1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Are groundhogs a threat to chicken security?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by rasin peeps, Aug 5, 2010.

  1. rasin peeps

    rasin peeps Out Of The Brooder

    25
    0
    22
    Apr 15, 2010
    Cumberland, MD
    5 of my babies died this week in the tiny arms of a fat raccoon. Needless to say, security was tightened and the raccoon made it to heaven. My chickens free range in the day, come in at night.

    Today, I found a groundhog munching on chicken feed. Is he a threat?

    Also, since the raccoon invasion, half of my flock won't come home at night. I finally found the secret spot, in a dense bush. Other than phyisically, how do I get them to come back home?

    Thanks for any help.
     
  2. jerseygirl1

    jerseygirl1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 20, 2009
    Orange County, NY
    No, they are vegetarians, they always free range with my chickens
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2010
  3. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Ground hog might be fine, but if he's eating feed, there might be rats around too, and they eat LOTS of feed. Had a rat who was witty enough not to get eaten by a cat and turns out it has been rolling eggs down a hole behind the nest hutch....
     
  4. MissJenny

    MissJenny Chillin' With My Peeps

    974
    1
    141
    May 11, 2009
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    Yes, groundhogs are vegetarians.

    To get your hens home at night you might have to herd them for a few nights till they remember that it's safe and comfortable to be in the coop. It might take as long as a week till they get the hang of it again.

    Good luck -- and I am so sorry you lost five of your babies,
    Jenny
     
  5. theFox

    theFox Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 21, 2009
    Standish, Maine
    Other than sometimes scaring the birds a groundhog/woodchuck is a danger to your vegetable and flower gardens not your chickens.

    I've already taken care of two and have one more to deal with. This one gets the chickens to hollering which is great as it lets me know when it is around so I might get some more cucumbers for pickling and squash for freezing.
     
  6. rasin peeps

    rasin peeps Out Of The Brooder

    25
    0
    22
    Apr 15, 2010
    Cumberland, MD
    Thanks for the info. Mr. Groundhog is fat which is probably from us feeding him. He may end with non natural causes!!
     
  7. dieselgrl48

    dieselgrl48 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 21, 2010
    Virginia
    Groundhog's wont eat your bird's BUTTTTTT.They are tunnler's and can burrow holes next to coop's and fences sometime's allowing other predator's to get in.They will eat garden's for sure.We don't bother with the Hog's here anymore unless they are being destructive around building's and coop's.Think We have 2 this time but off on different area's not near house.Racoon's are evil lilttle... Gaaaaaaa [​IMG] they will iniliate bird's given a chance.Im still trapping for them here.So sorry you lost your's.It's hard once bird's are terrorized.We spent a good amount on a lot for geese and they were doing great till Something got in OVER a 5 ft fence and ate one they wouldnt go back for nothing and wound up near house in old horse stall sleeping with the duck's.I still blame myself for that because they had an attached sleep area with drop down door and I didn't close it that night. [​IMG] But at least they were safe and got along ok with the duckie's.I wouldnt worry too much about the groundhog they are not that bad.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by