The mink killing my chickens are coming from my neighbors!

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Western Chick, Oct 31, 2008.

  1. Western Chick

    Western Chick Songster

    Apr 17, 2008
    Western MN
    Help, I'm in a sticky situation and I need to know, what would you do?

    I've raised chickens with few predator problems for the past 5 years. Occasionally a raccoon goes on a rampage but I can deal with them. They're easy to trap. About two months ago my 20 brooder chicks were killed when a mink got into their cage- 1"x1" hardware cloth. When I finally caught the bugger I was stunned, it was white.

    Since then I've lost dozens more chickens, ducks and rabbits. I continued to set traps and caught two more mink that were jet black! When I happened to mention it to our babysitter she said that the mink they raise (two miles from us) are black and white and wild mink are brown. They started rasing mink less than two years ago.

    Now I don't know what to do. I've easily lost $500 worth of birds and rabbits to these mink, many were rare birds that are not easily replaced. I can't prove that all of them were lost to mink but anything that was left behind had all the signs of a mink attack. These folks are incredibly nice people, I don't want to get into a battle or blame-game with them, I don't even know if I want to ask for compensation.

    The hardest part for me is that it's nearly impossible to make a coop mink-proof since they can get through the tiniest holes. These mink are jeapordizing my ability to keep chickens at all! Even if I did get compensation for the damage that has been done, getting rid of an escaped mink colony could be impossible.

    What would you do?
  2. You need to say something to them. I know its hard but you can't go on like this.
    Why are they letting their mink out of their cage or whatever they keep them in?
    Did she realize that the minks you caught and killed were hers? You would think she would have put it together when you said you caught those two colors and she said she raised those same kind.
    I would call her and let her know or send a letter.
    You can be nice but firm.
    I would say that you hate to have to keep killing her pets but thats what will be done since they are killing yours and something here needs to be resolved in order to keep the situation friendly.
    Next time(and I hope there isn't one) I would drop the dead mink off at her house. Just leave it on her steps or go there and say that you caught this mink after it killed some of your chickens and you are wondering if its theirs.
    If they see their dead pet maybe it will make more of an impact, you had to find yours dead so why shouldn't they.
    If people don't actually see the damage that is done they don't take it as seriously.
    Or the other thing you could do, if you catch one call them up and have them come over and pick up their mink, dead or alive and show them the damage it has done.
    If the little varmint didn't have time to do anything to your animals but you caught it, still have them come over and get it.
    It will make them uncomfortable to say the least and if they are nice people like you say, hopefully thats all it will take.
  3. Guitartists

    Guitartists Resistance is futile

    Mar 21, 2008
    Maybe you can speak with animal control... certainly it is not good for the environment and local fauna for them to release or allow to escape their captive mink. Keep the next one you trap as evidence that these are NOT wild.
  4. Clay In Iowa

    Clay In Iowa Songster

    Oct 9, 2008
    Near Wilton Iowa
    If they are indeed "incredibly nice" don't jump the gun and call in the authorities. Talk to them. Do they know your situation and that you are loosing birds(most likely) to their mink?

    Maybe they would be willing to work with you to protect your birds. They could set up traps to capture their w wayward mink. They're rather expensive to just let run free.

    Talking to your neighbors is one of Americas lost arts. Everyone just wants to call the authorities or their lawyer when in most cases there is a much easier and less stressful solution.
  5. AngieChick

    AngieChick Poultry Elitist

    Quote:One only has to look at the nutria issue in Oregon to see the very serious havoc an invasive species can have. The nutria escaped from the fur trade. More than your birds are at stake when a species like that starts to colonize. I would think a clever, sneaky species like mink could create all sorts of issues. Bringing up the issue with them will benefit not only your birds, but your environment as well. I know it's hard, but they need to know that their little endeavor is impacting your animals. If they are kind people, they will appreciate the information and work to make sure their mink don't wander.
  6. Talk to them Ask them what they know about keeping mink out of the yard. Ask them to help. It certainly can't hurt! They might not have even noticed a few escapees from their yard. They'll never know if someone doesnt' talk to them right?
  7. Clay In Iowa

    Clay In Iowa Songster

    Oct 9, 2008
    Near Wilton Iowa
    The mink in question might be of an unnatural color, but they are well with in their natural range. Mink range from Alaska south to Florida through out the central and eastern US. I have on near my property here in eastern Iowa.

    Letting several loose might cause a few local problems but I would almost guarantee there are wild mink in the area.
  8. chels23

    chels23 Songster

    Jan 10, 2008
    S.E Kansas
    I would talk to your neighbors and let them know whats going on. They can't fix a problem if they don't know about it. If it happens again I would take pictures and talk to animal control. Letting non-native animals roam free is irresponsible.
  9. purr

    purr Songster

    Apr 30, 2008
    east freetown, ma
    Why are your neighbors raising mink for pets or for fur , just curious
  10. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon Premium Member

    Jan 27, 2007
    Purr, that's what I'd be curious about, as well. I'd probably take `em some eggs, introduce myself and look over their setup. If it looked like they had a lot of this vermin caged and waiting to be worn, I'd probably not even mention the loss of chooks but, rather, would just caution them that there are some `liberationists' (cough-cough) living in the area and that you'd just thought you'd caution them about `strays' being found out cavorting.

    That would tighten up their operation and their spinchters (think certain groups have pipe bombed fur breeders in MN).

    Anyway, double layered .5" hardware cloth and more traps! Good Luck!
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2008

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