July 8, 2009 5:50 PM   Subscribe

What animal has made a den in my barn?

In the last couple of days some kind of animal has made a rather large tunnel from the outside of my barn into the interior of it. I went in today to get our mower and heard what sounded like little pups in this giant hole in our barn.

Pictures of the den here:

We're located in southern indiana. My wife seems to think it's a fox. For a week or so prior to this we've had a problem with animals getting into our garbage. I don't know if that's helpful or not.

What is this animal in my barn and should I be helping it?
posted by tylerfulltilt to Pets & Animals (11 answers total)
scatter some dust or flour outside the hole and see if you can get a pawprint?
posted by The otter lady at 5:54 PM on July 8, 2009 [1 favorite]

I think it's probably either a woodchuck or a rabbit. The first two photos (from the left) look like a fox could fit through, but the hole in the last photo looks too small for a fox.
posted by Jaltcoh at 6:08 PM on July 8, 2009

It looks like a groundhog hole to me. But this is probably only because I've got a groundhog hole, not because I have any particular knowledge about what different animals' holes look like.
posted by Flunkie at 6:09 PM on July 8, 2009

I would doubt a fox, they are a bit elusive, probably wouldn't den in a barn..

I suspect woodchuck..
posted by HuronBob at 6:36 PM on July 8, 2009

What is this animal in my barn and should I be helping it?

Another vote for woodchuck. Help it? You should assume all unknown mammals you bump into have rabies. Although woodchucks will try really hard to get away rather than fight, they can get toothy when cornered. Raccoons are even nastier, and I'm pretty sure you don't want to trap your own skunk.

Even they may be cute, there is a reason they are called "pests" when they invade your home. Engage an experienced trapper to get rid of the pest. Some municipalities have animal control services, sometimes you have to hire a pro; a fee of $100-200 wouldn't surprise me. They may tell you they will repatriate it to live in harmony with Bambi and friends, they are almost certainly lying and will likely euthanize it. The alternative is to make your pest someone else's pest and that's not too neighborly.

I live in the woods and have had a number of animal extractions, fortunately no skunks yet.

posted by fydfyd at 8:01 PM on July 8, 2009 [1 favorite]

Don't rule this out ... but I once found evidence of an animal that had finagled a way into my shed. At first, I thought, "Aww, a cute widdle squirrel ate my grass seed."

Then two weeks later I saw a pair of rats eating from the neighbor's bird feeder.

I live in the woods. Lots of owls around. Still ... rats.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 9:07 PM on July 8, 2009

You don't happen to have a good place to rig a webcam nearby? I figure it will be OK if you can just keep the rain away.
posted by Ingenting at 1:47 AM on July 9, 2009

As an old Maryland farm boy I'd look at that hole and say it's undoubtedly a groundhog.
posted by imjustsaying at 4:07 AM on July 9, 2009

Fox dens stink like a skunk. Foxes are also not likely to den up that close to people.
posted by Pollomacho at 4:54 AM on July 9, 2009

Old New York farm girl also says woodchuck.
posted by jgirl at 4:56 AM on July 9, 2009

posted by Guy_Inamonkeysuit at 7:43 AM on July 9, 2009

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