Getting rid of martens from a henhouse: our advice

Weasels are highly attracted to chickens, especially when they are agitated, and they can act with great determination to chase their prey, going so far as to deliver a fatal blow to the neck. This behavior stems from their territorial defense instinct. Their agility and predisposition to predation make them serious nuisances for chicken keepers. These small mammals, members of the mustelid family, are particularly active at night, when they enter henhouses to attack poultry and steal eggs. Their presence can cause significant financial losses as well as considerable stress and frustration for breeders. The discovery of killed chickens with bites on their necks may be the result of the action of these fearsome carnivores. Getting rid of a marten in a chicken coop requires a methodical and well-planned approach.

    1. Identify the presence of a marten

Martens are strongly attracted to chickens, particularly when they are agitated. They can build pressure and chase their prey until inflicting a fatal blow to the neck. This is simply an instinctive behavior of defending their territory. If you find killed chickens with bite marks on their necks, it could be the work of these fearsome little carnivores.

To identify if a marten is responsible, observe the following signs: paw prints measuring between 3 and 4 cm, with 4 or even 5 fingers and claw marks. Poultry carcasses will often be intact, with only neck injuries. You might also notice screeching and scratching marks in your yard, as well as broken egg shells or frayed droppings.

Observe typical signs of a marten's presence, such as scattered feathers, broken eggs or injured chickens. Weasels often attack at night, so check your coop in the morning for these clues.

    1. Reinforce chicken coop security
      • Opt for a wire enclosure

Whether it is an enclosure, a park or a henhouse equipped with an enclosure, this solution offers effective protection against many attacks. The key element is to choose an appropriate mesh. In addition, it is important to bury the mesh deeply or secure it securely with concrete blocks to prevent these small predators from digging underneath and compromising the security of your installation. .

      • Entry verification

Examine the chicken coop carefully for holes or spaces through which a weasel could enter. Weasels can slip through very small openings, around 5 cm in diameter.

      • Robust materials

Use strong materials to seal possible entrances. Chicken wire is not enough; prefer welded mesh with mesh less than 2 to 3 cm in diameter, as martens and weasels are very adept at slipping through larger openings.

      • Night closing

Make sure the coop is securely closed every night. Weasels are nocturnal and take advantage of the night to attack. Use sturdy locks that weasels can't open.

      • Plug the holes

Martens can squeeze through openings as small as 5 cm in diameter, thanks to their agility. Inspect your chicken coop and carefully block each opening with wire mesh or boards. Also be sure to install a screen at the entrance to the tile vents. If your chicken coop has gutters, they can also serve as an access route for martens. Do not completely block them to allow water to drain, but install devices such as inverted cones to prevent weasels from crawling in.

      • Elimination of shelter and food sources
        • Clean environment

    Maintain a clean environment around the chicken coop. Remove woodpiles, brush and other potential shelters where weasels could hide.

        • Waste management

    Do not leave food scraps or waste around the chicken coop. Weasels are attracted to easy food sources. Make sure chicken feed is stored in airtight containers.

        • Ultra effective product

      It is recommended to apply specific products, such as weasel killer, around your installation. It is important to choose products that are easy to use and suitable for all types of martens. These products are particularly effective in quickly eliminating martens. By using anti-marsh products around your chicken coop, you can ensure optimal protection.

        1. Installation of traps

      Use live traps to capture weasels without killing them. These traps must be placed near areas where weasels enter or frequently pass through.

        1. Use of natural predators
          • Dogs and cats

      Dogs and cats can be effective deterrents against martens. Their presence and smell can keep these predators away.

          • Birds of prey

      Encouraging the presence of birds of prey such as owls can help control marten populations.

          • Continuous monitoring
            • Surveillance cameras

        Install surveillance cameras around the chicken coop to monitor marten activity. This will allow you to react quickly in the event of another intrusion attempt.

            • Regular inspections

        Carry out regular inspections of your chicken coop for further entry attempts or damage. Constant vigilance is essential to prevent repeated attacks.

            • Professional consultation
              • Wildlife Control Experts

          If previous methods fail, call in wildlife control experts. They have the experience and tools to effectively manage martens.

              • Customized solutions

          Professionals can offer personalized solutions adapted to your specific situation, thus ensuring optimal protection of your chickens.

          Getting rid of chicken coop martens requires a multi-faceted approach that includes prevention, effective product use, trap installation and expert consultation. By following these steps carefully and being vigilant, you can effectively protect your chickens and ensure their safety.