Items you will need for mink:
1 x Fenn Mark6 – best for mink
1 x Mesh tunnel or mesh safety cage
1 x Mackerel fish or fish guts
Mink is an invasive alien species from North America and consequently are officially classified as vermin. You are therefore legally entitled to cull mink- provided you observe the correct practices.
If you catch one in a live catch trap, it is illegal to release it back into the wild so you must be prepared to kill it humanely. Under the law you must despatch it humanely e.g. by shooting. You cannot drown it as this is deemed inhumane. One legal solution is the Fenn Mark6 steel spring trap – cost-effective & efficient.
Understanding their habitat will increase your odds of catching one in your set. They are inquisitive animals and mostly search for food along the banks of streams and rivers squirming their way through roots, brush, tall grass and holes along a water course.. They are not an aquatic animal in the normal sense, but they spend a lot of time along water sources looking for frogs, crayfish, minnows, mice and a variety of other things that make an easy meal.
However they are willing to travel over land quite some distance if they can find easy pickings. They like nothing better than raiding poultry shed and are vicious killers – killing an entire chicken coup just for the fun of it. Mink are powerful, and they make short work even of large duck breeds. Their method is to strike at the back of a bird’s neck, and they will continue to kill without feeding until they have exhausted themselves. Chicken wire is no obstacle to these predators. Only weld mesh at least 1”x 2” will keep them out.
Mink trap tunnels come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Some are designed to catch humanely while others house kill traps. This is to reduce the risk of catching a non-target animal, but they also serve to attract the mink inside. Mink are naturally drawn by dark little corners, and even without bait they will explore an artificial tunnel provided that it is well camouflaged with local materials.
Galvanised mesh tunnels are the most popular way of trapping mink, and these are commonly used on riversides. If you are confident that a mink is visiting your hen runs, they can be put to good use along the side of a shed wall or in a conspicuous tunnel made from stones or wooden boards.
Bating the tunnel:
Bait the trap with fish guts or rotten fish remains and place these at the far end away from the entrance hole. They will find this irresistible.
Setting the trap:
Some of you will have noticed that I have not mentioned anything about trapping mink near water. This is deliberate as I have only limited knowledge in this area. The information above is useful to owners of chicken farms or hatcheries.