Are groundhogs predators?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by mudhen, Feb 2, 2007.

  1. mudhen

    mudhen confidently clueless

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    Jan 15, 2007
    Shepherdstown, WV
    I know they are a pest and one of God's creatures I really have no patience for unless they are on someone else's property and creating havoc underground far away from mine, but can a groundhog harm chickens? ( I was so surprised to hear that possums do!)
    I am thinking of expanding the run into an area near where there had been groundhog activity last Fall. Short of one of those overgrown rodents building a tunnel under the run or opening into the run, I would be concerned for my (yet non-exsistant) flock.
    I have an Aussie and a Border Collie mix that have a great system for killing them when they are stupid enough to pop up in the dog's sight line. (I've got a Corgi too, but she let's the boys have their fun since the grounhogs are as big or bigger than she is.)
    I'm rambling...it's late, sorry.
    So...
    groundhogs predator or just a pest?
     
  2. SpottedCrow

    SpottedCrow Flock Goddess

    just a garden decimating pain in the butt...
    Only good for predicting the end of winter. LOL
     
    B Redhawk likes this.
  3. BeckyLa

    BeckyLa Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 11, 2007
    N. Louisiana
    They are good for breaking the legs of livestock, such as horses and cattle, when they fall into one of their holes. But no harm to chickens that I know of unless they open a gateway for other preditors to get in.

    teapot smiley
     
  4. Yukon Chicken

    Yukon Chicken New Egg

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    Feb 3, 2007
    Yukon Territory, Canada
    We have smaller versions of ground hogs = gophers. Last summer I found one sneaking in and packing away with all the chicken food! The little gopher would have been okay to let the chucks starve to death, but otherwise wouldn't have harmed them.
     
  5. soonerdog

    soonerdog Chillin' With My Peeps

    I think they are just plant eaters.
     
  6. Hotwings

    Hotwings Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 27, 2007
    southwestern Michigan
    I never heard of one as a predator to chickens. They can wreck havoc though on any bags of feed that are not securely stored away.
     
  7. MTchick

    MTchick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 2, 2007
    Western Montana
    Groundhogs are really big rodents, and pretty much all rodents will eat eggs and very small animals (like your fluffy springtime chicks) if they can find them. I'd be careful to keep the groundhogs out if possible to avoid potential egg and chick loss. And I bet they would go crazy for the chicken feed!

    -MTchick
     
  8. SandraChick

    SandraChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    They groundhogs and other ground rodents such as gophers hate castor oil.....hate it!

    1. you can buy granulated form and sprinkle in the area where you have problems
    2. you can buy the liquid stuff and spray in in the area
    3. you can make your own liquid concoation that works the same as #2 but I know just buy the granules as they are easier and CHeaper.

    ALl three methods need a good watering to work effectively. I use a heavy dose in my flower beds against gophers...best gardens I've had!

    Sandra
     
  9. soonerdog

    soonerdog Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sandra, where do you get this granulated caster oil? I have moles digging in the yard and I would buy some and try it after those varmits.
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2007
  10. jjthink

    jjthink Overrun With Chickens

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    Jan 17, 2007
    New Jersey
    From Wikipedia: Their diet consists of grasses, clover, Plantago, garden vegetables, leaves, twigs, apples, berries, and dandelion (Whitaker and Hamilton, 1998). They are not as omnivorous as many other sciurids, but will sometimes eat small animals such as insects and snails.

    My feathered friends and the groundhogs hung out together - no harm to the chickens whatsoever. The groundhogs did enjoy helping themselves to the chicken food, and even grunted in frustration when they would hear me coming, as they knew it meant they would run run run away from the yummy food, but they were utterly harmless. I found them amusing (so cumbersome and yet able to run like hell when so motivated), though I did have to buy food more often! In my area, they hibernate from October till sometime in the spring. I'm not sure why anyone would feel the need to kill groundhogs- pain is pain. I have known people to hav-a-hart trap them and relocate, when they tunneled too much under their porches. It is worrisome that the holes they create cause problems for horses etc. that step in them and so they should be deterred from those places.

    Castor oil - good to know!
     

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