Groundhog under the coop

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by roosterpaul, Aug 13, 2011.

  1. roosterpaul

    roosterpaul In the Brooder

    Aug 6, 2011
    I have a home-made coop, that sort of looks like a shed. It's raised on cinder blocks, so not a whole lotta room for the girls to go under. This year, I noticed a couple of holes on the two sides of the coop, where the run is not attached - so the outer sides of the coop.

    I believe it's a groundhog, since I've seen one in that part of the yard, but have not confirmed.

    What risks does the little varmint pose to my flock? It's not touching the food and I really don't want to have to kill it.

  2. Zonoma

    Zonoma Songster

    Mar 15, 2011
    Northern Kentucky
    Quote:The only risks groundhogs pose involve the diseases they carry (transfer via the fleas and other insects) and the snakes that they attract (assuming it is the traditional 'ground hog' and not 'prairie dog'). I'd research common ground hog diseases before determining if getting rid of him is worth the effort.

    I don't know where you live but out by my grandpa's prairie dogs co-exist with rattlesnakes who live in their burrows and prey on them occasionally while defending the tunnels from other predators. When I was a child they had an outbreak of bubonic plague among the prairie dogs. One has to wonder if ground hogs also have a symbiotic relationship with any non-chicken friendly predators, too.
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2011
  3. roosterpaul

    roosterpaul In the Brooder

    Aug 6, 2011
    I live in Northwest NJ. It's one of those fat, friendly guys that eat everything green in their way. I have to admit, when he attacked my garden last year I was tempted to kill him, but I'm a lover, not a fighter (most of the time) so I couldn't bring myself to do it.

    Good idea about searching for diseases, though. Thanks!
  4. nurse_turtle

    nurse_turtle Songster

    May 28, 2011
    Foothills of NC
    We have one living under the house. If he begins to dig holes into the chicken's run, that could be a safety hazard for the chickens. The holes he makes may be used as tunnels for chicken predators to get in. I would probably live trap and release him (which is probably illegal and is controversial).
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2011
  5. Ole rooster

    Ole rooster Songster

    Jun 25, 2011
    Milner, Georgia
    I am absolutly mystified at to why some folks have a problem killing any animal that could pose a threat to their ainmals. Don't get me wrong, I don't think it's right just to kill for the sake of killing. But when there's a probable threat, why does the threat from the killer take backseat to the one being killed. I keep reading thing like, it was so cute, I just couldn't, it was just hunting for a meal, and so many other reasons. And remember, the hens that are killed at night are ambushed and are helpless. Aren't we supposed to protect the helpless. These killers hunt at night when they can see but we and the chickens can not. I just don't get it. I guess it could be my age. Just old fashioned.

    Would anyone explain to me why.

  6. they'reHISchickens

    they'reHISchickens Songster

    Oct 31, 2008
    If you want to baby a groundhog in your backyard, go right ahead, but where we live, they multiply like crazy and many of our farmer neighbors have lost thousands of $$ in machinery that is damaged by running into their holes in the middle of fields.
    We were without a loose dog for 9 months and we now have families of 4 groundhogs at one end and 300 ft away is a family of 5. Those are the ones we KNOW about! They are still devouring our entire crop of watermelons, cantelopes and now the pumpkins, too.
    I just need time to sit and stalk.
  7. thekid

    thekid Songster

    The best thing to do would be to smoke them out and then put wire on the shed so they cant get under, bury it about 1 foot so that it doesnt make a attempt to dig a hole under
  8. Gotta Love the Drake

    Gotta Love the Drake In the Brooder

    Aug 13, 2011
    Cloaked Romulan Warbird
    Groundhogs can carry rabies. Rare but it happens. So I would be very careful if you decide to trap or whatever.

    I have had good luck getting rid of them by pouring something really smelly and long lasting down the hole, like cheap cologne.
  9. roosterpaul

    roosterpaul In the Brooder

    Aug 6, 2011
    Thanks thekid and Gotta Love the Drake. Good alternatives to murder!

    I've live trapped rats before and the trap release can sometimes be so loud and traumatic that they die anyway, so all I'd really need is some way to ensure he's out, then reinforce the wire.

    Ole rooster, I can't speak for others, but I just don't want to kill anything. If there is no threat, I don't see the point, which is why I'm asking if there is a threat.
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2011

  10. stormylady

    stormylady Songster

    Dec 27, 2008
    I have a huge boy groundhog that has been living on my property like forever, he never messes with the cats, chickens , dogs or anything , he eats grass and weeds, and lately has taken a liking to my layer pellets so if I leave a bag out he will get in it and eat it, but I keep it in a rubber made tote so really no problem there, not sure on the parisite issues though, but he never gets close to the chickens though so I just let him live as long as he sticks to his veggies were good to go!

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