Build this diy weasel box to keep your hens safe


Learn lớn build a simple, non-toxic, and effective weasel trap – a tool that is on guard no matter the hour or weather.

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ByCary Rideout

It’s another idyllic evening on your patch of rural heaven. Tired from a long day, you drop off lớn the Land of Nod. Not all is not peaceful in the kingdom this night, though. A feathered commotion shatters your slumber. What could it be? Grabbing the flashlight, & perhaps your trusty scattergun, you plunge into the inky darkness khổng lồ defend your livestock. Needless to lớn say, mayhem ensues and your flashlight reveals your worst fears. A weasel has been on a murderous rampage. What bởi you bởi when nature invades the coop? Bite back!

Simple, non-toxic, and effective weasel traps.

What Is a Weasel?

Few wild creatures have the reputation for barnyard mayhem that the tiny weasel does. A member of the mustelid family, it shares the same bloodlust as its cousins the mink & wolverine. Tipping the scales at just a few ounces and barely a foot long, this tiny hunter is well-equipped for relentless pursuit of a meal. Slim và slinky, it is astounding the cracks they can crawl through to lớn get into a rabbit hutch. Poultry fencing is no barrier either, và they can find a way into any building.

Weasels must feed every few hours, và even the tiniest member of this tribe – those no longer than a well-fed field mouse – is a fearsome foe. The signs of a weasel attack can be bites to the back of the head or base of the neck. Blood và occasionally brains are consumed but little else. Victims are also sometimes arranged in rows — a real shocker the first time you see it. All weasels are lightning-quick, equipped with razor-sharp teeth, & fearless. Weasels have reddish-brown upper bodies, a trắng underbelly, & a coal-black tip of the tail. In snow, country weasels put on a trắng coat to blend in.

Long-tailed weasel in summer coat

It’s easy to demonize the weasel’s poultry attacks, but you must understand that in nature such behavior is a reaction to lớn encountering a major food source. So it’s really just nature at work, unless it’s your turkeys, rabbits or Rhode Islands getting picked off. Then it’s war!

Most wild critters are fine neighbors, and a wise land owner will encourage their presence. The numbers of rodents và other crop-destroying pests weasels capture far outweigh the occasional attack against your livestock. Most of these hunters will never be a problem, but if an incursion happens it will always be the first of many unless you act quickly. Here’s where a simple homemade device, the enclosed weasel trap – a box with a rat trap – can provide both security và safety in the coop.

This is intended as a killing device, and if you are squeamish about administering a lethal kết thúc to things I respect your choice. Some folks will try using deterrents, but often this is unsuccessful. Even if driven off, the killer will search out a neighbor’s livestock.

Weasel Trap Dimensions và Design

Scrap lumber is fine, so don’t fret over mismatched pieces. Even plywood will suffice. Once you gather up a few old boards, lay the spring rat trap on a board & mark the width about an inch wider. Then outline a section 15 inches long (you need lớn have a box that fits the trap closely so the weasel is forced over the trap with no way around). Cut out two 15-inch-long boards for the top and bottom.

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Next work on the sides. Lay your spring trap on one of the pieces you have cut out, raise the strike bar (the wire square that hits the rat) up khổng lồ its height, và measure. A weasel box must have enough inside clearance that the striker bar can smoothly come up without interference.

Outline your dimensions & cut out two more 15-inch pieces. Next work on the ends; tack the bottom and two sides together with whatever old nails you have. Mix the three-sided piece up on the bench và lay the đứng top on. Use another scrap board lớn outline the ends so they’re closed tight. Make sure khổng lồ not give the weasel any access except where you want him to go. Cut out two pieces — one for each end. Tack one in place and make the other your “door.” Grab a power nguồn drill and a hole saw attachment and drill a 2-inch round hole slightly below center (a large wood bit will also work).

After you tack the door in place, set the lid on và switch the drill khổng lồ a slim 1/8-inch bit. Drill a hole in one of the lid corners and do the same opposite in the back. Drive a nail loosely in the rear hole so the lid will swing open. The front drill hole gets a nail lớn keep things shut tight. Lớn access the box, remove the front nail và swing the lid. There’s your weasel trap. Now how vì chưng you get the bugger inside?

Setting Up the Weasel Trap

If not needed right away, I lượt thích to season weasel traps. Set them in the grass và toss some grain inside to lớn get the mice interested. After a few mouse visits, the box will smell lượt thích a weasel’s buffet fantasy. Baiting up a rat trap is just lượt thích a mouse trap, but in this case we are after bigger quarry. Bait the trap with bloody liver or thick white fat from pork or beef (don’t use the remains of any previous attack, as this encourages more trouble). Offer the weasel an interesting scent, & his natural reaction will be to lớn investigate the tasty-smelling box. Place boxes on the inside of the livestock area along the wall. You can also phối weasel traps up near the roost or beside individual cages in the barn.

Make sure the bait pan is set up to work with nothing under it that might interfere. Another method is lớn place a billiard ball-sized piece of fat at the rear of the wooden box & set the trap pan right next khổng lồ it. As the weasel approaches, he naturally jumps onto the pan or will fire it as he eats the fat bait. Either method will work. A few drops of inexpensive ladies’ cologne is a sure-fire attracter. Lastly, phối a brick or block of wood on the box.

A weasel trap can be left in place và ready for days. I generally kiểm tra once a day if combating an intruder, but keeping it phối for weeks is no problem — just freshen up the bait often. The spring bar traps keep its tension fine, và if you let them down occasionally they will last for years. Weasels seem more inclined to cause problems in the late summer or early fall. I’ve never had winter attacks. The beauty of this device is that it is enclosed & poses no danger to people or other animals like an exposed trap does. Weasels explore tiny caves all the time, so they are not scared lớn enter a hole in a box.

Simple, non-toxic & effective, the enclosed weasel trap is a tool that is on guard no matter the hour or weather. Put out a few and rest easy, knowing they will be ready lớn snap at a moment’s notice.

Editor’s Note: This article appeared in the March 2016 issue of Acres U.S.A.