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Ground Squirrels are stealing our eggs! Help! [View All]

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OnionPatch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-16-08 09:22 AM
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Ground Squirrels are stealing our eggs! Help!
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We've lost chickens to coyotes, bobcats and even a bear who ripped the door off the coop. And we've been able to remedy the situation each time. But this one has me stumped. At first I thought the chickens were hiding their eggs. Then, when this was proven not to be the case, I thought they were eating their own eggs. Then I caught the little rodents in the nest box, breaking and eating the eggs! On some days I don't get a single egg and I have 6 hens!

My chickens houses are wooden coops inside a totally enclosed, 12x12 heavy-duty, chain-link cage. (Bear-proof.) Each day I open it up and let them roam free on a fenced-in half-acre pasture. They return to the coop to lay their eggs. If I make the pen/coops squirrel-proof, the chickens won't be able to get in to lay their eggs. If I lock the chickens into the pen always, they won't be able to free-range and that's the whole reason I have chickens. Without access to free-range, their eggs are no better than what I can get at the grocery store, so what's the point?

I tried rat traps and caught one squirrel (I closed off one nest box from the chickens but left enough space for the squirrels to get in.) But now they're too smart and won't get near the traps. We removed a wood pile that was close to the coop, filled in and used smoke bombs in all the squirrel holes we can find but still, they persist. My husband even shot a couple of them, but apparently, not enough and he doesn't have the time to sit out back shooting squirrels all day. I tried mixing hot pepper into a few eggs and putting them back in the shells but they ate those like they were candy. We're starting to get desperate enough to try poison, but are concerned about the neighbor's dog perhaps finding and eating a poisoned squirrel.

