Many wild animals see a shortage of food during the winter months. That means they will search further afield and look for food sources wherever they can. Most owners of hens will be alert to the possibility of foxes attacking the run. However, you should also consider the chance of it being attacked by stoats, mink, and weasels.
Stoats and weasels look much alike. Stoats are larger, but unless you see one of each type in a line-up, the easiest way to tell them apart is to look at the tail. There is a black tip on the end of the stoat’s tail – something the weasel doesn’t have. The one thing they do have in common is a liking for smaller birds. Large chickens should be safe, but you may wish to protect your hen run just the same. Mink are bigger and cannot be released into the wild once caught in a trap.
Consider the build quality of your run
The better the quality, the harder it should be for these predators to gain access. Use mesh that is small enough to prevent them getting inside. Look for any holes or other potential access points and fill them in.
Consider the ventilation for the run and house too. Use a small mesh to cover these, so nothing can gain easy access.
Be aware if you see a stoat or mink – they’re known for being aggressive
This is truer still if they are trapped. They will attack and think nothing of attacking human fingers if you should get close to one. They are known for taking out several birds at once if they gain access to a chicken run. They may feast on one and return later for another feed.
Can you set traps?
It is possible to set traps to capture them if you know they are active in or around your garden. If you suspect one of these three animals is causing problems (or trying to) around your chicken run, call in the experts to deal with it. They can identify the species you are faced with and set appropriate traps and bait to resolve the situation. They will also know how to get rid of the predators once caught.
While dealing with stoats, mink, and weasel on your own might seem like the best solution, a fast and efficient solution is always best. Consult the experts today and resolve your problem quickly.