What's Digging and What to Do?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by TaraontheCoast, Nov 18, 2019.

  1. TaraontheCoast

    TaraontheCoast Songster

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    Apr 13, 2010
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    I live in relatively urban Oakland, CA, and something is tunneling under my coop. My chickens are safe as I have hardware cloth lining and tenting the coop, but the tunnels are causing all my sand coop flooring to fall in, exposing more and more of the wire to my hens feet.

    What are my options here? I don't want to just keep buying sand because I'm guessing they'll just keep tunneling and wasting the sand as it falls into the holes. Do I have to add an actual floor to my coop? I need to move it eventually so adding a floor might give me a good excuse to move the coop and solidify my set up.

    Pictures:
    IMG_20191118_135336.jpg
    IMG_20191118_135345.jpg

    IMG_20191118_135354.jpg
     
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  2. NatJ

    NatJ Songster

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    I don't know what's digging, but I sure am glad you have that wire floor!
     
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  3. Howard E

    Howard E Crowing

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    Best guess? Rats......
     
  4. TaraontheCoast

    TaraontheCoast Songster

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    Oakland, CA
    Rats is very, very possible. We had them living under a shed we had in the yard and eventually tore down.

    I could actually move the coop onto a concrete slab. Now, rats still probably live UNDER the slab, but obviously nothing could dig up into it if I make sure the bottom of the coop is secure/flush with the slab.
     
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  5. Howard E

    Howard E Crowing

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    I'd say it is safe to say your area has been heavily inoculated with rats, so the least little miscue and they will arrive in droves. Feed spilt by the birds would be a major attractant.

    If you can find the time to study the nature of the problem, solution would be found in here somewhere....

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/rat-control-the-video-series.1337456/

    Exclusion has to be a 3D effort......floor, walls, roof. The hardware cloth on the floor is functioning to keep them out, but they appear to be thriving nicely beneath it. So moving the coop over a cement slab will help keep them out, and apart from spilt feed. When it comes to rats, a cement floor is always the best choice. And metal is your friend when it comes to walls and roofs. They can't chew through metal. Hardware cloth is of course, metal.

    But long term, you will need to get on top of the feed issue to begin starving rats out (sanitation). Feed stored in metal containers, feed only what the birds will eat and clean up......or use rat proof feeders, etc. Limit access to food and you may starve them out and they will move on.

    And if those two fail.........be open to using poison bait blocks......served up from secure bait stations. There are many types.....each with it's own effectiveness and risk factor.

    Good luck!
     
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  6. HomesteaderWife

    HomesteaderWife Crowing

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    A wild shot but we have alot of armadillo digs and occasionally gopher/mole tunnels
     
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  7. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

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    My Coop
    My guess would be rats. If you have a camera, put it up then you will know.
    This is a good camera. The only drawback is that it takes the tiny micro SD card. Here we have mostly coyotes. Most nights I see them on at least one of my cameras.
    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07CGMQRWP/?tag=backy-20
    DSCF00081112 04.jpg
     
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  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    My Coop
    Any idea where the tunnels start, outside the coop/run area?
     
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  9. penny1960

    penny1960 Yippy Do Da, Yipptye Ay!

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    if you pour concrete lay hardware cloth around under it fold and staple to the coop walls
    need to get all bases covered
     
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