Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Squirrelly Squirrel

Normally, I enjoy the animals that live around us out here in the countryside. There are the exceptions, the animals that kill our chickens or eat their eggs before we can collect them--raccoons, fox, possums, the 6-foot-long black snake, not to mention the occasional rat in the nest box or feeder. But they only bother me when they're actually in "chicken territory."

We have some bird feeders and a bird bath on our back deck, and I've only seen a squirrel there a couple times eating bird seed, so that doesn't bother me, either.

But this was too much:

I had noticed over the last couple weeks that the lid handles were being gnawed on, and wasn't sure if the culprit was a rat or a squirrel. And one day I surprised a squirrel who'd been eating the hens' feed from inside their hanging feeders, so I pretty much figured it was the same one chewing on the plastic garbage can. The one holding the scratch grain, mind you, which includes a lot of corn--not the one holding the layer mash. We all know how much squirrels love corn.

I know, you're thinking, that's not a lot of damage showing in that first picture. Hah! Just a few days later:

So, while we thought the "hav-a-heart" trap we own was too small to catch the fox that's been killing our hens, it was not too large to set for the squirrel (and as I now see from looking it up online, ours is designed for "raccoons, stray cats and woodchucks," so it's got to be large enough for a fox, too). We were actually concerned that it might not get tripped by the squirrel. But never fear:

Eddie removed the damaged garbage can from the coop and put it in his workshop and set the trap inside the coop in its place. It worked.
I can't say what happened next. I'll just quote Shaggy: "It wasn't me." And we still haven't figured out how to get rid of the fox, though I did get a book from the library called The Trapper's Bible: Traps, Snares and Pathguards. Looks really interesting. :)

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