Grey Squirrels Driving Me Crazy!

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Enchanted Sunrise Farms, Jun 9, 2009.

  1. Well, i did it. i trapped one this morning. Looked at it long and hard, and decided i would prefer not to kill it. So i took it for a nice long drive, across several major intersections, and let it loose amongst some tall trees. i can't imagine it could find it's way back here.

    A little later in the day, while my family and i were putting a veggie garden in the back, another persistent squirrel kept hippity hopping across the top of the house over to the coops. i would go to chase it away and that would work for about ten seconds. So i set the trap again and caught that one immediately. i took him to a nice little church, nestled in the trees about a mile away.

    So, i guess we'll see how this goes. i am hoping that if i just catch all the ones that have learned to get into the coops, the others may be content to live off the natural bounty of the neighborhood. Maybe that will give me a couple minutes spare time so i can actually work on the coops and pens.
     
  2. gsim

    gsim Songster

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    Jun 18, 2009
    East Tennessee
    Rookie here. Just got my first batch of chicks, which are all pullets. Am reading these comments to try to glean anything useful. Never thought of squirrel problems. Was going to plant pen full of sunflowers for the seeds for wintertime. I will have to rethink that because my pen will have netting over top and squirrels will find a way thru that even if they chew their way in. Saw a grey squirrel climb over my 6' chicken wire garden fence yesterday. After reading these posts, I guess he was after the lone sunflower in the garden?

    Does anyone know anything about keeping racoons out of pen? Am concerned that I will find one of more of my hens killed/eaten some morning. Pen 40 x 40 with wire sides, buried below grade to prevent digging under it. Will have bird netting overhead. Thought I might use fence charger/wire to discourage climbing over. Will have barbed wire at top and will have to remember to turn charger off if allowing flock out to free-range property.

    I have one chick that tries to scratch her head a lot. She shakes her head a lot. Is it ear mites? What can I do?
    Gerry Simpkins
    [email protected]
     
  3. Hi gsim,

    Welcome to the BYC Board! You will find a lot of helpful information and people here. To get a wider audience to respond to your issues, i suggest breaking them up into two categories, one regarding your need for a secure coop, and the other about your chick's head scratch problem, and post in the most appropriate categories.

    If you go to the Index, you will find all the categories listed. Coop and Run Design and Construction is here:

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewforum.php?id=9

    My personal suggestion on your pen, though, is that aviary netting won't keep a raccoon out. i've never used hot wire, but i would think if that is all around the perimeter, it would deter any critter from climbing over. But you will find lots of people who know more about the electric fencing in that Coop category.

    For your chick issue, you will want to post here:

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewforum.php?id=10

    It's the Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures section. Or, you can use the search function (at the top of the page) and do a search under "head scratching". Many times others have had the same exact problem and you can learn from their experience.

    My personal take on the head scratching is, if the chick looks healthy otherwise, it probably isn't a problem. If she shakes her head a lot, as in side-to-side, it could be a vitamin deficiency. In that case, you will want to add something like Avia Charge 2000 to the water, or give the chick Polyvisol liquid baby vitamins (make sure to get the kind without Iron) 2-3 drops a day. Just dab it on the tip of the beak and let the chick take it in herself.

    i hope this has helped some. Feel free to PM me if you need help navigating around the site.

    Colleen
     
  4. NarutoTn

    NarutoTn Songster

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    Jun 18, 2009
    Dyersburg
    a .22 rifle:oops::thumbsup
     
  5. E-Chick

    E-Chick In the Brooder

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    Ramona
    Want to read the whole thread, but will have to wait until another time as I want to respond...forgive me if I'm repeating what has already been said... [​IMG]

    I have a squirrel problem, too. New to chickens (a few months) and this property(1 year). We bought a live "humane" trap. The trap has 2 - 1 way doors. I put a small palm full of feed in the center. After a few hours, it will have 1-6 squirrels trapped. In the past 4 days, we've trapped over 30 of them, and shot them in the head with a high powered pellet rifle. I prefer to use 2 pellets for a quicker termination.

    I don't believe in being cruel, but, I also can't put up with predators that are causing me to lose money (feed) and the intended product of my livestock (eggs). This has only been going on for a few days, so my monetary and egg loss is minimal at this point. But, if it continues, it will make a dent. I intend to make a dent in the squirrel population here. It is just an awful situation.

    I believe that in MOST of the U.S.A., chickens are considered as livestock. And, that as owner's of livestock, we can use lethal means to protect the livestock from predators and nuisances such as coyotes (which do require a hunting permit in CA unless killed as a predator on your property), and, even the neighbor's friendly doggy. And, apparently - squirrels.

    Would you know, that in the past 2 weeks, they've nearly gone through a 50lb bag of feed that also has about 10-15lbs of miscellaneous grains and seeds added. IN 2 WEEKS!!! I have 13 chickens, and have to refill their metal feeding container more than usual since the squirrels discovered it. The rest of the feed is kept in a metal trash container with it's secure lid.

    Here in Southern California, and specifically in San Diego County where I live, squirrels have recently been found to carry the Bubonic Plague. That in and of itself is enough reason to thin their population 'round here! If they have it, and fleas...and the fleas bite us or our dogs. . . oh, boy! Pretty scary stuff!

    So, we are dealing with them with traps and pellets at this point. I hope that the OP and others find a method that works for them. Until a few days ago, I thought the cute and furry little creatures were just that...cute. Now, after the past few days, I wouldn't wish squirrels on anyone!

    Good luck all, and, sayoonara squirrels! [​IMG]
     
  6. gsim

    gsim Songster

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    Jun 18, 2009
    East Tennessee
    Thanks Coleen. The head-shaking chick has stopped doing that on the 2nd day we had her. Regards keeping pests out, am going to use barbed wire along top of the welded wire fencing. May even triple it and even add a course of it spiraled along the top. My pen will look like a WW II Stalag camp. Have thought of setting a trap every day outside of pen to just catch and kill whatever decides to come in. Would set for coons tho as they are what worries me most. Also thought of simply closing coop at sundown and opening in AM. The suggestion of a 22 rifle would not work here. The slug would travel too far. I only have 15 acres, so any type of rifle is out of the question . Shotgun on the other hand is very much an option. I have a crow problem too, with the critters pecking and putting holes in my windowsills. So I have already been thinking of some morning target practice with a 12 gauge.
     
  7. lunkerchicken

    lunkerchicken Songster

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  8. gsim

    gsim Songster

    1,997
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    Jun 18, 2009
    East Tennessee
    You are hardly overrun. I just recieved 25 chicks. They are black australorps, rhode island reds, barred plymouth rocks, and buff comets (a sex-link hybrid)
     

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