Is this it? Did I win over the bobcats and bears only to be defeated by a dray of ground squirrels? :banghead:
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  -Ground Squirrels are stealing our eggs! Help! OnionPatch  Aug-16-08 09:22 AM   #0 
  - By "ground squirrels" do you mean chipmunks?  underpants   Aug-16-08 09:25 AM   #1 
  - No, not chipmunks. California Ground Squirrels  OnionPatch   Aug-16-08 09:43 AM   #5 
  - We have these in Texas too. Do they make holes like praire dogs?  efhmc   Jan-21-09 06:08 PM   #51 
  - Yeah, we originally thought they were cute too  doodadem   Apr-10-09 05:45 PM   #56 
  - I forgot to mention, they ate half my corn patch, too!  OnionPatch   Aug-16-08 10:11 AM   #16 
  - Nuke the bastards, is my advice.  Old Crusoe   Aug-16-08 09:27 AM   #2 
  - I'd be happy to nuke them.  OnionPatch   Aug-16-08 09:54 AM   #8 
     - Yep. Attractive as the nuclear option is, better check local  Old Crusoe   Aug-16-08 09:57 AM   #10 
     - Endurance, I don't know.....  OnionPatch   Aug-16-08 10:06 AM   #13 
     - I wish I had a useful suggestion that would help, but you would  Old Crusoe   Aug-16-08 10:12 AM   #17 
     - The California Ground Squirrel is a pest, and may be removed at will  Grinchie   Jan-01-09 05:34 AM   #45 
     - We set out live traps around our house when we had squirrels trying  jwirr   Aug-24-08 04:12 PM   #40 
  - Can you make the coops, so the chicken has to fly into them?  bahrbearian   Aug-16-08 09:35 AM   #3 
  - Hmmm, that's a thought.  OnionPatch   Aug-16-08 09:47 AM   #6 
     - Its not really flying its more like flapping and jumping  bahrbearian   Aug-16-08 09:50 AM   #7 
     - This is a possibility.  OnionPatch   Aug-16-08 10:01 AM   #12 
     - Chickens fly very well when they need to.  Grinchie   Jan-01-09 05:40 AM   #46 
  - I have no advice  trixie   Aug-16-08 09:43 AM   #4 
  - Do you have a link? I could use some squirrel humor about now.  OnionPatch   Aug-16-08 09:55 AM   #9 
     - here ya go  trixie   Aug-16-08 04:00 PM   #30 
  - couple of places to ask  JoeIsOneOfUs   Aug-16-08 09:59 AM   #11 
  - Wow, thanks for all the great links!  OnionPatch   Aug-16-08 10:08 AM   #14 
  - I am against poisons of any sort.  Grinchie   Jan-01-09 05:45 AM   #47 
  - I'd suggest squirrel proofing the coops  Warpy   Aug-16-08 10:10 AM   #15 
  - That's a thought. But they seem to lay all throughout the day.  OnionPatch   Aug-16-08 10:14 AM   #18 
     - That's all you can do  Warpy   Aug-16-08 10:46 AM   #23 
     - Funny you should mention this  Grinchie   Jan-01-09 05:52 AM   #48 
  - i had dogs and geese  madrchsod   Aug-16-08 10:14 AM   #19 
  - I had thought about geese.  OnionPatch   Aug-16-08 10:34 AM   #22 
  - LOL Sorry for laughing  NV Whino   Aug-16-08 10:18 AM   #20 
  - You have to be in California!  OnionPatch   Aug-16-08 10:31 AM   #21 
  - Yep  NV Whino   Aug-16-08 11:28 AM   #25 
  - Yup...have those guys too!  doodadem   Apr-10-09 05:53 PM   #57 
  - A hungry barn cat should solve your problem.  bvar22   Aug-16-08 11:17 AM   #24 
  - That would work somewhere else.  OnionPatch   Aug-16-08 12:34 PM   #27 
  - Well, that's where the Porch Dog comes in.  bvar22   Aug-16-08 03:25 PM   #29 
  - Lol, she's cute!  OnionPatch   Aug-16-08 11:10 PM   # 
     - We love our "Mother",  bvar22   Aug-17-08 04:45 PM   #34 
     - I saw those pictures.  OnionPatch   Aug-17-08 05:16 PM   #35 
     - WOW. That is an EXTREME and unusual case.  bvar22   Aug-18-08 11:20 AM   #38 
        - I'm glad to hear it's not always that bad.  OnionPatch   Aug-18-08 04:25 PM   #39 
     - about chiggers..... ever tried the old sock filled with sulfur powder?  flying_wahini   Jan-11-09 06:45 PM   #50 
     - Guineas can be very loud and raucus  Grinchie   Jan-01-09 05:55 AM   #49 
  - get more than one  Kare   Feb-16-09 06:15 AM   #53 
  - Our 5 barn cats are great  doodadem   Apr-10-09 06:03 PM   #58 
  - here's an article that might give you a laugh  JoeIsOneOfUs   Aug-16-08 12:12 PM   #26 
  - That was great!  OnionPatch   Aug-16-08 12:43 PM   #28 
  - Well, after reading this entire thread  hippywife   Aug-16-08 08:18 PM   #31 
  - Oops, I messed up and replied in your linked thread  OnionPatch   Aug-16-08 11:58 PM   #33 
  - ## PLEASE DONATE TO DEMOCRATIC UNDERGROUND! ##  DU GrovelBot   Aug-16-08 11:10 PM   #32 
  - I have the same problem with packrats.  LWolf   Aug-17-08 05:38 PM   #36 
  - Snakes will also eat the eggs  newfie11   Aug-18-08 07:36 AM   #37 
  - I have a new egg thief this week.  LWolf   Aug-24-08 05:38 PM   #41 
  - Oh no!  OnionPatch   Sep-05-08 10:01 PM   #42 
     - I'm not sure who's "around."  LWolf   Sep-06-08 02:06 PM   #43 
  - I recomend a 22 caliber rifle or a 12 gauge shotgun.  Grinchie   Nov-04-08 06:04 PM   #44 
  - Is this meant to be...  HAARP   Feb-10-09 06:24 PM   #52 
  - I have squirrels in my garden and I finally figured it out....!  flying_wahini   Mar-03-09 10:33 PM   #54 
  - Where are you growing your Bananas?  Grinchie   Mar-05-09 02:25 AM   #55 
     - I grow bananas in The Woodlands  flying_wahini   Apr-29-09 11:42 AM   #59 
  - Got a pair of red foxes that keep the squirrel population down around here pretty good  NNN0LHI   May-05-09 01:24 PM   #60 
  - I have a THEORY. Try red pepper flakes.  Lefty48197   Nov-09-09 02:30 PM   #61 

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