But an air rifle with telescopic sight isn't much use in a dark hen house, I missed and the mink escaped past me while I reloaded. All I could do was clean up, go back to bed and lie awake till morning trying to work out what had happened.
Each house is surrounded by a 50m electric net with small mesh at the bottom and all of the batteries were fully charged. The sliding door that closes automatically at dusk was shut and there was a mink inside. There are no holes in walls or floors, my housing is "Fort Knox" for hens, or so I thought.
It seems that a mink can get through or underneath a well maintained net. I always check the doors last thing at night and they were shut. If a mink had got in before dusk it would have caused havoc well before 1.30am. So the mink must have opened the door by pushing it up sufficiently to wriggle inside., it got in and was then trapped inside when the door fell back .
Sliding aluminum doors are feather weight and even where the door overlaps the door sill a determined mink could push it up. I have modified the doors with a wooded bar across the sill to make it impossible I hope for it to be pushed up.
After the event I was inundated with well meaning advice on mink trapping; " nine out of ten mink prefer Whiskas, use a rotten kipper, try mackerel heads...." None of these baits worked. I then shot some pigeons for bait and that worked a treat earlier this week I had him stone dead in a Fenn trap.