Sick Mole or Ground Squirrel?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Iceblink, Feb 1, 2008.

  1. Iceblink

    Iceblink Songster

    When I went out into my yard this morning there was a little fuzzy beast sitting there on top of the ground eating my new grass. It didn't stop or run away when I approached, just sat there. There was a fresh hole about a yard away, and dirt flung all over, but no actual 'mole-hill'

    It has small eyes, a multi-pointed nose, long claw-type hands, and long yellow front teeth. And lots of fur.

    When I made shooing noises and tried to move the dirt back with a long board, it hissed at me, but didn't back off.

    I remember hearing somewhere that wild animals that aren't cautious of people are probably sick.

    Does anyone have any idea what it is? Could it go after my chickens? If it's sick, could it get them sick?

    Thanks for your feedback, Amy
  2. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    Star nose? Then it is a mole. It should have run. At most it will probably eat your feed, and maybe uproot your foundation to the coop, but other than that, thats all the harm it can do I think.

    Some also have star noses.
  3. Barnyard

    Barnyard Addicted to Quack

    Aug 5, 2007
    Southwest Georgia
    If it has back feet that look like a kangaroo, then it is a squirrel. It is not gonna hurt your chickens!
  4. Iceblink

    Iceblink Songster

    Thanks for your responses. It doesn't look like the picture in the link, it's fur is lighter and thicker, it's eyes are bigger, the nose isn't cone shaped, but it does have at least 3 little spikes, they look useful for digging, is that what you meant by a star nose?

    I'm mainly concerned about it's behavior possibly indicating that it's sick. Squirrels and moles don't hiss, do they? Shouldn't it move away?

    I don't want to let my dog out in the yard, she would probably have a scuffle with it, and a lot of diseases are passed by consumption of infected animals. Yuck.

    Any idea of how to get rid of it?

    Thanks, Amy
  5. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    If you can find it... and it is small enough, hit it really hard with a shovel. If you don't think you can kill it with one hard hit, use a pellet rifle and shoot it at about ear level to get it's brain. There are multiple breeds of different pests, so it oculd have been a mole or ground squirrel. You would be surprised what can kiss and squeal.
  6. Corey NC

    Corey NC Songster

    Mar 28, 2007
    North Carolina
    I'd get a have-a-heart trap
  7. Scrambled Egg

    Scrambled Egg Flock Mistress

    Aug 29, 2007
    Fayetteville, NC
    SILKIE!!!! It sounds so cute!!! Surely it can eat the leftover chicken chow and not get shoveled!! Maybe it's a chipmonk, a minisquirrel with racing stripes. Let it live iceblink!!!! [​IMG]
  8. tiffanyh

    tiffanyh Songster

    Apr 8, 2007
    Ice--most diseases are "species specific", meaning they only pass diseases between other species of it kind.

    I would just leave it be. Not only are sick animals not usually scaered, but commonly juvenile animals are not scared either. I have had yooung squirrels come right up to us.

    If it is sick, I would just leave it be. Either it will die, get "picked up", or head back into its hole.

    Last edited: Feb 1, 2008
  9. Iceblink

    Iceblink Songster

    It IS cute, but it isn't a chipmunk. My chickens are young still and are only outside on nice days, so there isn't chicken feed for it to eat. Mostly it's just eating my new grass.

    I have an in-ground compost pile (pit) that so far I haven't had a problem with, but I don't want one to start.

    Cute as this little beasite may be, if it's sick, I don't want it in my yard. The health of my dog and chickens is my first priority. Rabies and Leptospirosis are just two small animal borne diseases that are epizoonotic and zoonotic. All three forms of the plague are alive and well in the rodent community. New York had an (unpublicized) outbreak of the plague in 2006 due to rats. It wasn't the bubonic strain, but a closely related and just as deadly one.

    That said, I've never killed anything intentionally, and I don't think I could. I was hoping for less violent methods of management, or disposal.

    Thanks, Amy
  10. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    Well, you could drown it, but that is not very humane in my opinion as it is a slow death. The fastest way to dispose of an animal is to cut it off from it's brain and that would be a swift whap to the head, or a shot to the brain. Just don't miss. But, if it was just scurrying and eating your lawn, its probably gone back home for now so I wouldn't worry about him too much.

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