Put her down or see if she makes it? Mink attack...


7 Years
May 28, 2012
Ugh... My poor girls got hit, and hit hard last night by at least one mink. Seven totally eaten, save the wings, etc, and three walking wounded.

One - no obvious external injuries, but seems to be the worst off. Lays on side and won't move. Made it thru the day which surprised me. Have her in her own basket in NEW coop/building with others so she can watch flock.

Two - Head bite wound. Looks like he crunched her good enough to pop her eyeball out of socket, but didn't kill her. Eye is bulging outside of socket,but not hanging loose... she's up and walking, eating and trying to figure out what happened. She did get really tired this afternoon after she ate and just sat down next to the trough and napped, rather than going back to the hay bale.

Three - puncture wound - eye still there, but will never function again... swelling just as other girl with eye problem... but, without the eye intact, it has a way of draining.

So - is there a shot in heck that any of my wounded girls will actually make it, or will they eventually succumb to infection even if I get them to survive the night tonight??? Is it more humane to just put them down now?
Chickens are resilient, and they may make a recovery. I would be very fearful of infestation with maggots this time of year. Monitor and if you feel it is necessary put them down. It sounds like a mother mink educating a whole family of kits if not another predator. Whatever the predator, it will return. Be prepared and good luck. Sorry that you have to deal with this.
Yep -

River is up almost out of banks with all the recent rains, so I should have realized that the predators were up out of banks as well. (They don't have access to their normal clam, fish, and frog diet with river so deep.)

We've moved them into an old storage building that is so secure I'm a little concerned for ventilation. :/ With the cooler temps tonight, it won't be a problem, but will need to be adjusted this week for better air flow. The girls are settled in and seem really, really happy in their new building. I thought they would miss the dirt and grass under their feet - and they probably will by tomorrow, but today, they just seemed happy to feel secure and catch up on sleep.

Good tip on the maggots. You are correct on that point, and is a good reminder for me. I was thinking if they survive their first night after attack - I might use a spray of distilled water and lavender essential oil (just a few drops) for anti-bacterial purposes. I have some Red Thyme as well, but I'm afraid that might burn them some. Lavender is pretty innocuous.
Surface wounds don't concern me as much as punctures. I have had chickens with horrendous gashes/slashes that made miaculous recoveries. Punctures and anaerobic bacteria present a far more difficult problem. Do you have any live traps that you can set?
No traps- actually, it's pretty heartening in one regard to know they are still around. We had an historic flood 2 yrs ago that wiped out or relocated most of our native wildlife (10 ft of water over the whole river corridor - 500 yr flood levels) Then, this winter, I caught a fellow illegally trapping on our property. I know he'd gotten several 'coons, but I also was worried for our mink and river otter here at the river.

I'd had the girls in an old dog kennel (dog fencing) that I'd totally covered from top to bottom (and buried) with chicken wire. I even totally covered it with a roof of chicken wire to prevent the hawks/coons/owls/cats/eagles etc. from getting in. The only thing I can think of is that the extra fold of wire that I put inbetween where the gate shut and the wall of the fence connects has a couple inch gap... and that extra fold of wiring didn't get placed properly when we shut them up.

Now, they are in a totally secured building, with floor, walls, roofing, skylights and french glass door that shuts very tightly. If they wanted to, they can walk up to the glass and stick their tongues out at the mink tonight. Oh, I'm sure as all get out they'll be back - every night... for the rest of the summer. One good meal deserves a nightly check to see if they can get more!
I had a GHO who spent an entire summer coming back to and checking my pigeon lofts because I inadvertantly allowed him access one night. A brazen bird he/she was. Fnally it gave up. (I think.)

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