Something is digging holes everywhere around the coop!!

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by vsecretz, Dec 24, 2015.

  1. vsecretz

    vsecretz Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 20, 2014
    Hi everyone - so I'm hoping that someone might be able to give me some kind of idea of what might be lurking around at night and digging a number of holes in the ground all around the coop. At first, we only noticed a couple of holes that looked like something was trying to get into the chicken run.

    Some time has past and there are so many holes, its scary. One of the holes were even successfully dug up that whatever it is, has access to getting into the run and can get into my chicken coop.

    These holes are about the circumference size of an orange. Some just go straight into the ground with no outage and others are from one side of the fence going underneath to the other side. There are holes also dug into my garden beds.

    Today, I went to change out the water for the chickens and noticed with their open feeder, that there was small tiny poop pebbles that I've never seen before. It's definitely not from the chickens, I know what their poop looks like. There were also the same small pebbles in a couple of the beds in the coop.

    So now I'm really freaking out and am not sure if this is something that will present danger to my chickens or if it is something that is just trying to co-exist with them and perhaps looking to eat their food as well. I really do not know. I will try to get some pictures up soon.

    For now, has anyone else experienced this before? We have no idea what it could be. We didn't experience this last year. We're usually up late nights and haven't heard the chickens make any noise in the dark backyard. What should we do???

    Thanks in advance!
  2. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Flock Master

    Sep 20, 2015
    Southern N.C. Mountains
    Post pictures if you can. Also what part of the country/world you live in. A picture of those poop pebbles would be good too.[​IMG]
  3. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

    I should wait for the photos but it does sound like you have rats. Smell some of the chickens' feed and see if there is an ammonia like scent. Rats make a habit of urinating on their food supplies to deter other life forms from eating it.
    1 person likes this.
  4. orpington13

    orpington13 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 3, 2014
    It might be a raccoon or an opossum
  5. vsecretz

    vsecretz Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 20, 2014
    I just googled rat poop out of curiosity and the poop that I saw, looks just like what I see online. GROSS!!
    I had heard from some of the neighbors that a house right across the street from me has a crap load of rats out front of their house lurking around. What I feared may be true which is them starting to come over in my yard now. I'm disgusted.

    So can they actually harm the chickens? I didn't smell anything in the feed, just a bunch of holes that would fit the size of a rat. It's not big enough for a possum or raccoon.

    I don't know what to do to keep them out ... any suggestions??
  6. Zoomie

    Zoomie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 6, 2015
    Mora, NM USA
    I'm going to guess rabbits? The poop sounds right. They do dig holes. I will be anxiously awaiting photos, because yes, it could be rats! [​IMG] Hope it's not though. Good luck.

    ETA: We posted at the same time, OH NO! That sounds bad, rats are awful. Good luck double!!!
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2015
  7. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

    Oct 16, 2010
    NEK, VT
    That size hole would be chipmunk or rat. If you don't see chipmunks during the day then it's rats. Your infested. You'll likely need to use poison as that many holes is impossible to counter with snap traps or drowning stations. It will take extreme action which is poison to get them to take it back to nests and feed to brood.

    I use chunx bait not pellet poison.They wont drag it about rather chew it off filling cheeks then take back to nest. With tamper proof bait box and chunx bait I'm so confident in it's safety I put the bait box right in the corner of the run or even under coop near the feed. Been using it for over two years now and not had a problem nor anymore chipmunks, rats or mice. Love it.

    Sample photo from Google Images:
  8. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend Staff Member

    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop
    Sounds like a vole. I am dealing with one of these over grown mice as we speak. They are digging tunnels all over the back side of my coop. They will dig extensive tunnels and you will see a few holes where they have pushed dirt out from a new tunnel. Mine are digging into my run as of late.

    You can try collapsing their tunnels to try and divert them. I have had some success with this method. I have tried mouse traps but they are very leary of them. I have avoided poison incase they do get into the run.

    Very annoying destructive things. The yard behind my coop is a mess of huge dirt piles.
  9. hayley3

    hayley3 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 16, 2007
    Southern Indiana
    I used the chunk bait but I found large pieces of it on the ground where my chickens could get to it. Thankfully the chickens didn't eat it. So the mice CAN chew off hunks of the solid bait and carry it with them. Maybe the chickens chased the mouse and he dropped it, IDK, but it was about the size of a nickel so was easy for me to see. I hate using poison for this reason but the mice were killing me.
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2015
  10. Weehopper

    Weehopper Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 26, 2015
    Sounds like a rat or rats (where you see one, there are many that you don't see). But yes, pictures would help.
    And if you have a trail cam you could set up, you could probably get a picture of it.

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