Saw a weasel yesterday...in broad daylight...worried.....

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by hensonly, Jun 11, 2010.

  1. hensonly

    hensonly Chillin' With My Peeps

    438
    2
    131
    May 15, 2008
    upstate NY
    HI,

    I was weeding the vegetable garden yesterday when the wild birds started absolutely shrieking.....on and on. And not just one pair, like they do when babies are fledging and a crow comes around, but LOTS of them, all concentrated in the band of trees between us and the neighbor. I watched, and after a couple of minutes, out into the lawn pops what I think was a weasel. It could have been a fisher, I guess, it was far enough away that I couldn't see the tail and the grass was high enough that I couldn't see the whole body at once. But it did jump through the grass a few jumps, went back into the trees when the birds dive-bombed it, came back onto the lawn, birds chased it back into the trees, finally it went off through the woods up toward the neighbors (judging from the birds' behavior).

    It looked about a foot long. It was very dark brown, maybe black. It had a very triangular head. That's about all I could tell clearly, because of the grass being a bit long at the edge of the yard, and because of how far away it was. I think fishers are bigger than a foot long, aren't they? Anyway, I've never seen anything like it near here nor heard of anyone else having a problem. We're pretty rural, and lots of folks have chickens. I'm worried because I saw it in daylight (mid morning) and because the chicken coops are about 200 feet from where it was. I don't worry too much about the laying hens, their coop is pretty secure. But the other coop is not - the wire on the run is "turkey wire", the two inch by four inch openings...and my meat chicks are in there. While both of us were at work, I left the chicks locked in, and can do that as it happens only twice a week, but geez, now I'm worried. We've never had any kind of predator problem, with five dogs, there isn't much that comes around. But this little critter was awfully close to my birds. I don't know where it was headed, whether it knew the chickens were even there (gotta assume it did).

    Are weasels diurnal?? I thought they were nocturnal...anyone with weasel family experience got any input? The meat birds will be gone the third week of July, and we planned to move the hens into that coop, thinking that daytime predation is low risk and the birds will be inside at night...now I'm not so sure, and I really can't put hardware cloth on the whole run at this point...don't know what to do...
     
  2. abelseville

    abelseville Out Of The Brooder

    61
    0
    39
    Mar 19, 2008
    Loudoun County, VA
    I've seen them during the day, but I've only ever heard of them attacking at night. I would put out "have a heart" traps at night with cat food and then not have a heart when I caught him. Nothing ever made me more murderous feeling towards an animal than seeing 9 ducks and 12 chickens with their heads bitten off!!!

    Oh, and they can get through 1 inch openings. GRRRR!!
     
  3. babyblue

    babyblue Chillin' With My Peeps

    697
    2
    129
    Sep 23, 2009
    all of the weasel family are kinda like rats, if their head fits threw so does the rest of the body and they can fit threw a hole the size of a little weeny hotdog.
     
  4. dchickenman

    dchickenman Chillin' With My Peeps

    109
    0
    99
    Mar 11, 2010
    What you described (about a foot long, dark brown, weasel-like) sounds exactly like a mink. I hear they kill poultry, too. I've trapped a few, but never had any come near my chickens (knock on wood)
     
  5. TipsyDog

    TipsyDog Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 14, 2009
    Aregua, Paraguay
    I agree with dchickenman. I have minks around here - seen them in the daytime too. They are like you described and quite dark. Either way, weasel or mink, make sure your girls are locked up real tight tonight. Also - this is where hardware cloth comes in real well over chicken wire! I've spent a small fortune in hardware cloth and I'm pretty confident those minks can't get into my run or coop.
     
  6. westernmainecoop

    westernmainecoop Out Of The Brooder

    19
    1
    24
    May 20, 2010
    I 'll never forget the first time I saw a weasel with a red squirrel in it's mouth running up a tree. Middle of the day.
     
  7. bantyshanty

    bantyshanty Oval Office Courier

    568
    3
    141
    Oct 6, 2009
    S.W Pennsylvania
    We're in SW PA. I just found out we have weasels. I built the chicken run myself over an existing 15 x 15 chain link dog pen, and spent months on it, roofing & raccoon-proofing it. Done this week, and had the whole flock in it yesterday for the first time. Coop is in the middle of the run, but won't hold all of our flock. My husband said, leave the silkies in their coop. No. I brought everyone into the garage pens. From 11-3 in the night, we were awakened by several different squeals, above us, and what sounded like my old ferrets at one point. Today the squirrel family in the old oak tree above the chicken run is all gone, and their nest has fallen down in bits. This is a weasel too I think. I now realize all the 1 1/2 inch gaps in places, including the net-covered chain link, would have been lethal for my girls [​IMG]

    Back to the drawing board... Meanwhile, I just hope they stay nocturnal for a few days...
     
  8. redhen

    redhen Kiss My Grits... Premium Member

    35,111
    132
    458
    May 19, 2008
    Western MA
    Yes, they come out in the day time.
    I had one come back several DAYS in a row to eat... [​IMG]
     
  9. bantyshanty

    bantyshanty Oval Office Courier

    568
    3
    141
    Oct 6, 2009
    S.W Pennsylvania
    Then we've just been lucky so fer.... Chilling news...
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by