Groundhogs and chickens

dirtgirldiana1(5)September 24, 2008

The area I'm building my fenced run for my chickens (coming this spring) has a groundhog hole in it. I figure I'd fill it in with rocks and cement. But this brings me to a question..will a groundhog tunnel under the fence to get to chickens?

I plan on burying part of the fence and putting railroad ties around it to help secure it..but I'm worried about groundhogs. I do see a lot of them around here. Are they a huge threat to chickens?


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Hi DirtGirlDiana1,

Please don't kill the groundhogs. They are vegan. They do compete for the same 'greens' your girls will be after. If they become a problem just trap them and move them outside of your run. You can treat them as part of the family-leaving them treats (apples-pears-carrots) all the things your girls love too. Put a chair out near their hole and set-n-watch quietly. After a while they won't even notice your there, you'll have a chance to watch them do all the things woodchucks do. Such a gift that can't be purchased(even with your MC or Visa)! Keep on Chick'en. Visit my website and see my feathered friends.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2008 at 11:45AM
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velvet_sparrow(Zone 5b, Gardnerville, NV)

I didn't see any reference to groundhogs killing poultry, but BADGERS sure do! Make sure of what you've got, there. :) Also, make sure that other, opportunistic poultry killers won't use the groundhogs' tunnel.

While groundhogs are herbivores, I have no idea how territorial they are (would they attack the chickens if they felt threatened?) or if they can and do carry parasites (such as round worms or other ascarids) and disease that could harm your flock. To be on the safe side I'd try and exclude them from your birds as much as possible.

Watching groundhogs DOES sound seriously cool, though. :)

Velvet ~:>

    Bookmark   September 25, 2008 at 12:51AM
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We have one family of groundhogs with tunnels under all our buildings, including the front porch and chicken house. We closed up all the ones into the chicken yard and under the chicken houses but they managed to reopen one of the ones outside the chicken yard. They mosty live under the garage, so we leave them alone.

We are hoping their presence living under the buildings will discourage other chicken eaters, from coming. I'm hoping they are a bit territorial about their tunnels. The chickens aren't near the tunnel under their houses so it's not a threat to them. These are very large groundhogs too, not something another small animal would mess with. There are so many other small animals in this area that do eat chickens, i.e. racoons, skunks, weasels, mink, etc. etc. and I've seen them around.

We like to watch them sun themselves on the wood pile. They are so beautiful!

    Bookmark   September 25, 2008 at 4:54AM
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organic_flutterby(5 MO)

Can you guys post a picture, I'd love to see one (of a groundhog, I've seen a chicken, lol)

    Bookmark   September 25, 2008 at 8:35AM
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