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Old 11/23/09, 11:47 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Vancouver Island BC
Posts: 1,013
mink proofing outside chicken runs

i am having a problem. I am not worried about my chicken coops and the saftety of the birds at night as we built solid, pedator proof coops and the birds are locked in each night. My concern is the mink that have been coming around during the day and killing the baby wild rabbits. once the rabbits are gone they are bound to move on to my birds and although we have taken care of the last 2 mink that have come to visit, there are bound to be more.....
My runs are large and 2x2 solid metal fencing. I looked into the electric poultry fencing and the idea works for me, but the diameter of the holes is still large enough for one of those slinky buggers to get in. I was wondering if I could buy some chicken wire, securely zap strap it over the existing fence and then electrify the entire fence. I have lotsa elec.fencing line and 3 battery fence chargers from when we kept cows. I also have tonnes of netting and such to cover the runs. My thinking is, if the fence is charged, not only will the mink not be able to squeeze or chew through the chicken wire, but climbing it would be eliminated as well.
Any other ideas or does this sound logical??
Any help would be muchly appreciated!!
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Old 11/23/09, 12:00 PM
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 7,154
Your problem is difficult to solve. Mink can go through a two inch hole. They can climb about anything, and they can dig under fences. Your idea might work fine. I'm not familiar with elec poultry fencing. One way to try would be to put 3 feet wide pole barn metal around the bottom with about 6 inches burried aqt the bottom. If the top and balance of sides were covered with one inch size poultry netting I nbelieve you would be varmit proof. Don't overlook the gate area.
I have had mink kill a full grown goose hen setting on eggs. <>Unk
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Old 11/23/09, 12:09 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Vancouver Island BC
Posts: 1,013
Thanks! that was another of my questions, should i be looking to fence in the geese as well....dang it....
This year has been one of the wettest on record and all the creeks and such are flooded. this is going to be a doozy for predators this winter.....
So, your thinking if i dug down and surrounded the runs with either that fencing or sheet metal or something and then to use the plastic poultry fencing insted of chicken wire?? I have lots of that stuff from my want to be orchard fiasco a few years back....
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Old 11/23/09, 12:24 PM
Bearfootfarm's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Eastern North Carolina
Posts: 45,411
I was wondering if I could buy some chicken wire, securely zap strap it over the existing fence and then electrify the entire fence
The entire fence would have to be mounted on insulators to work

Burying wont solve any problems unless you go several feet deep.
An easier solution would be hardware cloth flat on the ground, extending out a couple of feet. Cover with a little dirt and grass will soon grow through it
Hardware cloth on the entire run would also work, but wont be cheap
Don't look for hidden meanings in my posts.
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Old 11/23/09, 12:37 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Vancouver Island BC
Posts: 1,013
Thanks . Hardware cloth over the entire run is financially not an option. I did consider that and then priced it out....
My concern with just laying it on the ground is the mink can still crawl through the existing fence. The last one we literally chased around the farm until we got it. It ran through every chicken fence we have, past the chickens, under things, and then proceeded to kill a baby rabbit in front of us in split seconds before we got it.....
I do have a pile of insulators as well that are just sitting in the shed.
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Old 11/23/09, 01:09 PM
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: northcentral MN
Posts: 14,963
Yeah if you can insulate the fence from the posts it should work well electrified.
"Do you believe in the devil? You know, a supreme evil being dedicated to the temptation, corruption, and destruction of man?" Hobbs
"I'm not sure that man needs the help." Calvin
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Old 11/23/09, 02:47 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Vancouver Island BC
Posts: 1,013
Thanks again, i'm going to set up a few of the pens today and then over the next few days get them all done. I may be asking some more electrified fencing questions though... i googled how to do it and it seems pretty straight forward. I'd post the links but i'm on a loaner MAC and can't figure out how to do that.
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Old 11/23/09, 03:05 PM
||Downhome||'s Avatar
Born in the wrong Century
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Michigan
Posts: 5,431
electric fences work on the circuit principle, the wire or fence is on lead (HOT)
the other lead is the ground (the actual ground or something that is grounded)

to get a zap the target must be touching both, or theres no point. and if your hot is grounded out anywhere it also not going to work unless the target is less resistance then the offending ground point.

