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Help! Something digging around my coop and run! What is it?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by zsazsa chick, Jul 20, 2011.

  1. zsazsa chick

    zsazsa chick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 11, 2010
    The funny farm
    Ok, I woke up this morning to my dad filling up HUMONGOUS holes around our coop and run. Ok...not HUMONGOUS, but...big enough. Unfortunately, he filled them before I was able to take a picture and post it here~ I know that would help. My dad thinks it's a fox, I think it's a mink or something.
    Setup:
    I have three chicken coops. The smallest is where I keep my roo. Outside of that coop, something dug under that fence and through the roo's run. Next to it is the medium sized coop, which holds my guineas. The hole that started in the other run continued under the fence that separates the two runs, and throughout the guinea run, and underneath the pulley door (from the run to the coop) and back again under a different part of the fence. Next, he (she?) went around (above ground, thank goodness!) to the biggest coop, which houses my hens. He (she?) proceeded to dig a hole under they're pulley door. Apparently, when my dad was filling up the whole which started it all, by the roo's run, he saw a little nose poke out of it. Of course, instead of looking closer or at least taking a picture with his phone, he jumped back in surprise (ok, ok, I know. That's what I would have done, too, but... [​IMG] ). Does anyone have the slightest idea what the heck this could be??? I'd really appreciate any feedback! Thanks a lot! [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  2. Chemguy

    Chemguy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 30, 2011
    Springfield, Ohio
    I'm not sure where you are, but here in Ohio we are having a bumper crop of groundhogs. These guys like to burrow down under the edges of sheds and decks. Anywhere that offers protection from above once the burrow is complete. If the digging took place near the edge of your coop (if it isn't raised too far, that is) it might be a groundhog.

    I'm not sure that refilling the holes is going to deter a digger, regardless of identity, for too long. The soil there is now loose, and easier to dig out than in the first place. You might want to consider putting a barrier down to further protect your flock.
     
  3. zsazsa chick

    zsazsa chick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 11, 2010
    The funny farm
    Ok, thanks for the suggestion! I'll tell my dad to like bury a fence or something by our coops... (oh, and I'm from Wisconsin...so...do we have groundhogs?) But thanks so much [​IMG] I appreciate it [​IMG]
     
  4. bertman

    bertman Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 13, 2011
    An experienced chicken person told me that laying a strong wire fabric on the ground two feet around the perimeter of the run/coop and securing it so it cannot be pulled up, will deter most digging predators. Their instinct is to start digging AT the fence so they encounter the wire and stop digging--or move on to another spot along the fence run and find the same surprise.

    It's a lot easier than digging down and installing wire below ground.

    We did that and laid large rocks on the edges of the wire plus we covered it with leaves so the ground looks normal. So far, no invaders.

    Good luck
     
  5. Chemguy

    Chemguy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 30, 2011
    Springfield, Ohio
    Zsazsa....I am a transplanted Wisconsinite. Grew up in Muskego (west of Milwaukee) and Madison. You *definitely* have groundhogs, fox, skunk (you knew that), raccoons (you knew that too) and probably even mink. They used to raise mink all over the state. When prices for pelts went down, lots of 'farms' just opened the cages. Bertman has a great idea about putting a skirt (down the lower face of the run) and apron (laying on the ground) around your flock. I agree with bertman. Some folk say to dig, I think that's a waste.
     
  6. MARANMAN2011

    MARANMAN2011 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 7, 2011
    Put alive cage out youll find out. Most prob a coon they are sneeky.
     
  7. effie

    effie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    West(by god) Virginia
    Then there are rats-I had that problem earlier this year--they dug huge piles of dirt out to get in. Onebite fixed them and I think they had a coon helping too. Haven't seen any holes in weeks though ,so hopefully the problem is gone. I just simply kept the girls in for a couple of days while I sat the poison out--when it was gone I let them back out. The coons will eat that stuff too.
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2011
  8. laurieshiloh

    laurieshiloh Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 26, 2013
    Forest Hill, Maryland
    I have something digging around my run. I have hardware cloth buried with dirt on top, then weed block, then mulch. For the past 2 days I have found several freshly dug holes around the run.
    Whatever it is, hits the weed block, rips through that but stops before hitting the hardware cloth. It then moves down about a foot and tries a different spot but it's right up near the run (not out where the hardware cloth ends). I have no idea what it could be............but I'm worried. I built this run like it's Fort Knox but would like to know what it could be. Any ideas?
     
  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    This is a very old thread....you should probably start a new one.

    Could be lots of things, but sounds like your apron worked as planned. If it's a local dog it will probably keep trying, if its wildlife it may move on. Set up a live trap, be prepared to dispatch what you catch. Did you find any tracks around that would help identify the culprit?
     
  10. laurieshiloh

    laurieshiloh Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 26, 2013
    Forest Hill, Maryland
    No tracks....but it was all dug up again this morning. I'll take your advice and start this as a new thread....but thanks for replying.
     

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