little critters eating my girls feed --- grrrrrrr

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by chicknmama, Sep 12, 2010.

  1. chicknmama

    chicknmama Out Of The Brooder

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    I have a red squirrle and some chipmunks constantly in my coop eating the chickens feed. I've got the feeder raised and hanging from the ceiling but they're still in there and won't stay out and eating like crazy which is really pissing me off. Any suggestions? This is our first time raising chickens. The coop is the kids old playhouse and the feeder is next to the wall so I think they just jump into it. And my husband says if I move it they will still just jump up and eat, he's ticked the chickens are costing money to begin with. Help! They free range during the day and I've thought about just shutting the door, but the chickens go in and out of the coop so I hate to do that.
     
  2. galanie

    galanie Treat Dispenser No More

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    I believe you'll just have to fence them out. I've heard cayenne in the feed will work but the squirrels are so bad here, I haven't even tried cause I'm sure it won't work. Only way I've been able to keep them out of the feed is to chicken wire their world up (I used inexpensive bird netting for the top of the run - applied "baggy" rather than tight and things get tangled in it long before they break through the netting). And glad I have, because we now host a pair of hawks close by!
     
  3. SmittenChicken

    SmittenChicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    i've heard that cayenne pepper in the feed will deter rodents from eating it but won't bother the chickens - I think it's because birds don't have a receptor for capsacin? But not sure.

    Either way, I buy a pre-mixed organic feed that contains ground cayenne, and I've not noticed any issues with rodents. Might be worth a shot! I've also read about using cayenne to prevent worms and salmonella, so maybe it will do some good even if it doesn't deter the rodents. Good luck!
     
  4. 7L Farm

    7L Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Maybe a squirrel feeder.[​IMG]
     
  5. mrkep

    mrkep Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Another option might be to wait until your group is full grown, they will probably eliminate the small varmits for you. My 14 week old Buckeyes caught a chipmunk trying to filch food, they ran it down and ate it!
     
  6. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

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    I had to start using snap traps this year to deal with the overwhelming numbers of chipmunks that seem to have taken over the place. I put the rat traps under a weighted down milk crate to keep the chickens out of them while still allowing chipmunks access to them. I have taken out 8 chipmunks and 1 squirrel using this method without catching a single dog, chicken or small daughter. It has made a huge difference.

    Good luck.
     
  7. Mark & Nique

    Mark & Nique Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:This is 100% true! Birds -- including chickens -- cannot taste hotness. In fact, you can buy wild bird seed that is sprayed with pepper sauce to keep the squirrels away.

    If the critters are really knocking out the chickens' feed, it would be worthwhile to try a few different methods at once, peppery feed would be one. CMS's idea could be another one.

    Good luck!
     

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