what's digging into my coop???

dlz2355

Hatching
7 Years
Nov 18, 2012
2
0
7
i don't know where else to go with this question, so hopefully someone has an idea for me. i live in the suburbs of philly and keep my six chickens in a coop surrounded by a 6'x10' chainlink kennel. after a run in with some coyotes over the summer, i wrapped the entire bottom two feet of the kennel with hardware cloth, as well as the ground surrounding, two feet out. i thought i had all predators stumped, but this morning i found hole, inside the run, about 3" in diameter. i searched the area around the outside of the kennel and found the exit hole four feet away, also about 3" in diameter. it's mid november and cold, so i don't think it's a snake. i don't smell any skunk odors and my chickens are unharmed, for now. i don't think a rabbit would purposefully burrow into my chicken run, and the holes seem too small for a groundhog. i'm baffled. does anyone have any ideas of what might be doing this?
 

jenifry

Songster
7 Years
Jun 26, 2012
236
35
108
South Dakota
Weasel? They are diggers.

Dad had one burrow under the chicken coop and take the heads off of more than a handful of hens in one night. Didn't take the carcass, just ate the heads. The bodies were all over by the hole, and the weasel must not have been able to drag them into the tunnel it dug.
 

Lupa Duende

Chirping
7 Years
Sep 7, 2012
102
4
69
we have ermines up here in Quebec.
They are powerful little buggers.
my husband actually screamed as the cute little garden bunny was taken by surprise, she managed to drag the dead rabbit into her deathly lair....
aside from DH's squeak, this ermine (in the mustelid family also) must have been female
females will drag the bodies back to feed their young. usually they just suck the preys' blood.
 

Rustywreck

Songster
11 Years
Sep 5, 2008
190
11
121
Solon Springs, Wisconsin
given the size of the hole you mentioned I'd be thinking something larger, such as a raccoon or yote. I'm not sure you would smell a skunk unless it sprayed you don't count them out either.
raccoons have been my nemesis so I automatically think they are responsible for everything bad in my chicken/turkey world.
 

dacdeihl

Songster
10 Years
Sep 24, 2009
238
2
111
NorthEast, In
Probably a weasel but rats also dig that size hole. Did you burry any fence? Might need to do that if you hens survive this attack in the spring. Right now I would research natural oder deterants. Coyote urine works for many animals and will not come near this scent. You can find it online at many stores.
 

spangledcornish

Songster
10 Years
Nov 4, 2009
197
35
166
Southwest, WI
I would almost put money on a rat hole. They are good tunnelers and will eat the chicken feed and water. since you have not had problems with the birds that would be my best guess
 

Rustywreck

Songster
11 Years
Sep 5, 2008
190
11
121
Solon Springs, Wisconsin
given the size of the hole you mentioned I'd be thinking something larger, such as a raccoon or yote. I'm not sure you would smell a skunk unless it sprayed you don't count them out either.
raccoons have been my nemesis so I automatically think they are responsible for everything bad in my chicken/turkey world.
I need one step stronger reading glasses. I thought the original post said a 3 foot diameter hole, but see now that it says 3 inch.
 

3forfree

Songster
11 Years
Mar 17, 2010
984
30
204
essexville, michigan
I raised pigeons a long time ago and had a weasel chew through the door of the coop. the hole was only about an inch in diameter. As jenifry mentioned, all they ate was the heads, left a heck of a mess behind.
 

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