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Author Topic: Another visit from the mink!  (Read 1062 times)

Chris01

  • Joined Jan 2022
Another visit from the mink!
« on: March 10, 2022, 09:40:42 pm »
Ive just had another visit from the mink today, he got a rooster and couple of hens. Last time he cleared out a shed of young turkeys and quail.

Any suggestions on handling this in the future?

Last time this happened; about 6 months ago and in a different county completely, (moved since then) I bought a mink trap and had it set up in the turkey shed and feed store with a carpet over it. I used raw fish/ cooked chicken in the trap but no luck!

Keep in mind, last time this happened the mink was still in the shed when I discovered the dead turkeys. This time around, I didn't get a look at him and the hens were free ranging and the bodies left scattered.

Any help welcome, thanks!

harmony

  • Joined Feb 2012
Re: Another visit from the mink!
« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2022, 10:36:27 pm »
How do you know it was a mink if you didn't see it?

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: Another visit from the mink!
« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2022, 11:22:16 pm »
Leaving the bodies scattered around sounds like a fox. Could you see torn flesh?  The scourge of free rangeing.
« Last Edit: March 11, 2022, 01:56:14 pm by Fleecewife »
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Anke

  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: Another visit from the mink!
« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2022, 09:39:11 am »
... or a badger.... (but they are usually at dusk or very early in the morning). Depending where you are - otters and pine martins are also partial to a free chicken dinner.


Electric netting (on mains rather than battery) is - in my experience - the only relatively safe solution, and of course a very strict shutting-in time).

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Another visit from the mink!
« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2022, 11:16:22 am »
Sorry to hear you have lost some birds, it is always very upsetting  :hug:

First time I lost birds, we assumed fox but it turned out to be a local Jack Russell.  Chicken Knox was erected thereafter, and the chickens safely enclosed (in mahoosive pen, 3 times larger than needed to comply with "free range" standards) whenever we were were away from the premises (plus automatic pophole closers to keep them safe overnight, in case the electric fence ever shorted out or the fence battery was flat and we didn't notice.) 

So yes, a bit of sleuthing might be required to identify the species of the culprit.  Scattered bodies (as opposed to a line of bodies) less likely to be mink than other predators, I think.  Can you identify bite marks?  That will usually help.  Also any footprints if there is any mud about. 
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Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cows (rearing their own calves for beef), pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

Chris01

  • Joined Jan 2022
Re: Another visit from the mink!
« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2022, 12:41:07 pm »
This time around, no I didn't get a look at him. Reason I'm thinking mink was that the head's were off/ small bites to the neck which was the previous case with the turkeys and quail.

It could of well been a fox or badger as their a regular sight around here but would these not have taken the dead with them as a feed rather than rip the heads and leave?

I'll take steps in both directions. The fence could be an option as i have a spare solar set up, just need to get mesh! I could also try a fully enclosed pen but would love to keep them out and about in the chicken tractor if I can 

In terms of baiting the mink trap, is smelly fish the best way to go ?

twizzel

  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: Another visit from the mink!
« Reply #6 on: March 11, 2022, 01:17:36 pm »
Foxes will kill for fun and leave the dead birds.

chrismahon

  • Joined Dec 2011
  • Gascony, France
Re: Another visit from the mink!
« Reply #7 on: March 11, 2022, 01:56:57 pm »
When we had fox attacks in the UK (confirmed by sighting) they always killed all the chickens in the pen and took the heads off, then took one and left the rest.

Anke

  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: Another visit from the mink!
« Reply #8 on: March 11, 2022, 01:57:54 pm »


I'll take steps in both directions. The fence could be an option as i have a spare solar set up, just need to get mesh! I could also try a fully enclosed pen but would love to keep them out and about in the chicken tractor if I can 




If you run electric netting on a solar charger then you could keep them in a chicken tractor kind of set up, just more work on moving them along (with the fence). But you need to make siure that the charge in the fence doesn't drop on cloudy days - I don't know much aboput them as we run ours off mains.

Chris01

  • Joined Jan 2022
Re: Another visit from the mink!
« Reply #9 on: March 11, 2022, 09:54:04 pm »
Maybe the fox then. The mink has just got a bad name for itself I guess. Usually my border collie is free around the yard too but on that day we were both away. 

Thanks for your replies !

Richmond

  • Joined Sep 2020
  • Norfolk
Re: Another visit from the mink!
« Reply #10 on: March 12, 2022, 08:05:29 am »
Bait the trap with a dead hen. No point in using fish if he's after chicken .....

Glencairn

  • Joined Jun 2017
  • Dumfriesshire
Re: Another visit from the mink!
« Reply #11 on: March 13, 2022, 07:37:05 pm »
A few options for finding what you are dealing with.

Firstly and cheaply, lay a layer of sand down by the exterior of the chickens enclosure you should be able to see footprints or scat.

Or a trailcam, I've spent a fair bit on them in the past and they have been unreliable, but you can have a three year guarantee with Aldi which is most welcome with this tech:
https://www.aldi.co.uk/wildlife-camera/p/715253571066700

Kev C

  • Joined Mar 2020
Re: Another visit from the mink!
« Reply #12 on: April 01, 2022, 03:09:55 pm »
Don't know where in the country you are but up here in the Highlands I've had 2 visits from the local pine martin. First time it took 5 birds and then on Xmas morning all 10 had been killed and the bloody thing was still in the arc.
So I took the executive decision to borrow a large trap, caught the evil so and so and drove 30 miles away and dumped him/her in a very rural and no chickens new abode!
Pine Martins will go for the eggs mainly but will do exactly like foxes and kill just for the heck of it.

Rosemary

  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Barry, Angus, Scotland
    • The Accidental Smallholder
Re: Another visit from the mink!
« Reply #13 on: April 02, 2022, 04:18:05 pm »
If you are in Scotland, you ay be able to get help here https://www.invasivespecies.scot/

arobwk

  • Joined Nov 2015
  • Kernow: either over-crowded or villages left half-empty.
Re: Another visit from the mink!
« Reply #14 on: April 04, 2022, 08:37:50 pm »
... Pine Martins will go for the eggs mainly but will do exactly like foxes and kill just for the heck of it.

I once read that foxes kill whatever they can when they can so that they can come back to casually pick up another bit of prey they've already killed. I'm not sure how that theory developed (thinking about the few wild-prey circumstances when a fox might be able to do that leading to it becoming a learned and in-grained behaviour), but it doesn't sound impossible.  Perhaps Pine Martin or Mink have the same mentality/instinct !?? 
« Last Edit: April 04, 2022, 10:12:33 pm by arobwk »

 

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