what's that digging in my barn?

Mojo Chick'n

Empress of Chickenville
11 Years
Mar 8, 2008
Republic of Chickenville
Ok, I went out to feed calves this morning, and I have two big mounds of dirt in the barn. I keep grain (some in an old freezer, some in trash cans) and hay in there.

The mounds of dirt are from about the size of a football - to the size of a bowling ball. Much more than I would think mice would make (I do have mice out there).

it has been colder here, and I think that something has decided that my barn would be a good place to overwinter.

I have not seen anything large in there - except a possum that I killed a month or so ago. I don't see any holes, but they may be under the hay (one of the mounds is right next to the hay).

I thought perhaps rats, but no evidence yet of rats, other than the mounds of dirt (do they mound or just make holes?).

I also thought maybe skunk, but no smell at all.

We have tons of rabbits this year, but I doubt they would be brave enough to dig in the barn.

If it is something I need to worry about with the chickens/ducks, or the calves, I want to nip it in the bud.

any clues as to what the new tenant might be?

I can get pics of the mound, if needed.

eta --- Oh, just had a thought... maybe a groundhog? we had one up by the other barn that came right into the barn and bumped into my step dad's leg before it even bothered to look up
then it just walked on out of the barn, unconcerned that it had a human nearby.

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Spinds like rats to me. They will mound the dirt as they are digging their runs. I thought groundhog at first but I would think much more dirt would be piles outside a pretty large hole.
but... but... I don't want rats!!!

when I was a kid we had rats on this one farm we lived at - OMG!! so creepy and nasty.

the one mound is right next to the hay, there may be a hole under the edge of the hay pile - I am hoping for groundhog.

I may be able to help if you post some pics.

I trapped a rat along the outside of my coop that was the size of a fox squirrel. It weighted about 3-5 lbs.

Funny thing is, the coop wasn't housing chickens at the time.
Me too, I'm guessing that a groundhog wants to connect to a den already in existence and have access to your barn in winter OR a wood rat, which we once had under one end of a concrete slab until the feral cats harried it, and it left.



I'd stake out the coop or sprinkle flour or stable powder around the dig site to get clues...

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