Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Cutest little Menace


We have had our defenses breached by a sly, devious menace. He slips in and out leaving no trace of his presence but the thick destruction of poultry. Mr Mink is a bastard. He first killed on Thursday night, making quick work of every single quail in the pen. He killed every bird, then lined them up and proceeded to decapitate one of them. Was he sending me a warning?

I couldn't help but think GEEZ what a jerk.

So I've been diligently trying to trap the little assassin for the past few nights. Last night he struck again, taking two buckeye chicks. He had the audacity to drag one off, right in front of my face!

I'm pretty irritated about the whole thing. I could handle a raccoon, or a opossum, or maybe even a fox just by beefing up security a bit... but this little guy can get through any defenses. They're small enough to squeeze through spaces that are less than 1" in diameter. How am I supposed to compete with that?! Ah well. Such is life on the farm. Mr. Mink probably has a family to provide for, and I respect that, but there are lots of critters he could bring home without decimating my poultry...

Have you ever had to deal with a devious predator? Did you ever trap/kill it, or does it still terrorize your barnyard?

Update July 16th: Alas, the mink struck again and took out two of our buckeye chicks. It's like he's systematically going one by one from rarest breed/species to least rare. Ugh.

Update July 17th: One of our chicks is a serious badass! After an entire 24 hours hiding god-knows-where, one of the chicks presumed dead actually turned up in the barn yard unscathed! I'm so happy to have her back, I just hope the mink doesn't strike again any time soon...

Update July 18th: This morning I first checked on the chicks at midnight, then again at three. When I went out at three one of the traps was moved like something had gotten caught but then dragged itself out of the trap. It gave me a flicker of hope...

I went out again after getting up around 8 AM to check on everybody. The mink has been mostly striking an hour after dawn or an hour before dusk so it seemed like a good time to check. Well, there wasn't a mink in any of my traps, but of the eight traps I set (I'm desperate, folks) I could only find seven of them! One of them was missing, and as all chickens are unharmed and accounted for I'm assuming it was some other critter that got caught. I'm hoping that the mink has dragged itself and the trap off to an undisclosed location to die, but at the same time it's almost worse now knowing whether it's alive or not than it is knowing I have to watch out for it.

Ah well... hopefully that's the last we've seen of him for a while. I'm a little bummed I can't taxidermy him for a little warning plaque to go on the barn wall... (or, as my brother suggested, a fancy Victorian-style hat!) Mwahaha.


  1. I'm so sorry to hear about your losses! We just moved our chickens into their new coop and yes, we have weasels here, so everything you mention here is absolutely top of mind. I'm hoping we've foiled them for nighttime, but if they decide to get active during the day for some reason, it won't be pretty. Here's hoping your visitor is done with his visits...

  2. @Victoria Gazeley

    The annoying thing about minks vs weasels is that minks can be diurnal, so they hunt in day as well as night! My poor chickens would be miserable inside, so I figure it's better to leave them out to fend for themselves.