I have a digger!

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by thndrdancr, Oct 22, 2009.

  1. thndrdancr

    thndrdancr Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,208
    82
    243
    Mar 30, 2007
    Belleville, Kansas
    SOMETHING is after the chickens or the leftover food in their pen which I left VERY little of, usually dont leave any outside at night for just this reason. Luckily so far, havent lost any chickens.

    Five nights ago, I noticed something had dug under the coop, and came out in their pen. Now I didnt put concrete or a flange or what have you from the coop to the pen, sheesh. That first day I didnt realize it was a hole from beneath, just thought that the hens were sure having a field day with the dust bathing. But then it occurred to me, I havent even opened the pens up to them lately, just opening the coop and letting them free range, thank goodness, so they could even GET in their pen, (or I might have lost some.)

    The second night there was a hole going from one of my pens to the other pen, which are attached. I DID know something for sure was going on then.

    I went around the coop to investigate and he had dug from the back of the coop, clear to the front, and turned and dug into the pen. This is about a 10 to 12 foot tunnel. The
    hole was roughly possum sized to larger, a large dog could have squeezed thru if ambitious to give you an idea, so its a larger beastie.

    So we filled it in, covered up the holes, etc but I didnt figure that would do much for a critter that could dig a 12 foot tunnel.

    The next night, again he had went AROUND the stuff we had blocked the hole with and again tunneled thru the dirt. Next night, AGAIN into the next girls pen.

    Oh and I did make sure the coops were as secure as they can be, and do shut my girls in at night so very very lucky none of my babies have been gotten by this culprit.

    I set a Havahart trap last night with tuna, but my trap is not working properly, never did from the getgo. Havent checked it yet, its raining cats and dogs, but any ideas on what this might be?
     
  2. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

    5,545
    225
    288
    Mar 31, 2008
    Grifton NC
    I set a Havahart trap last night with tuna, but my trap is not working properly, never did from the getgo

    Sometime it takes a little careful bending of the trigger rods to get them to do right.​
     
  3. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    Is your pen small enough that you could floor the base with 1/2"gauge hardware cloth and fasten it with pig nose rings? It's a HUGE amount of work and would require filling with earth. I'm wondering of you have a big groundhog- at this time of year they tunnel into buildings to gain access to easy feed in the leaner months. Sprinkle some stable powder or flour to try so capture an image of the tracks...they build tunnels about 20' long with side branches and at least 2 entrances.

    http://www.getridofthings.com/get-rid-of-groundhogs.htm
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2009
  4. Chickenfortress

    Chickenfortress Chillin' With My Peeps

    224
    4
    131
    May 8, 2008
    Put a big rock in one of the exits. Throw a gopher bomb in the other, and then throw a rock in that one. The ones in my yard kept several tunnels and moved between them. They took so much dirt from under my shed floor that my mower fell through. When we took up the floor, you could stand in their hole up to your waist. They are why i have glass filled trenches around my run and coop. I'm not afraid of them hurting the chickens, but other animals using their tunnels for access to the birds. This is assuming you have groundhogs.
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2009
  5. Chickenfortress

    Chickenfortress Chillin' With My Peeps

    224
    4
    131
    May 8, 2008
    Oh, if you're sure its out... shove big tangled masses of barbedwire into the tunnel before you fill it back in.
     
  6. thndrdancr

    thndrdancr Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,208
    82
    243
    Mar 30, 2007
    Belleville, Kansas
    Thanks all.

    I am wondering if it might be a groundhog. It got into the pen and ate the remaining bit of chicken feed, but the can of tuna I have in the trap remains untouched.

    Here is hoping that is what it is, maybe I should sprinkle some chicken feed in my trap. I will get that trap working perfectly when its not raining buckets.

    It would probably be pretty hard to totally cover my floor with hardware cloth, its about 12 ft x 15, and the next one is about the same. Yea, there is enuff tunnelling under there if we were prone to sinkhole, I can well imagine my coop sinking....[​IMG]
     
  7. PortageGirl

    PortageGirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,511
    10
    181
    Nov 8, 2008
    Portage County, Ohio
    I have a crazy groundhog who was digging burrows in the woods and very close to the river even! It really could be one, and they really don't eat grain that I can tell... but who want's burrows all over the place!

    NO idea how to get rid of them, mine finally left because of all the activity... if that's what yours is, maybe he will too.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by