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Chickens eliminate gophers in the garden?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Bokbok, Feb 12, 2009.

  1. Bokbok

    Bokbok In the Brooder

    Feb 27, 2007
    I just wanted to throw this out there. When I first threw the chicken tractors within the garden area to selectively fertilize patch by patch, there were gopher mounds everywhere. I figured I would deal with them later, because I am a little lazy. To my surprise, the gopher mounds began to disappear. The last gopher mound in my garden, I planted the chicken tractor directly on top, and that was the last of those irritating guys. They did not come back till about a month after my small chicken flock was cleaned out by the cleverest raccoons on earth. Never have I heard of such a theory proposing chickens to be effective gopher-scarer-offers, but I would love to promote it to others, gaining a little outside experience to support my observations. A friend of mind is very into roses, flowers, the like, and has poisoned, fire-bombed, and gassed the gophers out, at much expense and stress on her mind. But I don't think she believed me when I told her the chickens scared all my gophers away. Has anyone found this to be true?

  2. PortageGirl

    PortageGirl Songster

    Nov 8, 2008
    Portage County, Ohio
    Interesting! I can see how though, not so sure they'd 'scare' them so much as annoy the heck out of them... heh. That's good to know and I'll be really interested to see what others say too!
  3. waynesgarden

    waynesgarden Feathers of Steel

    Mar 30, 2008
    Oxford County
    They avoid having exposed nests in areas with lots of human activity. if you are out moving your chicken tractor around frequently, feeding and watering daily, etc, they are going to avoid the area.

    It likely is your presence and the regular changes to their environment that scares them off, not the birds. I think it would have been just as effective to move cages of canaries around.

  4. NMbirds

    NMbirds Songster

    Aug 17, 2008
    Abiquiu, New Mexico
    Darn! I was hoping it was the chickens too but I haven't found that my activity has eliminated the gopher mounds. We have pocket gophers and not only are they destructive but they are mean looking and ugly.
    I have trapped over 20 of the little suckers but they must be breeding elsewhere and then migrating back to the network of tunnels dug by their predecessors. Neighbors own a gas powered Rodenator that puts a combination of oxygen and propane into the tunnel and then they pull the trigger and BLAM! But it's expensive at $2000. I will just keep finding their main tunnel and set a trap in either direction per instructions. I used to dispose the body but have taken to burying it back in the tunnel hoping that it would serve as a warning to any newcomers. Any other suggestions welcomed.
  5. EweSheep

    EweSheep Flock Mistress

    Jan 12, 2007
    Land of Lincoln
    You should call on GopherBoy! [​IMG]
  6. TexasVet

    TexasVet Songster

    Nov 12, 2008
    Willis TX
    The gophers in my neck of the woods have gotten so smart that they tunnel into the chicken run and eat the feed at night. In fact, I've even seen them throwing dirt out of a hole in the middle of the day!

    The best trap I've used so far is the cat!

    Kathy in Texas
  7. CityChook

    CityChook Songster

    Apr 9, 2008
    Minneapolis, MN
    My Coop
    I remember Gopher Boy's rodent terminator....

  8. Iceblink

    Iceblink Songster

    I didn't have gophers in my yard, but I did have voles and squirrels........for as long as I had chickens.

    They would actually tunnel under the run and eat out of the feeder right next to my chickens. Best buddies:(
  9. cluckychick

    cluckychick Songster

    Mar 29, 2008
    South of KCMO
    Shoot, I got a gopher that tunnels straight down the middle of the run. We tample down his mounds and the next day their back. [​IMG]
  10. Henrik Petersson

    Henrik Petersson Crowing

    Jan 9, 2009
    Karlskrona, Sweden
    Could it be the chickens' scratching that scares the gophers off?

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