I've got a gopher (or pocket gopher?) that is digging into my run every night. I have a concrete footing that is one foot deep around the entire perimeter of the 10x10 ft run and buried hardware cloth, and the coop is raised. I shut their door around 7:30pm and open it by 6:45am. Every morning when I come to open the coop door, I have 6 or 7 2-3" holes in the same area. Some are completely open holes, and others are back-filled and fan shaped. I keep tamping the holes closed with a shovel, but they are back every morning!
I can't use anything like poison seed as I don't want my dog to find said dead critter, or a coyote or bobcat or owl that we have nearby.
I've read all the 'solutions' ...
- mixing plaster of paris and cornmeal so their stomaches harden ... can't do this in a run
- smoke bombs / car exhaust / bleach & ammonia ... also can't do in the run and don't really want to inhale that stuff
- sitting with a shotgun ... I'm more likely to hit the coop than the intended target
- soaking cotton balls w/ odd mixtures of peppermint oil, cayenne pepper, vinegar etc ... does this work?
- grits supposedly irritate their stomaches ... not sure it would feel great for chickens either
- juicy fruit gum ... supposedly they can't poop it out; again, don't want my chickens to eat it
- castor oil ... opposite of gum, they get diarrhea that won't stop
- vitamind D .... supposedly something about calcium and kills them
- put cat poop in the hole .... um, EW, and I have no cats
- flood the holes .... we have a drought in CA, doesn't feel water-wise
- using baits with anticoagulants .... if my chickens get to it by scratching at the dirt, won't they also get sick/die?
- gallon water jug and place it tightly over holes They climb out and end up in the water jug as you hold it over the hole ... does that work?
- gopher snakes .... would those eat my chicken eggs?
I'm interested in using the kill-em-dead traps, but could these hurt the chickens?
Anyone have any truly tried-and-true methods that really work??