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Chickens dig tunnels?!?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by HuskerHens18, Jul 6, 2018.

  1. Imagine my shock as I go outside and discover my flock, who is on strict lockdown, walking around my lawn and helping themselves to mulberries.
    I panic — there is a pack of coyotes living behind my house, hence the strict lockdown.
    I race to the chicken run and find the gate still locked, no holes in the wire, everything looks fairly normal.
    Except,
    There's now tunnels dug underneath my chicken house. I grab a flashlight and peek under, sure enough, there's one of my hens in the middle of digging a bigger hole so she can fit through like the rest did. She's halfway through, so I can't reach her from either side.

    Now what?!? If I block the holes they dug, won't they just dig under it? Now am I going to have to worry about other animals discovering these tunnels? I am so frustrated right now :barnie
     
  2. Farmer Connie

    Farmer Connie EARTH, WE ALL HAVE SOMETHING IN COMMON Premium Member

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    Chickens dig tunnels?!?
    thumbs up green farmer connie.gif yes sign.gif
     
  3. Redhead Rae

    Redhead Rae Chickens, chickens everywhere! Premium Member

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    I'd fill the hole, put a wire skirt on the inside of the run and cover it over a bit.
     
  4. kwhites634

    kwhites634 Slow hands & an easy touch Premium Member 9 Years

    Through concrete?
    Why wouldn't concrete work if there was enough bedding kept on top of it? Remove the old bedding when it needs it, hose it all down, and start all over.
     
  5. Farmer Connie

    Farmer Connie EARTH, WE ALL HAVE SOMETHING IN COMMON Premium Member

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    I have had to wrap a skirt of 1" chick wire on almost every fence on our big property. They can breach the perimeter if they can dig on both sides of the fence as well. Some runs we have placed retired telephone/utility poles along the fence lines. As the birds dig under the fence line, The cut sections of telephone poles drop deeper- eventually filling the holes with the section of poles. Lite birds go over- big birds go under!
    Chicken_Guru reply.jpg
     
  6. Looks like that is what I'll be doing. If I could get rid of the coyotes and coccidia I would just let them out again and avoid this problem altogether. But geesh they gotta make it difficult for me! As a temporary deterrent I piled old boards in, over, and against the tunnels on both sides. Then fed them frozen cabbage to keep them occupied for a few hours
     
  7. I just discovered this, too!! I found two of my chickens this morning meandering around the run even though the coop was locked up for the night...further investigation led me to discover a tunnel they had dug under the sand box beneath their roosts, the entry to which was obscured by their plastic feed tubs!!!! The tunnel stretched a few feet under and out into the coop behind the bench and treat area. :barnie

    Seriously, chickens?!?! They've even started to dig a hole under the front door of the run to the outside world. :rolleyes: It turns out that chickens' worst predators might be themselves.
     
  8. dotporter

    dotporter Songster

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  9. dotporter

    dotporter Songster

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    Muscovy dig really well too. The bottom of all fences are either buried six inches, or I put logs on the inside of the fence so that they can't dig under. I've also used loose sand and gravel which collapses in as they dig, but after a few years it becomes compact and they can dig again.
     

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