Weasels and Minks Anyone?

ncalchicken

Hatching
Dec 12, 2015
5
0
9
After losing 5 chickens during the day (i.e. throats ripped out only), the county trapper came out and suggested a cat or, more likely, a weasel or a mink. We realized that we built our coop and 8 foot 2x2" mesh enclosure right near a creek, a perfect highway for these creatures! My question: I've read lots of postings about wire cloth (which can be pricey) but has anyone used an electric fence? I say "fence" but it's really a wire and the trapper claims it works great in repelling racoons.
 

hayley3

Crowing
13 Years
Aug 16, 2007
2,061
1,941
426
Southern Indiana
Sorry to hear about your chickens.
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I feel your pain, as I just lost 6 of my hens a month ago.


There is electric poultry fencing and there is also another type of wire that is used for cattle. I believe the electrified poultry fencing would work against weasels. Hardware cloth would work too. I've never used electric so really can't speak from experience.
 

varidgerunner

Crowing
7 Years
Aug 16, 2013
1,096
1,312
256
Ditch the county trapper and hire a professional that can give you proper guidance, or at least identify your problem. A single strand electric wire will do virtually nothing, and if you do in fact have a weasel, it is doubtful that even electric netting would do much good. Should be no problem for a competent professional to take care of whatever it is while you get your housing in order. Weasels can get in really tiny holes, mink don't need much bigger holes than weasels.

Extremely rare for either to kill chickens during daylight hours except during spring and early summer, (while feeding young). Sounds more like a domestic predator.
 

Folly's place

Enabler
9 Years
Sep 13, 2011
23,172
38,187
1,096
southern Michigan
Confine your birds in a safe coop and run, with hardware cloth in addition to the 2" mesh, to keep them safe. Your predator will return until it fails to pay off, and/ or he is trapped and killed. A safe coop and run will protect your flock, and be there when another problem varmit turns up. Mine are now on lockdown because of a visiting hawk one week ago. Mary
 

ncalchicken

Hatching
Dec 12, 2015
5
0
9
Since my last post I've lost two more chickens: same MO -- throats ripped out during daylight hours. I raised the fence to over 7 feet and added a second electric wire: one at ground level the other at the top of the fence -- all to no avail. I've resisted buying 150 feet (the diameter of the chicken run) of hardware cloth but it looks like I have no choice now. In the mean time I'm installing a motion-triggered camera for the next few days and see what that will yield.
 

ncalchicken

Hatching
Dec 12, 2015
5
0
9
OK, I'm buying hardware cloth. Question: how high does the cloth need to be -- 2ft, 3ft, 4ft? Do weasels climb fences?
 

blucoondawg

Songster
6 Years
Jan 27, 2013
1,650
204
206
Northern Wisconsin
Weasels and mink can climb I would assume they could easily climb hardware cloth and go over the top of they wanted to do so.

If you do have a weasel I would try to trap it, build a box with about a1 inch hole in it place a large rat trap inside just inside the hole bait with liver. Weasels love going in dark holes like that if that's what you've got that should get him.
 

hayley3

Crowing
13 Years
Aug 16, 2007
2,061
1,941
426
Southern Indiana
I think hardware cloth is hard to climb (their nails would get stuck in it but mine is very, very tight)..if you get the smallest diameter which is 1/8 inch or 1/4 inch even it would not be easy to climb. I have 1/2 inch cause that's what was local but I found 1/8 inch online. You would want it at least 48 inches tall and that's expensive stuff. Can you use that electric poultry netting on the run ?
 
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varidgerunner

Crowing
7 Years
Aug 16, 2013
1,096
1,312
256
Minks can climb either 1/8 or 1/4 inch hardware cloth more easily than we can climb stairs. Their toenails do not get caught. As for vertical limitations, I know for a fact that twenty feet doesn't bother them at all. I have observed many mink in the wild or in semi-wild situations where they were habituated to feed in large scale aquaculture settings. Haven't watched many weasels, but from the ones I have watched, they appear every bit as nimble as mink, if not more so.
 

birds4kids

Songster
May 15, 2015
443
51
101
Do you understand how electric fence works? Going to take specific effort to setup for something small like a mink to be grounded.
 

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