Groundhog (mildly graphic, no pics)

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by jessied1227, Sep 6, 2007.

  1. jessied1227

    jessied1227 Songster

    Mar 31, 2007
    East Brady, PA
    Let me just start the thread with this: :thun

    Anyway, we had a run-in with a groundhog today. I was outside with the girls, giving them treats, when I heard a sound coming from the hubby's old pick-up. I looked underneath to see the back-end of a groundhog hanging out of the truck from underneath.
    Now, this was like, 20 feet from my front door, middle of the morning, so very strange for a groundhog. I yelled my 4 year old into the house and went for the rifle.
    By the time I got back outside, it was at the front porch. Now, I've never *seen* a rabid groundhog, but I seriously think this one was. It was acting all crazy, staggering around, the dogs were going NUTS.
    I fired a shot a missed (of course) and it just stood there. Didn't jump or run, so I fired a second shot and sent it to groundhog heaven.
    We burned the carcass, cleaned everything up real good, burned the ground where I shot it.
    I'm worried about the chickens. Can chickens get rabies from being exposed to any scat or anything like that?
  2. ozark hen

    ozark hen Living My Dream

    Apr 4, 2007
    Mansfield, MO
    can't answer your questions but want to say, good job! Bravo! I am so glad you didn't have to shoot your dh's truck!
  3. jessied1227

    jessied1227 Songster

    Mar 31, 2007
    East Brady, PA
    LMAO - it would have been a mercy killing if I had shot the truck. It has 271,000 miles on it and has no reverse. Still runs good, just not road legal, and you have to think where you park it so you can turn around. It's our farm truck.
    The hubby has Decon in the truck he says to keep the mice out. I wonder if it was trying to get to the Decon?

  4. arlee453

    arlee453 Songster

    Aug 13, 2007
    near Charlotte NC
    I'm betting it was rabid to have such unusual behavior in daylight.

    We had a rabid racoon come through the yard many years ago when we first moved in here - it was very much like you say - staggering around, in broad daylight. It climbed up a tree and then fell out of the tree. We're certain it was rabid.

    My understanding is that rabies is spread by saliva or body fluid/blood contact. Did any of your dogs get close enough to have saliva or blood contact?

    I don't know if it can be spread through your local health department if you can't get a good answer.

  5. jessied1227

    jessied1227 Songster

    Mar 31, 2007
    East Brady, PA
    The dogs are both up to date on the vaccine, so I'm not terribly concerned about the dogs. They were pretty quick to vacate the area when they saw the rifle. One glance at me with the 30.06 and they were heading the other way. [​IMG]

    We had no idea we even had a groundhog so close in. We looked for the hole and found it around behind one of the woodpiles, and I know the girls go back in there to scratch.

    I'll have to call the game commission in the AM.
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2007
  6. justusnak

    justusnak Flock Mistress

    Feb 28, 2007
    South Eastern Indiana
    Too bad you burned it so quickly. Now you will never know for sure it was rabies. Might have gotten into antifreeze from the " old truck" and was poisoned. Im sure...if I was faced with that situation, I woul dhave thrown it on the burn pile right away as well...especially since you have small kids around. how scarey! Hope everyone is ok, and I dont think they can get rabies from the poo...but better safe than sorry, call the game comission in the am.
  7. DoctorGoose

    DoctorGoose Songster

    Jul 27, 2007
    Tis bodily fluids, yes! But I'm fairly certain that chickens are not a host species--insects, mammals and fish....but just to be certain, I would bleach all around too, in case it was carrying other pathogens, and keep the area where it was quarantined for a little while. Bleach and sunlight destroy viruses.

    Gosh--that's really one of my worst nightmares--to find a rabid animal near my herd--except in my nightmares, I can never find the key to unlock my rifle! Stupid locks.
  8. SpottedCrow

    SpottedCrow Flock Goddess

    Only mammals can get rabies, so your chickens are safe...
    I wonder if the ground hog didn't get himself poisoned too...
  9. foxtrapper

    foxtrapper Songster

    Apr 18, 2007
    Rabid groundhogs are known in the PA/MD area, so it's quite possible. Sounds like you to perfectly reasonable actions and precautions.
  10. MarkR

    MarkR Songster

    Mar 11, 2007
    Ivy, Virginia
    Birds don't get rabies. Good thing, too. Imagine a flock of foaming zombie birds chasing you around the yard. :shudder:

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