We think it's a mink...now what!?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by silkielover88, Jan 25, 2015.

  1. silkielover88

    silkielover88 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So a few weeks ago we had something get into the barn and killed 3 of my silkies, one was completely missing, no feathers or anything to be found. I put my remaining hen in with my large breed hens. We thought it was a feral cat bc we did see a huge orange cat running out of the barn. We never saw the cat again. All was well for about a week, then the other day we went to feed the birds and I had 11 dead birds! Once again one missing. I am down to 4 hens. It hasn't messed with my turkeys, we have 2 barn cats but they are scared of the chickens, so we're thinking mink since the coop is like Fort Knox, there is just one tiny place at te corner of the coop door that was pulled out. You actually have to step into our coop, like 2 ft to get in the door. So we set a trap using a dead chicken, nothing last night, my main concern is that it will go back to my live birds before the dead one. Plus also it was a week in between attacks, so should I just leave the trap set and hope for the best? Or does anyone have other ideas?
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    A mink won't carry a bird off nor will they go for dead bait.
    They need live bait and they only bite the neck, suck some blood and go to the next victim.
    I lost $4,000 of birds to mink last summer and not one was eaten or missing.
    I shot one in the coop after it had killed all the birds in there and I stopped another when it was about to kill the last bird in another building. I had installed a baby monitor and heard the mayhem. I tried to stomp it as it ran past but missed it.
    I have yet to catch one in a trap. I've tried conibears, snares and live traps. The live trap caught one but it escaped.
     
  3. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    I don't know about leaving the trap - my DH is the trapper in the family. What he has said about mink is that they can be tricky to catch. That, of course, is different trapping than trying to catch one in the coop. I would, however, find out where it's getting in and reinforce that.
     
  4. silkielover88

    silkielover88 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We have moved our remaining hens to our brooder pen, which has wood along the bottom, wire on the top and we re-enforced the door to that one. My BF traps and he does have special traps for mink but we're just not sure about how to go about it if they are interested in the live birds
     
  5. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    You can try a mouse or rat as bait. Put it in a small wire cage, put it in a section of 4" PVC with a #110 conibear at each end.
     
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  6. silkielover88

    silkielover88 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, yesterday morning my girls were all good! Checked them a little after dark last night, all dead! And not freshly dead ether....there was a hole in the top of the coop in the netting over top, somehow one hen had gotten out and made it! She is in a rabbit cage with my rooster (we took him out bc he was stripping our hens of there feathers) looked for tracks last night but nothing that looked out of the ordinary. Cat tracks and the neighbors dog. We're getting fresh snow today, hopefully it comes back and leves me some tracks, no chickens it can get to now, so wish us luck on killing this thing!
     
  7. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    A mink or weasel are so light, they aren't likely to leave tracks. They're also too light to trip a #1 leg trap, possibly a #0 if you can find one.
    That's why the conibears are better.
    They can climb and anything but 1/2" or smaller hardware cloth or expanded metal will keep them out. Predators scoff at chicken wire and netting.

    Also, rest assured, you have more than 1. I killed one and the next night I caught another killing chickens in another building.

    Just before I lost the 5 flocks of chickens last summer. (one each night) I had 2 broody hens free ranging with their chicks. In 2 days the mink killed all the chicks in the middle of the day.
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2015
  8. silkielover88

    silkielover88 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We're going to put a bucket set in one of the empty coops, that way we won't have to worry about trapping our barn cat. We haven't ruled out a coon living in the barn ether, since we are going threw a lot of cat food in a day. And 2 chickens have been carried out of the coops. We're going to set some kill traps in the coops and a few box traps around inside. The cage our line survivor is in is a 5ft rabbit cage with heavy wire, the holes in the wire are tiny, like 5cm wide. Hopefully they will be safe till we start catching critters
     
  9. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    What's a bucket set?
    I've had mink escape from a hav-a-hart trap.

    If you suspect a barn coon, don't be surprised if there are 20 of them.

    So many people with a predator or pest problem think there is one animal.



    I rest my case.
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2015
  10. silkielover88

    silkielover88 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    A bucket set is a 5 gal bucket, with a conibear placed at the opening, put bait in the back. It's gotta be so far in the bucket to be legal.

    Yea if it's coon, I'm going to bring the coon hound out during the day and see if he can find where they are denned up in there.

    I'm determined to catch anything and everything that could be in there.
     

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