Groundhogs are also known as woodchucks. They look like large rats, and they enjoy eating insects, small reptiles, seeds, berries, and plants.
Groundhogs do not eat meat such as chickens since their diet is primarily plant-based. However, the groundhog can cause a lot of damage to your garden or farm if you don’t have any protection against them.
Groundhogs are rodents, not carnivores.
The groundhog is a mammal native to North America. They are classified as members of the rodent family, and in some cases, they have been considered pests due to their damage to crops, but their diet also includes insects and plants. Groundhogs are not actually related to chipmunks or squirrels; these other types of animals belong in the weasel family.
Groundhogs are commonly seen moving about in yards and fields, as well as along the road. They were named for their tendency to live on ground level. The name “groundhog” comes from the Middle English word “Groundhog,” which itself came from a combination of words that mean “to burrow” and “dog.”
Are Groundhogs Dangerous to Chickens?
Every once in a while, you may hear an alarming news story about how groundhogs are dangerous to chickens. However, there is no scientific evidence that shows this to be true.
Groundhogs are destructive digging animals, but they can be a big problem to chickens. They will dig up the chicken wire that is protecting your hens in order to get at their food source. This can leave your chickens more vulnerable to other predators.
Groundhogs will also steal your chicken feed in your chicken coop and they carry disease.
Stealing Food and Feed
Groundhogs are omnivores that like to eat just about anything. That includes food and feed. So, if you leave some of this stuff lying around, then chances are pretty high that a hungry groundhog could find it.
This means that even though they don’t want to hurt your chickens, they might try to get into your coop and raid your stash of grain.
Parasites and Disease
The second way groundhogs can cause problems with your chickens is through parasites and diseases.
These include things such as roundworms, hookworm, tapeworms, mites, lice, fleas, ticks, etc.
All of which can affect both your chicken’s health and well-being.
If left untreated, some of these conditions can even lead to death.
This is why keeping an eye out for signs of illness among your flock is so important.
What Time Of Day Do Groundhogs Feed?
This question has been asked time and again, and I am sure you’ve seen some pretty interesting answers.
But what does science tell us about this?
Well, according to one study, groundhog activity peaks during early morning hours.
It seems that around sunrise, they start getting up and moving around. And then later in the day, they settle down into their burrows.
Groundhogs love to sunbathe when they are not eating. This allows them to warm up, and they can also rest easy knowing that nothing is going to bother them during this time.
Groundhogs are up during most of the day and sleep at night.
How to Prevent Groundhogs from Getting Near Your Chickens
As you may know, groundhogs are very good diggers. If there is a hole in your fence or any other way for them to get near your chickens, they will take it!
One of the biggest problems that people face when raising chickens is groundhogs. These pesky critters can have a devastating effect on your flock, and they can also ruin your garden. To prevent this from happening, you need to know what attracts groundhogs in the first place so you can eliminate them altogether.
There are several methods you can employ to get rid of groundhogs. However, killing your neighbor’s favorite would not be recommended unless absolutely necessary (for example, if they were a serious pest).
Get Rid of Their Habitat
One way to keep groundhogs away from your chickens is to get rid of their habitat. There are a few ways to do that.
Groundhogs are prey animals and don’t like spending any more time than they have to in open ground. By keeping the grass really short and removing the brush, it makes it harder for them to stay hidden.
Last, try and find their tunnels. Block them with wire and such, anything to make them want to move on to a new home.
The solution for all your groundhog problems is to pour ammonia down their burrow holes. This stops them from wanting to return to the burrow, and actively look elsewhere because of the distinct odor.
You can make an ammonia solution in your home by following a few simple steps. Mix a quarter cup of water, two tablespoons of detergent then add 2 cups of ammonia to create your ammonia solution. Be sure to be careful because ammonia can burn on your skin and eyes, which would be dangerous.
Pour the solution into all the groundhog burrows in your backyard to discourage them from coming back, over several days. The groundhogs should leave after you do that enough times.
The Garlic And Hot Peppers or Black Pepper Method
Another method involves placing garlic cloves around your yard and sprinkling pepper powder into any burrows found.
This works because both garlic and peppers contain chemicals that cause irritation to rodents’ noses. They’ll therefore avoid coming back to those areas again.
Be sure to do this every day until all the groundhogs have left.
The Lime Technique
Lime is another effective method used to keep groundhogs at bay.
Simply sprinkle the lime powder into the soil surrounding the hole, and cover it up again.
The reason that this works is because the lime burns the groundhog’s feet when they enter or exit their burrows. Eventually, the groundhogs decide that they had enough and they leave to find a new suitable home. Hopefully somewhere other than your property.
With predators like raptors, foxes, and coyotes, it is important to protect your chickens. Guard Animals are great for protecting chickens from predation by being alert of possible dangers and deterring them with their presence or intimidating behavior.
Groundhogs are tricky to get rid of. However, there is a way that will give you your garden back and allow you to protect your chickens: trapping the groundhog. There are two types of traps you can use, live traps and lethal traps. Live traps work by closing the door when a groundhog walks inside. Lethal traps kill the groundhog when it enters by crushing it with a metal mechanism.
I recommend using live traps as they are more humane than their counterpart and have a lower chance of killing an animal other than the groundhog such as a neighbor’s cat. To lure the groundhog into the trap, use either strawberries, vegetables, or any sweet fruit. Once one is trapped, release it at least 10 miles away in the woods.
If you are looking for a trap to use, the Havahart Groundhog Cage Trap is a humane way to trap and remove groundhogs from your property. The cage trap contains two spring-loaded doors that instantly trap any groundhogs as soon as they enter the cage. It also features an easy-to-open door for quick release and relocation of captured animals. It is designed to last, and if maintained correctly, should last you for years to come.
Trapping groundhogs and exterminating them is a legal option since the law states that animals are permitted to be killed if they’re damaging or destroying personal property. Groundhogs can qualify as animals if they’re causing damage or have the potential of doing so.
Do Groundhogs Eat Chicken Eggs?
Groundhogs are not looking to eat chicken’s eggs as their main food source is plants and vegetation. They also eat some animal-based foods which include small insects. The only time they will eat more animal-based food would be when they eat small bird eggs on rare occasions.
Groundhogs are a pest that can have a devastating effect on your flock of chickens. They will eat your chicken food and they carry diseases. However, there are various ways in which you can deter these critters from coming near your chickens by making them want to move their burrow. You can also take the time to set up lethal traps.