How Do Weasels Kill Chickens?

Equipped with incredibly strong jaws and sharp canine teeth, weasels kill chickens with one or more powerful bites to the head or neck. Weasels vary their tactics as necessary to secure their prey. Weasels are skilled hunters that consume a variety of wild and domestic animals. While some farmers despise the weasel’s chicken-killing ways, weasels also hunt prairie dogs and other rodents that cause significant damage to crops.

As capable climbers, swimmers and excavators, weasels are very difficult to exclude from poultry housing. The weasel’s slim body allows the smaller species to fit through knotholes in the wood or through small openings in grates or fences. Once inside the coop, the weasel chases the chickens, easily catching them with its great speed. The weasel grabs the chicken with its teeth or hands and immediately begins delivering powerful bites. The most effective place for the bite is the front or back of the neck, but the weasel’s strong jaws can easily drive teeth through the skulls of chickens.

Weasels are members of the family Mustelidae, along with their close relatives the minks and martens. All living mustelids have a relatively similar lifestyle and biology; they are elongate, agile and voracious predators of virtually any prey they can overpower.