so if you had 16' of vertical fence electrified all that critter would need do is hop on the fence with out touching the ground.

you could run alternating wires of hot and ground so that there was no way it could avoid making a circuit. or ground the fence and just run hot wires every
3 inchs of vertical hieght dont think you would have to go the whole hieght of the fence you could if you wanted.

if you have some scrap steel siding (norm is 3' width) length can vary, insulate it from your run and mount it a inch up from the bottom and charge it.
that would provide a barrier from climbing and being close enough to the ground be a invitation to try to go under wich should result in a shock.
if it was a determined critter though and figures it out that all it needs to do is avoid that metal, though most critters get bit once or twice they look for greener grass
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Old 11/23/09, 09:41 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Carthage, Texas
Posts: 12,322
I'm sorry, did you say you were raising baby wild rabbits?

I first wondered why your baby rabbits were lying around on the ground... but I thought you might be colony raising rabbits... but rereading, I saw where you said baby wild rabbits...

Unless you are actually raising rabbits for fun or profit, you might consider getting rid of the mink bait. More'n likely, you've kept other predators away from the wild rabbits and their population is unnaturally large...

Proper fencing strategies in the future will work... to get rid of your problem now, you unfortunately will have to eliminate all offending animals. If they're coming in the daytime, shoot them. Or, set a havahart trap out, with a live bunny as bait.

Hopefully you're making a coat!
Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity. Seneca
Learning is not compulsory... neither is survival. W. Edwards Deming
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Old 11/23/09, 11:06 PM
||Downhome||'s Avatar
Born in the wrong Century
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Michigan
Posts: 5,431
think you missread/inturpruted that texican, I took as the mink are feasting on the local wild rabbits but the poster is worried that once the wild bunnys are gone and the formally well fed (most likly numerous) mink will replace rabbit dinner with thier chickens.
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Old 11/24/09, 06:21 AM
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3,693
There is no such thing as mink proofing. You can make something mink resistant to various degrees, but not mink proof.

A coop where the birds roost up high out of sight goes a long ways to eliminating predation. While a mink can climb to some degree, they are not inclined to it. They are a ground hunter, not a tree hunter.

Geese do not have mink worries. Goslings can, but not the adult birds. Raccoons and above are the predators of geese.
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Old 11/24/09, 10:48 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Vancouver Island BC
Posts: 1,013
Thanks ||Downhome|| for the great information of electric fencing! We started on that yesterday and makes perfect sense, thank you.
Texican, I am concerned that once the wild bunnies are all gone that the mink will move on to my chickens for a meal. We have a massive bunny problem here on the island, to the point the municipality hires out snipers to knock them off. we have eleiminated some but they are attracted to the chicken feed and such, its tough to keep up with. We have taken care of the last 2 mink that came and (knock on wood) have not seen any others. I am wanting to be proactive and get some sort of set up in place before another sets up camp. Its not the coops or nights i'm concerned about, its the chicken runs during the days that need protecting as the last minks came at around 2 in the afternoon and the chickens were in their yards. My critters are very important to me and its my job to protect....also I breed show quality heritage birds and I'm the only one on this island with a few of the breeds. also my geese and turkeys are very rare here in canada after that fraser valley wipe out for AI, only a few of us have these lines....
thanks for all the help!
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Old 11/24/09, 07:00 PM
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Ret. US Army
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Tennessee
Posts: 870
Drill a hole in the side of the chicken house.
On the inside secure a live trap around the hole.
The mink/weasel thinks he's getting in through a hole but he is going into a trap.

Use the salt/allum tanning method to tan 8-10 pelts.
Sew the pelts together and make a nice rug for in front of the sink/toilet
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