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 Post subject: muskrat diet question
PostPosted: 26 Dec 2006, 18:58 
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Joined: 08 Dec 2006, 17:07
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Location: upstate ny
on this new pond there are freshwater mussek sheels everywhere. Are the rats eating these, or do we have a happy otter? I didn't see otter sign, and there are tons of rats....will they eat them? and how would they open em up, i was very confused. Also found two dead muskrats eaten, so there may be mink around.....do mink eat mussels?

P.S. Mussels are not common in my area, first i have ever seen of them.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: 26 Dec 2006, 20:20 
You probably have a mink, or otter in the area. Rats will not eat them. They are strict vegetarians, and too much protein (not any, just too much) in their diet will cause them to have a bacterial imbalance in their digestive tract, diarrhea, and then death.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: 26 Dec 2006, 20:26 
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Location: upstate ny
thanks lil bit, i didn't think rats would eat them bu i didn't know what else to think. The dead rats definitely made me think mink, but i wasn't sure because i heard if rats are hard up they will eat fish. Not sure if that is true either as i thought they only eat veggies.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: 26 Dec 2006, 21:49 
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Joined: 22 Dec 2006, 13:50
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Location: Central Indiana
If rats are unable to secure plant foods, they will feed on the carcasses of fish, frogs.....and each other.

Smitty

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: 27 Dec 2006, 07:03 
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Mink have a hard time opening mussels. So after all the deduction you have otter. Almost gurantee it look for scat piles in the tall grass area on higher ground this will just about positively take care of your question

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: 27 Dec 2006, 10:25 
About 4 years ago, we had a situation in Millbury where there were quite a few rats found dead. Their pond had been going downhill for some time as far as plant matter, and erosion. Keep in mind, you can really only trap with box traps in this state, and when we applied for a board of health permit to trap them with 110's, we were denied because it did not pose an immediate health risk to humans where the pond was at.

So, we had the biologist at the time check the rats out. They died of dehydration due to diarrhea. Said it was likely from too much protein in the diet and not enough roughage. An imbalance of the bacteria.

While yes, they will try to sustain on whatever they can find, prolonged consumption is not healthy for them. :( But you've said there is good fodder growing around there. Doesn't make sense that they'd turn to protein over plants at that point in time.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: 28 Dec 2006, 00:39 
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Yea, I ran into the same thing this fall, just piles of silver dollar sized mussels on the bank. I couldn't figure it out. 1st time ive ever seen
piles of mussels like that I know there aren't any otters - cent. Ill.
so I guess it's mink, I have caught a mink in a rat den set & there are still
fresh mink tracks on the bank, just haven't set anything for them.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: 28 Dec 2006, 09:56 
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Location: upstate ny
Son of a! I checked this morning, and had three fat rats, and two legs of rats that were dined upon by im guessing a mink. Two whole rats gone! That rat fink cost me 12 bucks and im gonna try to kill him tonight with a cubby set baited with half a rat carcass. What a pain in the rear it is to do all that work and then have half your catch stolen!. Im guessing there might be two mink since two rats were gone? I can't imagine they could eat two in one night, unless it was just stashing them somewhere.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: 28 Dec 2006, 14:55 
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Joined: 22 Dec 2006, 13:50
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Location: Central Indiana
That bites, lol happened to me a few times this year as well. Depending on the type of set(s), could also be BOP's.

Smitty

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of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved
body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used
up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming-WOW-What
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: 28 Dec 2006, 17:56 
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Most mink will eat the muskrat out of your trap but i havent known one yet that would eat the fur. Most all my mink will leave fur. They eat the muskrat inside out. What you have sounds alot like otter or a fox.

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