Squirrels

Discussion in 'Parasites, Pests, & Predators' started by MadDojah, Sep 2, 2020.

  1. MadDojah

    MadDojah Member

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    Hello
    Here is our run and coop. We originally laid hardware cloth 4 feet out from the side of the run and put cinderblocks and dirt on top, hoping to keep predators out. But, now we are fighting squirrels daily. They’re digging tunnels anywhere they can and have tried every square inch. We fill them as they come and they aren’t able to get back through, so they make a new one. We plan on laying a thick layer of sand and paving stone around the entire thing. But, do you guys have any suggestions in the meantime? IMG_2621.jpg
     
  2. robin416

    robin416 Administrator Staff Member

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    You have some species of burrowing squirrel?

    The only thing I could suggest is burying the wire straight down in the ground. Or closer to the surface next to the run and have it go deeper the further away from the run it gets.

    I thought for a moment about hotwire but it looks like you're in a dry climate, hotwire doesn't work well when it's dry. And it would have to be configured in a way that would zap them further from the coop but also so they couldn't jump over it.
     
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  3. Poultry Judge

    Poultry Judge Moderator Staff Member

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    You could try what they call "rabbit proof fence" which is buried vertically. They are relentless, I've had squirrels eat through tin.
     
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  4. MarkSmith

    MarkSmith Member

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    Squirrelinator Live trap.

    Digger Squirrels eat eggs too. Not just feed
     
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  5. MadDojah

    MadDojah Member

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    Oh no!! Good to know. My girls aren’t laying yet, so I better get this figured out now. I swear these squirrels have to be the dumbest in the whole desert too. I’ll chase them to the open door of the run and they still can’t figure out how to get out.

    Saw one of the traps at my local hardware store!! Definitely going to purchase one. If I put it inside are the chickens able to harm themselves on it? Or should I put it outside and hope they go for it? The makers of the trap make it seem like I’ll have 100 in the first day, so hopefully they’re actually that drawn to it.
     
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  6. MarkSmith

    MarkSmith Member

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    They don’t have any moving parts to hurt chickens. Mine was baited with 5 grain scratch. After a day or so the chickens quit trying to figure how to get to the scratch.
     
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  7. MarkSmith

    MarkSmith Member

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    Most I’ve caught at one time was 4. Typically singles. Half dozen doubles.

    If/when you dispatch them, be sure to clean blood from trap. Some reason it turns them away.
     
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  8. robin416

    robin416 Administrator Staff Member

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    I've had that happen when a squirrel gets trapped in my pen. I'll go in, leave the door open but they get themselves so revved up they never notice the open door.
     
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  9. MadDojah

    MadDojah Member

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    Exactly!! It’s like they freak out so bad, that they tire themselves out and then all sense is lost. They also start digging like crazy and getting themselves stuck everywhere. It’s probably hilarious to watch, but it’s so frustrating getting these guys out.
     
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  10. MadDojah

    MadDojah Member

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    Good tip! It’s like a warning to the others. Thanks so much for the help. Does it kill every one that goes in or do you also have to release live ones?
     
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  11. robin416

    robin416 Administrator Staff Member

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    At least mine don't try to tunnel. They go high and bounce off surfaces. One that got trapped was so tired he rested on the top of the door until I moved towards him. And to add to the excitement, my nine year old Hamburg hen gets irritated with all the wild bouncing around and goes after them.
     
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  12. Overmountain1

    Overmountain1 Active Member

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    This is the ONLY thing that makes me happy about not having trees in our yard, or at least nowhere near the house. Otherwise I hate it bc I love trees. But I do not love squirrels, thank you for the warning bc it wouldn’t have crossed my mind. I don’t get too many usually- except for burying acorns in all my landscaping anyway... I had no idea they were so nuts about the chicken feed but I guess that makes sense. Anyway- thanks for the heads up and recommendation!
    So far our issue has been wood rats, when we have seen anything messing. the Hubbs shot one, I found one dead in the grass randomly, and we spotted another once. Haven’t seen them since we put out the rat poison... and I hate using it. Truly. But we tried traps and they weren’t even having it. Too smart I guess? So, chicken proofed poison stations, they can’t get to them or in them if they did. I don’t like it. But it seems to be working.
     
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  13. robin416

    robin416 Administrator Staff Member

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    Glad to read the bait is working for you. I've used it for years without incident. Anymore it does appear that the rodents have gotten pretty smart about traps. I'm beginning to think they're passing that information down to the next generation.
     
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  14. MadDojah

    MadDojah Member

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    My girls done even care they’re just like, “Oh! Hello! Back for our food I see.” I almost wish they would chase them out. My two dogs think they are helping, but make the situation much harder, seeing as they’re on the outside chasing back in. Lol the tunneling is so annoying! You’re lucky.
     
  15. MadDojah

    MadDojah Member

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    See, I’m a sucker for trees! I love them and have already struggled with the squirrels eating my fruits and getting into my greenhouse before. These things are my nemesis!!

    Haven’t dealt with rats in the coop, however, we have to constantly move our vehicles around the lot because they get in and chew the wire harness and make nests in all of the engines! It’s so frustrating. I hate to kill living creatures if it’s not necessary, however these have become such a problem, I think that’s where we’re headed.
     
  16. robin416

    robin416 Administrator Staff Member

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    She doesn't mind until I walk up and the squirrel gets all jazzed up. Then it's on. I'm trying to get it out but she's hot on it's heels letting the thing know how displeased she is.