Saturday, December 15, 2012

Saturday Varmints

This week I trapped a fat red squirrel in my chicken coop.  He has been gorging himself on the pellets in the feeder when the flock has been out grazing.

I transported him in the trap up to the big field with the apple trees, out in the middle of nowhere.

About a mile from the designated re-homing place, the trap tipped over and Mr Fatso zoomed out and ran across my dashboard as I was driving. Mavis made a few quick grabs at him every time he ran to her side of the dashboard, but didn't get him.

I pulled over, opened my door and got out of the vehicle, hoping he would exit.

After 20 minutes of standing, with Mavis out in the middle of the field, watching my truck 50 feet away, I guessed he "must of" gotten out.  I climbed back in and headed home.

On the way, I heard the unmistakable sound of a squirrel stuck up inside the dashboard.
I just can not believe my rotten luck.

When I pulled into my driveway, it resembled a fire drill. Windows down, hatchback opened. Mavis and I jumped out quickly and got away from the vehicle as fast as possible.

I had the doors opened for a few seconds but then the hens jumped in and I had to shut the doors!

We ran into the house (Mavis and I...NOT the hens..) and took up our posts at the window so we would know when the rodent got out of my vehicle, and waited.    And waited.   And waited.

55 minutes later, this happened:

 I thought for sure he would make a quick exit, but noooooooo..... he went BACK IN!!!

For another 30 minutes he ran across my dashboard, visited the back seat (I hid the graham crackers!) and went to the far back and ran across my snow shovel several times.

It was getting darker and later.  The flock was already heading to the coop.   I didn't want the squirky squirrel camping out in my vehicle over night. 

Finally he danced across the arm rests a few more times, ran through the steering wheel and ventured to the passenger side window and stood there for what seemed like 15 long minutes.


I went outside and wiped all the smelly squirrel pee from my dashboard, armrests, door and seat.

Luckily he did not eat (or pee on) my paperwork for my job interview, my favorite livestock disease book or the Christmas card from my friend.     Mavis sniffed every inch of the vehicle and gave her seal of approval that he was gone.

I took the little trap and reset it back on the shelf in the coop.

You think this is the end of Mr Fatso's story ?


TODAY, I come home from my errands and hear the unmistakable sound of something jiggling the trap in the coop.    I was both excited that I had caught another food robber and dismayed that there seems to be no end to the large population of uninvited coop visitors.

When I stepped into the coop  I recognized Mr Fatso Peewee.

I carefully carried the trap outside and then I took a mug shot of the #1 Most Wanted Varmint this side of Burlington.   He obliged.

Because he smiled at me I took him to a really nice hidden pond where there are apple trees and acorns  nearby.       He can set up housekeeping in this little area of Paradise.  There is a beaver family, lots of deer and 2 dozen geese to keep him entertained.

The ironic part of this entire thing is that I had not baited the trap when I had reset it.   He walked into it for no reason.

I hope this is the last rodent that insists on coming into the coop to feast on expensive layer pellets.

How about you ?  Are you removing coop pests from your coops and barns?

What do you do with them, once you trap them ?

What is the MOST you have ever trapped in a week, month or 3 month or 6 month period?

I once trapped 18 chipmunks in a week.   They were eating my double netted strawberry plants.

I often wish there were tiny birth control pills I could put in peanuts or sunflower seeds.

Got any other ideas ?


  1. Thanks so much for sharing that story, I can only imagine knowing he is the truck and trying to get home. I would have been scared to death he would come out of the dash.

  2. I caught my dog today in the chicken pen, eating eggs... She got into the chicken yard through a gap in the fence and couldn't get back into the back yard. She's had cockleburrs in her coat the last couple of days. Now I know why! Patched up that gap right quick.

  3. SOOOO funny! Exasperating, I know, but still funny. Sorry. :-) I have no ideas at all about what you should do.

  4. Knock wood, have not had pests except for mice. I suspect the hens take care of them during the day, but they have free run after dark.

    I know this is a problem for many coop owners who feed free choice (as I do). They've had various sized entry doors, even just popholes, and the birds, etc. just go right in.

    One owner invested in this:,r:13,s:0,i:129&tx=194&ty=64

    Ideally, for chicken health, one would not feed more than the hens could clean up in 20 mins. morning and night. Always make sure that this amount is also the amount they need each day.

    Our experience has been that free choice leads to fat hens at slaughtering time, not a good thing. It also stops laying. But we still free choice, silly, huh?

  5. no ideas...sorry. .thank you for sharing at the Thursday Favorite Things Hop xo

  6. Boy! When you think you have problems it's always good to hear that you are not the only one. (Sorry I couldn't help but laugh a little, that is a really good story.) I'm impressed that you caught the rotter (twice) and that you were patient enough to kindly relocate him/her. You did good. When I had chickens I couldn't afford to feed free choice so they got a limited amount each day. In the summer they had free run of the yard during the day and locked up at night with no feed. But then we never had squirrels, our problem was more like things killing hens in the coop not just eating their feed.

  7. Okay, since you had this experience, you should really be able to appreciate this one! LOL