What left these tracks??? Pics. Help Please.

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by joannefiddler, Aug 29, 2013.

  1. joannefiddler

    joannefiddler Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have recently completed turning two stalls into a coop with an attached yard. I have put a large poop tray under a 12 foot long roost and it is filled with Sweet PDZ (granular, like dry sand). I smoothed out the PDZ with a ruler and locked the coop. I will be getting pullets in 5 days.

    When I went out today, I found these strange tracks in the PDZ. I can't figure out what could have gotten in, and what would have left these tracks. Please take a look and give me the benefit of your experience. The last thing I want to do is lock my newcommers into the coop only to find them ...well, you know.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  2. happyfrenchman

    happyfrenchman Chillin' With My Peeps

    257
    26
    141
    Dec 20, 2008
    Central Ga.
    Google.... rat tracks....that would be my guess.
     
  3. thejester

    thejester New Egg

    4
    0
    7
    Aug 31, 2013
    Catskills, NY
    Yep, me thinks you've got rats. The stride is too big for mice, and too narrow to be anything other than a smallish rodent. Maybe squirrel or chipmunk too, but my money is on the nasty rats.

    Happen to know if rats are common in your area?
     
  4. joannefiddler

    joannefiddler Chillin' With My Peeps

    Well, I figure rats are everywhere! The horses and cows have been gone (along with their feed) for a year and a half, so there's no generous food source (unless they eat old cow pies). But I guess the stable provides shelter, so not a bad place if you're a rat. I just don't see any tail print or any distinguishable toes...and it almost appears whatever it is is hopping, not striding. I guess I'll go back and examine the floor area for tunnels and reexamine the wire for any gaps.

    Thanks for your time and reply!
     
  5. snowflake

    snowflake Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,834
    55
    231
    Aug 21, 2009
    Belding Michigan
    try putting hardware cloth around the area were the hens will be not much can get through that, also maybe some traps rats are a danger to hens, they will kill, eat eggs and carry disease
     
  6. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

    5,241
    819
    291
    Dec 25, 2012
    My personal guess is a baby 'rabbet' The reason I say this is because all four tracks are almost touching. That makes it look like what ever made the track was hip-hopping and what looks to be the back feet are bigger
     
  7. joannefiddler

    joannefiddler Chillin' With My Peeps

    Well, I'll set 6 rat traps tonight and see what the catch is tomorrow. I wonder if it could be a little bird hopping... I smoothed it out last night and the tracks were back this morning. The mystery continues[​IMG].
     
  8. joannefiddler

    joannefiddler Chillin' With My Peeps

    OK Mickey Rat...come and get some peanut butter.
    [​IMG]
     
  9. bucky52

    bucky52 Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,121
    20
    163
    Apr 26, 2011
    I would say rat tracks.
     
  10. joannefiddler

    joannefiddler Chillin' With My Peeps

    Well, I went out to the coop this morning armed with plastic bags to pick up the rat carcases...of course there were none. The three traps in the pdz filled poop tray just like I left them. No new tracks in the pdz for the first time in several days. But then I looked closely at the three traps on the floor of the coop. One was untouched. The other two had every spec of peanut butter gone, but were not sprung. Great....

    So, I'm thinking I've got mice, not rats. Which I guess is good news. I'm assuming they sat and enjoyed the peanut butter but never put enough pressure on the "trigger" to spring the trap.

    I don't get the pullets until tomorrow, so I think I'll just leave the 3 traps in the poop tray and see what happens overnight.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by