and weasels can jump pretty darn high I would be worried with anything lower than 4ft.
     
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  8. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    I recommend a top, since even ridding the area of the weasel, there will be other predators.
     
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  9. birdmanmax

    birdmanmax Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I agree with amiga cover it up completely.
     
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