Digging predator? Who is most likely suspect?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Gatorpupsmom, Dec 1, 2008.

  1. Gatorpupsmom

    Gatorpupsmom Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 9, 2008
    Albany, Texas
    While showing off the girls and roo to my husband's aunt and uncle yesterday, Uncle Sam noticed what appears to be digging on one side of the outside of our chook house. It's a very sturdy built chicken house constructed of tin but appears some predator fiend is trying to break in.

    I realize could be any number of varmits but

    What varmits have you had dig or try to dig into your chicken house? (just so we'll know what we're up against here)

    and

    What can be done to block them from digging under?

    No kidding, this chicken house is built like a fort (reference my post from October when my son and I accidentally got locked in) and we thought nothing could get in it, but they darn sure aren't giving up without a fight. We've already lost one guinea when something reached through one of the holes in the metal studs that frame the door. That appeared to be cat work, but I don't see a cat being the top suspect for digging in.

    I am thinking that we need to invest in a live trap to set up near the chicken house to start catching local predators. Will prolly catch a dozen skunks in the first week. Will have to keep reminding hubby that it's all for the good of the chickens.....[​IMG]

    Suggestions, please.

    Kim
     
  2. lauralou

    lauralou Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 10, 2007
    Central Virginia
    Possibly a neighborhood dog?

    That's the only idea I have. I'll be checking back to see what other nasties have tried to dig into people's coops.
     
  3. justhatchin

    justhatchin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 5, 2008
    Galva, Kansas
    Several years ago a coon dug under my covered pen, I HAD NOT BURIED THE WIRE. Skunks will poke holes (looks like someone poked a stick all over the yard, around the fences.)and maybe possums. Possums might dig under also.
     
  4. HennysMom

    HennysMom Keeper of the Tiara

    could be anything really - sorry you're having issues. You dont need to bury wire though if you think its too much trouble. You can just get hardwire and wrap it up the sides of your existing run about a foot (secure it using plastic ties) and then extend it out about 2 feet all the way around, pin/stake it down into the ground. Ours is like this and nothing has gotten into our dog kennel cage that our girls are in and we have possum, raccoon, fox, cats and dogs wandering about.
     
  5. derby

    derby Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 18, 2008
    Boonsboro, MD
    A fox digs around my hen house. Lay some hardware cloth flat on the ground along the perimter. You can cover it with a thin layer of dirt or mulch to hide it, but the fox can't dig past it.

    Derby
     
  6. Attack Chicken

    Attack Chicken [IMG]emojione/assets/png/2665.png?v=2.2.7[/IMG] Hu

    Sep 25, 2008
    Indianapolis, IN
    Lay a live trap by where the thing is digging at.
     
  7. Farmer Brown

    Farmer Brown Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 22, 2008
    Raleigh, NC
    When we built our coop we buried hardware cloth one foot down and then one foot out like an L. I think it would take a very determined pred. to do that much digging. We do have opossums and raccoons. We used to feed the raccoons before we had the chickens [​IMG] If you do not have wire buried I would go through the trouble, it would be much better than dealing with a bunch of skunks in a trap. [​IMG]
     
  8. dbcooper02

    dbcooper02 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 20, 2007
    SW Washington
    Do your birds have access to this area? Could it just be one of their dust bathing spots? I have holes excavated against some of my coops and I know for sure that the chckens did it.
    db
     
  9. PeeperKeeper

    PeeperKeeper Chillin' With My Peeps

    years ago we had trouble with woodrats digging holes and then oppossum made the holes bigger and attacked the chicks on the roost.
     
  10. jhm47

    jhm47 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 7, 2008
    I have had skunks dig holes under my fences. I think a mink or weasel would also dig a hole, but they more commonly will find a hole in the fence or building to enter. A determined coon will also dig, but they dig a pretty large hole compared to a skunk. I would suspect a coon, since you have fed them in the past. They probably think that your chickens were put out there as food for them.

    I'd use a live trap, but DO NOT "relocate" them. All you will accomplish is to give someone else your problem. Similar to dumping unwanted kittens or puppies.

    When a coon or skunk is dumped in a strange area, they are usually put into a spot where another of the same species has established itself. Since the territory has limited food and habitat, the stranger will find itself driven off to another's territory, and on and on till it eventually dies of starvation or exposure. NOT a peaceful way to die. Do the poor animal a favor and dispose of it quickly and humanely.
     

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