Burrowing Rodent Help?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by nepenthes99, Jan 8, 2013.

  1. nepenthes99

    nepenthes99 New Egg

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    I am turning an old shed into a chicken coop and have found many large burrows/holes in the ground near the shed. The shed has wood floors, so it is not a problem in the coop itself, but I am planning on making a run for when they are not free ranging and am worried about whatever rodent is burrowing beneath the shed eating the chickens. How can I keep them out of the run, and how will I identify the pest?

    Thanks,
    nepenthes99
     
  2. Wisher1000

    Wisher1000 Bama Biddy

    I would set some traps before you get your chickens and catch whatever it is. My bet would be rats. If it is moles or voles, they will not eat your chickens or even your feed. They are really hard to "keep out" of the run. It would be easier to catch and dispose of the varmit. Good Luck!
     
  3. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    My money is on chipmunks. They eat your feed and of course with all that easy resource will over populate and ruin your lawn. I have to wait for my partner to be gone then sit on my deck with a pellet gun to cull them down.
     
  4. nepenthes99

    nepenthes99 New Egg

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    Thanks for the replies, I found them quite helpful. I do not know what the predator is yet, but it has no way of getting into the coop itself, just the run. I would rather not kill it, is there any way to deter it? I will be supervised free ranging them for 30+ mins a day, and they will mostly be in the coop/run, so I am only worried if it's a predator. Should I worry about chipmunks/rats?
     
  5. Wisher1000

    Wisher1000 Bama Biddy

    The problem with rats, squirrels, chipmunks, mice, etc. is two fold. One, they cost you money in wasted and lost feed. Second, they spoil/soil feed with feces and transmit fleas and bacteria to you and your livestock. I know what you mean about not wanting to kill them because they are cute. The problem is that they will move in and multiply like crazy because of the shelter and food you unintentionally provide to them and put your health and that of your flock at risk. It's best to get rid of the first ones you see and then whenever you see more. It's hard, but it is what has to be done for your chicken's well-being.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2013
  6. bowen012

    bowen012 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Rats will eventually be able to get into the coop if they want to (they can chew through concrete, piping, etc). They're relatively easy to live trap as they tend to follow the same course whenever they return. Just look out for it (tracks, droppings) and set your trap in that path. If you live trap and go to release; it has to be at least a mile from your location or they'll probably beat you home...
     
  7. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

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    ugh have nightmares just thinking about them. Really they are not cute!
     
  8. bowen012

    bowen012 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Smart though... Can learn really quick especially with food rewards (which explains their vigilance when approaching chicken coops)...






    Not so different than dogs really. Less pricey and shorter commitments (3 year life expectancy -- 6 months or so for wild ones). Fortunately not a pick and choose option between my flock and my mischief. I guess the rats would win if it came to it... The rats are old though and won't be replaced when they die, so a larger scale chicken commitment is forthcoming!
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2013
  9. chickgals

    chickgals Out Of The Brooder

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    Some say to put small wiring on the floor of the run this way they can still have grass but be protected from predators
     
  10. mi2bugz

    mi2bugz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We seem to have the same problem with field mice under our coop. We thought that hardware cloth all around the coop n run would keep them out but to my chagrin they completely burrowed under it. We even have 4x4's on top of the hardware cloth on which I was going to build raised flower beds. We are baiting and catching them around the clock. My husband even goes out and hunts them. We do not leave the feed out so we aren't feeding them inadvertently. Any ideas? I was thinking about tossing gravel under it. (It is about 6 inches off ground in front n maybe an inch off in the back) and placing solid cinder blocks along the base of the coop.
     

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