How To Keep Minks Away From Chickens

When you think of chicken predators, you don’t think of minks but they are one of the predators of chicken, and here’s how to keep minks away from chickens.

While foxes, badgers, and weasels are commonly known threats, minks pose a significant danger to your chickens.

In this detailed guide, we will explore everything you need to know about minks and how to keep them away from your precious coop. From understanding minks’ behavior to implementing effective strategies, we’ve got you covered.


What Are Minks?

How To Keep Minks Away From Chickens
American Mink

Before we get into how you can keep minks away from chickens, let’s first understand what minks are and their characteristics. Minks are small meat-eating animals that are part of the weasel family, which also includes otters, weasels, and ferrets.

There are two main kinds of minks the American mink and the European mink. Minks are usually found near water, as they are great swimmers and need water to hunt and survive.

They have long, sleek bodies, and the American mink is bigger than the European mink. Minks are very territorial and usually don’t live in the same area, except during mating season.


Why Will Minks Want to Eat Chickens?

Minks are opportunistic eaters, which means they will eat whatever food is easily accessible. Although they usually eat small mammals, fish, and birds, they will not hesitate to prey on chickens if they have the opportunity. Chickens are a convenient and abundant food source for minks, making them a desirable target.


Read also: Buff Brahma Chicken: Description & Behaviour


Signs of Mink Attacks on Chickens

To tell if minks have attacked your chickens, watch for certain signs. Minks have a unique method of killing their prey, so these clues can help you know if they’re around. Here are some signs of mink attacks on chickens:

  • Multiple chickens killed: Minks typically kill more chickens than they can eat at once, so if you find several chickens killed in one attack, it may be a sign of a mink attack.
  • Bite marks on the back of the neck: Minks attack their prey from behind, and leave distinct bite marks on the back of the neck.
  • Partially eaten chickens: Minks don’t always eat the entire chicken. Instead, they often leave partially eaten chickens behind, mainly focusing on drinking their blood for nourishment.


How To Keep Minks Away From Chickens

Now that you know how dangerous minks can be to your chickens, let’s look at the best ways to keep them away from your flock. Here are some effective strategies you can try:


1. Secure Your Chicken Coop

The first and most important step in protecting your chickens from minks is to make sure your chicken coop is secure. Minks are great climbers and can fit through small holes, so you need to fortify your coop to block any possible entry points.

  • Check your coop carefully and close any gaps or openings that minks could use to get in. Use small-gauge welded hardware cloth to cover windows, ventilation holes, and other areas that could be vulnerable.
  • If your coop has a dirt floor, bury the fence deep into the ground to stop minks from digging underneath.
  • Install a strong door with secure locks to keep your chickens safe at night when minks are most active.


2. Use Motion-Activated Sprinklers

Motion-activated sprinklers can be an effective deterrent against minks.

These devices release a sudden burst of water when they detect movement, startling and discouraging minks from approaching your chickens.

Place these sprinklers strategically around your chicken coop and other areas where minks may attempt to gain access.


3. Install Motion-Detecting Lights

Minks are active at night, so installing bright, motion-detecting lights around your chicken coop can startle them and make them think twice before approaching. This may not work as a good deterrent but it can help alert you or a guard dog to potential mink activity.


4. Remove Hiding Places

Minks use cover and hiding spots to hunt their prey. Keep the area around your chicken coop clear of objects that could provide hiding spots for minks, such as bushes, weeds, and woodpiles.

Also, seal or remove abandoned dens in your area to remove potential places minks can hide.


Read also: How To Catch A Mink: A Quick Guide


Natural Repellents for Minks

In addition to physical barriers, there are also natural repellents you can use to discourage minks from coming near your chickens. These repellents work by creating a scent that minks dislike. Here are a few options for you:

  • Predator urine: Sprinkle predator urine, like that of foxes or coyotes, around your chicken coop to create the impression that a larger predator is present, this will deter minks.
  • Strong-smelling plants:  Minks have a keen sense of smell, so planting herbs like lavender, mint, or rosemary around your coop can help deter them.
  • Ammonia-soaked rags: Another way is to place ammonia-soaked rags near potential entry points to create a strong odor that minks find unpleasant.


Can a Mink Chew Through Chicken Wire?

One common concern for chicken keepers is whether minks can chew through chicken wire. While minks are good at squeezing through small gaps, they aren’t known to chew through strong materials like chicken wire.

However, you can still reinforce your coop with small-gauge welded hardware cloth to be extra secure.


Tips for Prevention and Deterrence

While securing your chicken coop is important, there are other steps you can take to prevent mink attacks and discourage them from approaching your chickens. Here are some valuable tips:

  • Keep your coop clean: Properly trash any uneaten food and regularly clean your coop to remove anything that may attract minks.
  • Remove hiding spots: Remove any potential hiding places near your coop, like tall grass, dense vegetation, or woodpiles.
  • Install motion-activated cameras: Set up motion-activated cameras around your coop to help you monitor mink activity and take appropriate action.
  • Use sound deterrents: Minks are startled by sudden noises, so using sound deterrents like wind chimes or ultrasonic devices can help deter them.


Other Predators to Watch Out For

While minks pose a significant threat to your chickens, it’s essential to be aware of other predators that may target your flock like:

  • Foxes
  • Raccoons
  • Opossums
  • Coyotes
  • Birds of Prey
  • Snakes
  • Domestic Dogs and Cats
  • Wildcats



Keeping minks away from your chickens requires a combination of proactive measures and ongoing vigilance. Stay proactive and adapt your strategies as needed to ensure your chickens’ safety.

Now that you have the knowledge and effective techniques, you can confidently protect your chickens from minks. By implementing these measures, you’ll create a secure environment where your flock can thrive without the fear of mink attacks.

Remember, the safety of your chickens is in your hands. Stay watchful, stay informed, and keep those minks away!


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