Any thoughts on who this might be?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by JulesFlock, Dec 24, 2016.

  1. JulesFlock

    JulesFlock Out Of The Brooder

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    My coop is a room sectioned in my shed with a predator proof covered run attached. I have a small door that let's the ladies into another run that is uncovered but fenced.

    Over the summer we used have a heart traps and caught multiple groundhogs and a skunk under the shed.

    Fast forward and now I have something burrowing in those tunnels trying to bend the wire under the floor.

    I'm thinking a raccoon? A weasel or a rat wouldn't bother bending the wire I'm thinking.

    I have small pockets of woods around with a lot of houses up the road from a lake.

    Thanks for your thoughts!

    [​IMG]
     
  2. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Raccoons are not major diggers. Rat also not going to bend wire. Are you certain wire bent by animal?
     
  3. JulesFlock

    JulesFlock Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you! As certain as I can be without seeing it first hand. The wire was not exposed like this until yesterday.

    I'm going to reset the traps and see if I get anything. The tunnels are under the chicken door and this one is under the feeders.
     
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Does that hole go beyond the wood barrier?
    Hard to tell where this is in relation to the coop/run perimeter.
    If you did not fill in tunnels made by ground hogs and/or skunks.....other animals will use them.
     
  5. JulesFlock

    JulesFlock Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you!! Someone is definitely using the previous tunnels but extending them considerably. Here's a new picture...this was not here when we caught the ground hog or skunk. This is a 2nd tunnel from my original post. I have a camera on the tunnel tonight. The ladies are safe in the coop at night, assuming this thing doesn't chew through the floor. I didn't catch anything in the have a heart last night.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  6. JulesFlock

    JulesFlock Out Of The Brooder

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    This 2nd picture is where the coop meets the covered run. All tunneling is under the shed.
     
  7. Howard E

    Howard E Chillin' With My Peeps

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    How big are the gaps in that wire?

    Approximately where are you located?
     
  8. JulesFlock

    JulesFlock Out Of The Brooder

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    I live in northern nj and the wire mesh is 2"x4"...which I knew was too big but my husband used garden mesh that we have instead of buying more of the 1/2" that we used on the walls of the run. He thought I was wrong. ;) We'll be reinforcing the floor after this.
     
  9. Howard E

    Howard E Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Possibly a skunk. I had one dig into the barn through an incredibly small crack not much bigger than what you show. I didn't think it was possible for a skunk of that size to go through a slot as small as he did, until I caught him in the act and saw him do it. The tunnels may not be going after the birds, but rather going after mice and/or rats living under the coop.

    Has your weather warmed up much above freezing lately? If so, I'm told skunks don't hibernate, but only slow down during the coldest weather, but will wake up and come out of their winter dens to feed during warm spells.

    Yet another option might be a weasel, or one of the cousins. They are diggers too. Same thing........going after rats or mice living under there.

    It is possible that a lot of predators that go after our birds, don't start out going after the birds. They start out going after the mice and rats that are attracted to the coops by the waste feed. But many predators like weasels, skunks, snakes, etc. are opportunistic and can easily make the switch to the helpless birds they find once they gain entry into the coop.
     
  10. JulesFlock

    JulesFlock Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you!! That makes a lot of sense and if I had to choose Id rather have sky thing but a weasel. Even if skunks are related they're my preference.

    Hopefully they were active last night!
     

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