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what's that digging in my barn?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Mojo Chick'n, Oct 3, 2009.

  1. Mojo Chick'n

    Mojo Chick'n Empress 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 [​IMG] then it just walked on out of the barn, unconcerned that it had a human nearby.

    meri
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2009
  2. beckt

    beckt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 11, 2007
    Indiana
    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.
     
  3. wildorchid053

    wildorchid053 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 12, 2009
    syracuse area, ny
    sounds like a woodchuck.. we have them here.. maybe ground hogs are the same thing?
     
  4. Mojo Chick'n

    Mojo Chick'n Empress of Chickenville

    Quote:yep, same thing.
     
  5. Mojo Chick'n

    Mojo Chick'n Empress of Chickenville

    Quote:but... but... I don't want rats!!! [​IMG]

    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.

    meri
     
  6. BantyRooster

    BantyRooster Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 14, 2009
    Michigan
    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.
     
  7. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    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.

    http://icwdm.org/handbook/rodents/Woodrats.asp

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Groundhog

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

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