Of Rats and MInk (and dead roosters)

Last week we separated five roosters from the flock for processing on the weekend. They were young roosters who were hatched last summer and were now mature and causing all kind of chaos in the coop. They were put in the turkey shed with the intention of processing them last weekend. Due to having a busy weekend we didn’t get to the processing and plans were made to process them on Monday.

At chore time Monday morning we opened the door to the turkey shed and were met with a scene of devastation. Things in the shed were knocked over, there were feathers everywhere and the bodies of the five roosters were scattered around the shed. The bodies were not eaten and, aside from some obvious injuries to the necks that likely caused death, they were largely untouched. We lined the bodies up inside the door to deal with the situation later. It was a real punch in the gut to be greeted by that scene by surprise.

When we returned from a couple of hours in town it was discovered that two of the bodies had been moved so they were returned to the rest of them inside the door. A couple of hours later the bodies had been moved again and an attempt had been made to drag one of the birds down the hole that the predator had apparently come in. The bodies were then removed and taken to the compost pile and a live trap was set just outside the hole with a can of sardines and a rooster head in it.

Sure enough, the next morning we had an unlucky occupant in the trap. General consensus is that is was a mink. It was very feisty and screamed and hissed in the trap. Fortunately, mink are generally known to be solitary and territorial so there is little chance there is another one around for the moment. It’s possible another one will move into this territory so the traps will continue to be set out just in case. There are already traps out to catch any rats that may be around as we’ve caught about a dozen since early last summer.