ARGH! Groundhogs!

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by BroosterSpringsteen, Jul 21, 2011.

  1. BroosterSpringsteen

    BroosterSpringsteen Chillin' With My Peeps

    892
    56
    156
    May 15, 2011
    NW North Carolina
    I just moved my chicks into the coop 2 days ago. Twice a day a groundhog is breaking into the coop and getting into the chicken feed. I repair it, then he does it again. He breaks apart the wire! He's so strong. He doesn't harm the chickens, outside of scaring them to bits. The worst part of it is the holes he's leaving for other predators.

    Any thoughts on how to repel, or even better...get rid of a groundhog? It's actually a family of groundhogs. I know where the burrow is. I don't have a gun, and don't care to get one. Any suggestions on reenforcing the coop?
     
  2. KellyHM

    KellyHM Overrun With Chickens

    7,096
    12
    261
    Sep 10, 2008
    Lakeland, FL
    What kind of wire are you currently using?
     
  3. BroosterSpringsteen

    BroosterSpringsteen Chillin' With My Peeps

    892
    56
    156
    May 15, 2011
    NW North Carolina
    Quote:The coop was already here when we moved in, and honestly, I don't know anything about chicken wire. [​IMG] It's hexagon shaped?
     
  4. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

    8,204
    2,175
    421
    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.
    Quote:The coop was already here when we moved in, and honestly, I don't know anything about chicken wire. [​IMG] It's hexagon shaped?

    Therein lies your problem. Get rid of the hexagon shaped chicken wire and replace it with sturdy hardware cloth. Otherwise, your groundhog won't be the only thing getting into the coop. A coon, fox or coyote can tear through that chicken wire, too. If it's too expensive to replace it all with hardware cloth, 2x4" welded wire will work, too. It's best if you can line the bottom 2' of that with hardware cloth, though. As for the groundhog (known as woodchucks here), your best bet is to get rid of him. (By get rid of, I do not mean trap and relocate) If you don't dispose of it, it will find a mate and they will multiply like the giant rodents they are and will destroy the foundations of your buildings. If you garden, they'll also eat that. Yes, they're kinda cute, but they are destructive.
     
  5. BroosterSpringsteen

    BroosterSpringsteen Chillin' With My Peeps

    892
    56
    156
    May 15, 2011
    NW North Carolina
    Quote:The coop was already here when we moved in, and honestly, I don't know anything about chicken wire. [​IMG] It's hexagon shaped?

    Therein lies your problem. Get rid of the hexagon shaped chicken wire and replace it with sturdy hardware cloth. Otherwise, your groundhog won't be the only thing getting into the coop. A coon, fox or coyote can tear through that chicken wire, too. If it's too expensive to replace it all with hardware cloth, 2x4" welded wire will work, too. It's best if you can line the bottom 2' of that with hardware cloth, though. As for the groundhog (known as woodchucks here), your best bet is to get rid of him. (By get rid of, I do not mean trap and relocate) If you don't dispose of it, it will find a mate and they will multiply like the giant rodents they are and will destroy the foundations of your buildings. If you garden, they'll also eat that. Yes, they're kinda cute, but they are destructive.

    Oh yes, they have already destroyed my garden. grrr. I think I have a roll of welded wire under the house. Would it work to reinforce the bottom half of the coop in the new wire, or do I need to just redo the whole thing up to the roof? It's a pretty big coop.
     
  6. Liafast

    Liafast Out Of The Brooder

    14
    0
    22
    May 13, 2010
    You can also set a live trap and catch/relocte it. If you bait the trap with an apple (cut a 1/4 out of the apple, use that peice to trail into the trap) and then hang the rest of the apple using a coat hanger in the back of the trap (place the apple where it looks whole from the door of the trap). Also using some apple juice make a trail going to the apple peices. Above all use the apple but a lot of feed store sell ground hop trap lure. Once you catch him, you can release it about 10 miles away. Good luck.
     
  7. redhen

    redhen Kiss My Grits... Premium Member

    35,112
    121
    458
    May 19, 2008
    Western MA
    Aww! Hes not hurting anything! Just use better wire and he wont be able to get in! Hes just hungry.... [​IMG]
     
  8. effie

    effie Chillin' With My Peeps

    268
    6
    111
    Mar 5, 2011
    West(by god) Virginia
    He's edible--put him on the grille [​IMG]
     
  9. bryan99705

    bryan99705 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:Yep. or you can cut it up & feed it to your birds! Now that's revenge

    Suggest you remove the feed storage and feed from the coop. Store the feed indoors or in a METAL trash can or drum with a top and either hinge & latch it or weight it so they can't knock off the lid. As for the feeder, why not suspend it on a platform, chickens can jump but a woodchuck doesn't (not built for it)
     
  10. Mattemma

    Mattemma Overrun With Chickens

    5,314
    58
    291
    Aug 12, 2009
    I have trapped 2 and killed 1 so far. They go into the trap easily during the day.Cantelope in the trap and cover the trap with grass and weeds to make it *tunnel-ish*.You put the trap where they travel.In my case it was along the fence line in front of a hole they had dug to get under the fence.

    My one groundhog chewed a hole in my chainlink. I heard they like gardens.They eat my moms up all the time. I am not waiting for that to happen!
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by