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

hensonly

Songster
11 Years
May 15, 2008
438
3
131
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...
 

abelseville

In the Brooder
11 Years
Mar 19, 2008
61
0
39
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!!
 

babyblue

Songster
10 Years
Sep 23, 2009
697
9
129
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.
 

dchickenman

Chirping
9 Years
Mar 11, 2010
109
0
99
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)
 

TipsyDog

Songster
10 Years
May 14, 2009
2,131
11
181
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.
 

westernmainecoop

In the Brooder
9 Years
May 20, 2010
19
1
24
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.
 

bantyshanty

Oval Office Courier
10 Years
Oct 6, 2009
568
12
141
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


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

redhen

Kiss My Grits...
Premium Feather Member
11 Years
May 19, 2008
35,107
174
458
Western MA
Yes, they come out in the day time.
I had one come back several DAYS in a row to eat...
 

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