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The unknown offender

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Allaboutdagame, Nov 4, 2009.

  1. Allaboutdagame

    Allaboutdagame New Egg

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    Nov 4, 2009
    I am looking to discover what it is that is trying (thankfully so far unsuccessfully) to get into the chicken barn. We do have a raccoon around, but he/she has not exactly posed a huge threat that I am aware of. It simply looked at me and kept trying to get into the barn, like a toddler does when trying to get something they're not supposed to and they're hoping you can't see them... when you blatantly can. So i guess I really have two questions. One being do raccoons dig as in underneath the ground in tunnel systems? I realize they dig or burrow because the one around our house crawled underneath, but not in, the chicken barn and old duck barn. Also, I am thinking there is something other than the raccoon around for the tunnel system reason. I had noticed a growing hole in the ground of the chicken pen but thought nothing of it as our chickens tend to dig quite frequently. But eventually I noticed it was a hole that led somewhere. Using a brick and some other rocks that I found in close distance, I stufed the hole so that nothing could get back through( or so I thought). Last night I opened the door to listen to the cows up the road's strange mooing when I heard the creaking of the ramp that led into the chicken barn. I grabbed a flashlight and went to investigate. Nothing was in sight though. The surprising thing was that the hole was much larger, especially with the bricks and rocks pushed aside, about a foot or two aside, and dirt flung everywhere. What type of animal would do this? And would it be harmful to the chickens? ( I'm assuming yes as of now)
     
  2. Boyd

    Boyd Recipient of The Biff Twang

    Mar 14, 2009
    MI
    my $ is on the raccoon, but possum's dogs and skunks will also dig like this.
     
  3. Allaboutdagame

    Allaboutdagame New Egg

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    Nov 4, 2009
    The hole was maybe a foot in diameter and was in the middle of the ground( away from and building or anything), would a raccoon do this?
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2009
  4. Boyd

    Boyd Recipient of The Biff Twang

    Mar 14, 2009
    MI
    Quote:Hm... not for sure. What area the country you from?
     
  5. PortageGirl

    PortageGirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Well, raccoons will dig to get INTO something, but they don't actually dig tunnel systems. Where are you? Armadilos dig, groundhogs do too, and the last couple years we've had one in the WOODS near us which is crazy, I always thought they were exclusively field critters, but we have a woodsy one. Lets see, if you're in a northern state, or Canada, badgers dig and you better hope it isn't one of THOSE!!

    So, where are you located?
     
  6. Allaboutdagame

    Allaboutdagame New Egg

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    Nov 4, 2009
    Maine
     
  7. PortageGirl

    PortageGirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Well, that eliminates armadillos!!! [​IMG] It sounds too big to be a rat, but it -could- be, but they like to slink around in dark corners, I don't think a rat would dig that way out in the open. It does sound like a raccoon. Could be a weasel (fisher or marten), opossum, raccoon (which is sounding more likely considering the size). I don't know if there are groundhogs in Maine. I couldn't find em in the wildlife pages for Maine.... so maybe not. If you're having dry weather, take some flour and put it in a seive or collandar and lightly 'dust' the area... your visitor should leave some recognizable footprints that might help you ID him.
     
  8. Allaboutdagame

    Allaboutdagame New Egg

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    Nov 4, 2009
    thats a good idea about the flour... would a humane trap work good? and we have had minks in the past so it is possible that it is one of those again, im hoping its not a fisher especially, if it is a raccoon im not really sure whether it is the one i saw or not cause that one didnt seem very motivated, in fact he walked around as slow as possible, but you never know i guess
     
  9. LilRalphieRoosmama

    LilRalphieRoosmama Officially Quacked

    Oct 15, 2007
    Elyria, OH
    I've never seen a raccoon dig, although I wouldn't rule it out. My guess would be a groundhog, rat, or skunk although I think you'd smell that one. [​IMG]

    And [​IMG] !!!!
     
  10. theFox

    theFox Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 21, 2009
    Standish, Maine
    Quote:Woodchucks can dig quite good sized tunnels. That is what folks in Maine call a groundhog and yes we have tons of the varmints. I had one that was living in a compost pile this summer when it wasn't living under the neighbors barn. I finally got tired of it chewing on my squash vines and dumped it with the 22. They aren't likely to do anything to a chicken except scare it by running through a flock as they are vegetable matter consumers.

    Raccoons can dig a pretty good sized hole to get to something, a fox or coyote can also dig out a respectable sized den.
     

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