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Squirrels and chipmunks eating the chicken feed.

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by homesteadinmama, Jun 22, 2011.

  1. homesteadinmama

    homesteadinmama Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 30, 2011
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    Over the past couple weeks I have noticed my chickens are going through alot of feed, got me thinking about others potentially eating their food since they free range all day-only head home for a nap/snack, etc. Well I caught a chipmunk eating from the outside feeder. But today I saw a big ol squirrel running down the plank (it found the inside feeder) and now I am upset. So my questions are:

    1. Should I put the food away and only have it out certain times?

    2. Anything I can do? We don't seem to have predators, hense all the cute and cuddly stuff running around. There is a hawk family nearby but it is so densly wooded by the coop aerial attacks don't work very well.

    3. Right now the coop just has the pop door for getting in and out but the animals seem to like the gang plank, do the chickens need it? the coop is only 18-24inches off the ground.

    Any advice would be great. Thanks!
     
  2. Stingrayg4

    Stingrayg4 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 27, 2011
    Oklahoma
    Squirrels help themselves daily to my chicken feed. Doesn't bother me, I just let 'em eat.

    -S
     
  3. homesteadinmama

    homesteadinmama Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Do they eat lots or just nibble? I don't want to feed the whole neighborhood [​IMG]
     
  4. Stingrayg4

    Stingrayg4 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 27, 2011
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    The chickens eat a lot, I don't think the squirrels eat enough to add significantly to the feed bill. I can sit in the run and they'll sit right next to me or walk among the chickens showing no fear at all. I think it's kind of neat. Any animal that leaves the chickens and eggs alone is fine by me.

    -S
     
  5. millebantam

    millebantam Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Little Rhody
    If you have a significant population of squirrels and chipmunks in your area, you are losing quite a lot of feed to them. Remember, for every one that you actually see near the feeders, there have been 5 or 6 more visiting that you haven't seen. They are out of control in my area and I have composted hundreds of them, but new ones replace the fallen soldiers constantly. Squirrels have chewed holes in my plastic feed barrels, and even chew holes in the eaves of my grain shed just to steal food. Chipmunks aren't as destructive to property, but they spend all day running back and forth from the feeders with their cheeks stuffed with grain, and store it in burrows in the ground. They take far more than they can possibly eat, and the grain that they stash all over your property will also draw in rats.

    Some people love them, and don't mind them stealing from them, but to me, they are nothing more than rats wearin' nicer little jackets.
     
  6. homesteadinmama

    homesteadinmama Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 30, 2011
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    So how do you catch them? or kill them? A barn cat? We have a dog.
     
  7. Jerseycoop

    Jerseycoop Chillin' With My Peeps

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    New Jersey
    Quote:So true..plus they're always scratching, ticks, lice etc I'm sure they'll bring it in with the chickens [​IMG]
     
  8. Jerseycoop

    Jerseycoop Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 13, 2011
    New Jersey
    Quote:had a family that made a wreck of my attic in my last house.even bit the electrical wires and tore up the insulation. [​IMG] Our exterminator placed small live traps and put peanuts inside. They were gone and relocated in 3 days
     
  9. wingsofglory

    wingsofglory Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 15, 2011
    Palmer Alaska
    Once they have a dependable food source, they will search out nest spots nearby. Usually in the rafters of your house!!! They have chewed through screenings, insulation, wood, and electrical wiring at my mother's in the little space between the ceiling and the roofing. Also holes into her garage where the pipes go in. They ignore the barn and various unheated outbuildings for nests.

    You think you see the same squirrel each time, but they look alike, so it may be many more. You won't know till you trap them.

    My other friend has traps going full time - and is always catching them. They get in his camping gear and shred coats and sleeping bags etc for nests, and chew through the containers of camp food and the squirrels LOVE the freeze dried meals.

    Also, the squirrels have big ticks on them - he showed me on a newly caught one, he never touches them without gloves on. I wouldn't want them in the house.

    Here, we only have the small red squirrels.

    They are SO cute! I really had to start thinking when I've seen all the damage at these two residences in the neighborhood.

    Squirrels don't care about beagles or German Shepherds, or cats which have been tried so far unsuccessfully.
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2011
  10. wingsofglory

    wingsofglory Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 15, 2011
    Palmer Alaska
    I did a BYC forum search on "squirrels" and - people have had them eating their eggs in the coop!!! I didn't know that!
     

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