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What caused this? Predator or not?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

  Our chicken coop which is locked up every night with doors shut opens into large covered runs.  We can open the run doors and they can free range within a fenced in area, lots of trees and shrubs.

    A few days ago I noticed a dug area inside one of the runs and thought the chickens were scratching for dust baths.

       Yesterday there was a round hole about six inches in diameter inside the run and the opening was outside so something had tunneled in.  The hole in the run was about 6" in diameter, which seems large to me.  I think it is something after the chickens.  My husband thought it might be something after the chicken feed.  The chicken feeders, located in the runs, are taken in at night but some of the feed is spilled on the ground.

      We and dogs are in and out often during the day and have seen nothing.  Would a raccoon or opossum dig like that?  A fox?

    My husband filled the hole with rocks covering the mouth with a large rock.  He's thinking if he sees any more activity he will set a trap within the runs at night while the chickens are locked up.  Any idea what could be doing this and if we set a trap what would be the best bait for an unknown?

post #2 of 5

It could be a rabbit.  My neighbor raises rabbits and some have gotten loose.  They have burrowed into the chicken coops in order to eat the feed.  The problem is that other critters have used the rabbit holes to get to the chickens.  You might need to dig around your coop and install some fencing that goes down

post #3 of 5

Sorry, I hit send before I was done.  The fencing that goes in the ground should go down about 18 inches to help prevent critters from digging into the coop. 

post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by wamtazlady View Post
 

Sorry, I hit send before I was done.  The fencing that goes in the ground should go down about 18 inches to help prevent critters from digging into the coop. 


Thanks.  We do have buried fencing along three sides.  The coop forms part of one side and the remainder of that side is where it is happening.  We had buried bricks along the inside but obviously what ever it is went under them as they weren't as deep.  We will be adding spikes along the unprotected side.

post #5 of 5
Rats tunnel into my coops. I suspect if it was a raccoon or a fox you wouldn't have any birds left.
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