Gray Digging Animal

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by MichelleT, Jun 5, 2016.

  1. MichelleT

    MichelleT Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 20, 2014
    Denver, CO
    Last night when I went down to close the coop door and get the food inside I saw a small animal scurry through the run. I saw very clearly 2 white stripes and so for a moment I thought maybe a baby skunk. But it didn't move right, and I couldn't find it once it disappeared. This morning there was a lot of digging around the base of the landscaping log on which we put the waterer. The hole is about 3 inches in diameter. yipes!

    So tonight I waited and watched. Sure enough, right around sundown, a critter poked it's head out of the hole, came out briefly and then must have sensed me... it turned around and went back into the hole. I waited for about an hour and it never came back out. It probably has another exit.

    Anyway, I cannot for the life of me find this guy on the internet. I only saw it for a couple of seconds, so my description is not perfect, but here it goes:
    1.) gray overall - white stripes along it's sides - or maybe it's stomach is white (I was looking down on the run). I'm not sure.
    2.) when it first poked it's head out I thought mouse, then I thought BIG mouse, then I thought rat. But it was too furry, so then I thought baby rabbit - but the tail was full - not rat or mouse like, but longer than a rabbit's for sure.
    3.) the tail - this is the part I'm not really sure about, because it turned around and went back in the hole so quickly. I am sure it wasn't like a mouse or rat because that is what I was expecting... more squirrel like but not so long.
    4.) size: smaller than a squirrel - I've never actually SEEN a rat in the 'wild' (not pet store) but I would say about that size - but furrier so it looked a little bit bigger.
    5.) definitely nocturnal.


    Any thoughts/pictures would be appreciated. You can bet that I'll be back out there tomorrow night at sundown trying to get a better description...

    Oh - I live in Colorado, if that helps.
     
  2. Urlec

    Urlec Out Of The Brooder

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    May 25, 2016
    North Saskatchewan River
    [​IMG]
    This it? Best guess based on the description.
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2016
  3. MichelleT

    MichelleT Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 20, 2014
    Denver, CO
    Definitely not. I just caught it again for a second heading back into the hole. I think now baby skunk again… It looked black with two white stripes along the outer edge of its back. This time, however, I did not notice the tail at all. So frustrating!
     
  4. mustangrooster

    mustangrooster Chillin' With My Peeps

    Im thinking Racoon..Very smart little things always testing your nerves..

    However based on your description im guessing not. But for that matter I believe hes (This digging animal) Is after your chooks. I would be careful

    Skunks are pretty much black. Not grey. So chances of a skunk is low however there is no accurate washer.

    Heres some skunks:

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    Does the critter look like this?

    Im still thinking Racoon and its my best guess.

    Racoons:

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]


    They are definitely more greyer than Skunks. As a side note Raccoons are Nocturnal-They hunt at night in this situation it could be a Racoon attempting to hunt your chooks. Because you didn't see this critter properly you may have not seen everything properly. So the chances are even.

    What do you think it is?
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2016
  5. MichelleT

    MichelleT Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 20, 2014
    Denver, CO
    It's way too small for even a baby raccoon... we do have them around here and I know just what they look like. Definitely no mask on this critter and the white stripes are undeniable.

    I thought at first gray, but just now it looked black (it's dark outside). It's pretty quick to dash back in the hole. But I'm watching!

    The chooks are locked up safe and sound, and we just bought a huge role of hardware cloth. I see a project in the near future... We put the stuff down on the OUSIDE (fanned out, buried) of the run when we built it but never thought to lay down a carpet, so to speak, on the inside. We wanted to give the girls the ability to scratch! This animal has a tunnel, not just a hole. .
     
  6. Urlec

    Urlec Out Of The Brooder

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    May 25, 2016
    North Saskatchewan River
    even without knowing what it is there's a good chance it will cause problems of one form or another. Best to catch it and get it out. Easier to identify once you have it.
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2016
  7. Urlec

    Urlec Out Of The Brooder

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    May 25, 2016
    North Saskatchewan River
    [​IMG]
    Long shot but I hope this is not your animal. We have badgers in our area they cause all sorts of problems.
     
  8. mustangrooster

    mustangrooster Chillin' With My Peeps

    Well..it looks like you have quite the mystery on your hands! That's the spirit Just keep watching [​IMG] The girls sound very lucky and for now im sure they will be safe and sound. Now im starting to think its a Skunk...But im surfing the net...I have one more critter in mind..
     
  9. Urlec

    Urlec Out Of The Brooder

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    May 25, 2016
    North Saskatchewan River
    I'm grabbing pictures off the net but I'm using my field guide of mammals to narrow it down. Useful little book to have.
     
  10. mustangrooster

    mustangrooster Chillin' With My Peeps

    That could be your critter! Seemingly there's another even chance. Its small enough and fits some of your descriptions. However like Urlec said they can cause problems for those people with Chooks (if it is a Badger) and it would need to be dealt with. But they are very good creatures if the don't smell Chicken [​IMG]
     

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