After finding a few scattered eggshells in my backyard, I couldn’t help but wonder if the groundhogs living nearby were responsible for the mess.
As a backyard owner and lover of nature, I decided to do some research on whether groundhogs eat eggs.
In this blog post, I will share my findings with you, including when, how, and why groundhogs might eat eggs and the implications for backyard owners like myself.
Introduction: The Culprit Revealed
The answer to the question “Do groundhogs eat eggs?” is a resounding yes! Groundhogs, also known as woodchucks, are primarily herbivores, but they can and do eat eggs.
However, it’s important to note that they don’t rely on eggs as a main food source.
That said, let’s dive into the details of when, how, how often, and why groundhogs eat eggs.
When Do Groundhogs Eat Eggs?
Groundhogs are active during the day, especially in the early morning and late afternoon. This is when they are most likely to search for food.
If they happen to come across an unattended nest with eggs, they might take the opportunity to have a little feast.
How Do Groundhogs Eat Eggs?
Groundhogs have strong teeth and claws, which they use to break open the eggshells.
They’ll then lap up the contents of the egg, leaving behind shattered eggshells.
This is a common sign that a groundhog has been eating eggs in your backyard.
How Often Do Groundhogs Eat Eggs?
As mentioned earlier, groundhogs are primarily herbivores. Their diet consists mostly of grasses, plants, and other vegetation.
While they will eat eggs if they come across them, it’s not a regular part of their diet. It’s more of an occasional treat for them, rather than a staple food source.
Why Do Groundhogs Eat Eggs?
Groundhogs eat eggs as a source of protein and nutrients.
Although their main food source is plant-based, they can benefit from the occasional protein-rich snack.
Eggs are an easy and accessible source of protein, especially for groundhogs that live in close proximity to human settlements where bird nests can be found.
Implications for Backyard Owners
As a backyard owner, it’s essential to be aware that groundhogs can eat eggs. If you have chickens or other birds nesting in your backyard, it’s crucial to take measures to protect their nests from groundhogs and other potential predators.
One way to do this is to provide secure nesting areas for your birds, such as elevated nesting boxes that are difficult for groundhogs to reach.
Other Animals That Eat Eggs
Groundhogs aren’t the only animals that eat eggs. Many other creatures might be responsible for the eggshells you find scattered in your backyard.
Here are a few examples:
6. Various bird species, such as crows and magpies
It’s essential to be aware of the different potential predators in your area and take appropriate measures to protect your backyard bird nests from them.
How To Keep Groundhogs Out Of Your Yard!
There are several things that can be done to prevent groundhogs from digging and eating stuff in your backyard. I will list some of the strategies below.
Also, see my recent post if you want a full list of my favorite methods to keep groundhogs and gophers away!
1. Using ultrasonic sound
Groundhogs, like other bigger mammals that may invade your garden, tend to have very good hearing. This means that loud or consistent noises will scare them away or at least shorten their visits.
Check out my full buying guide for these ingenious ultrasonic repeller devices here!
One of my favorite technologies to keep pests away from my backyard is these cool solar-powered ultrasonic sound emitters that you can buy right from Amazon! In my experience, they really work, and the solar panels on top save you the time and money of changing batteries all the time.
They will also work against other rodents like gophers, mice, and rats!
2. Sprinkling natural repellents
Groundhogs may be scared off by using natural scents such as coyote urine or predator scents.
They may also cause them to leave if there is a combination of sounds being played from a radio. The sounds include the sound of barking dogs and coyotes.
You can sprinkle dog hair, cayenne pepper or strong enteric oils and other natural repellents around the garden to keep the groundhogs away.
See my complete list of humane ways to keep groundhogs away from your yard for more tips and tricks!
3. Fencing around the garden
You can also fence around your garden to keep groundhogs from entering the garden. It should be at least 3 feet deep and have a double row of fencing.
Groundhogs are good diggers so it has to go underground or they may find a way into the garden even with the fences in place!
4. Using live traps
You can use a live trap to capture groundhogs and move them to another area. Live trapping is currently the most humane way of groundhog control. Once you have removed all groundhogs from an area, it is important to ensure that they do not come back by using fencing or other barriers to block access.
You can also just buy a live trap, as the sturdy metal ones shown here:
To lure the groundhogs in, you can use one of the numerous favorite foods of groundhogs or an optimized extra attractive formula like this one to make the catch even quicker!
5. Using natural pesticides
There are pesticides or rodent toxins that can be used to kill groundhogs on your property. These may also affect other animals in the area so it is important to ensure that they are only sprayed on the targeted plants.
I do not recommend these, as I prefer more humane ways as described here. Also, anything that kills an animal will also harm humans to some degree, so go for a repellant rather than a toxin if you go the chemical route!
6. Using Scarecrows
You can use a scarecrow in your garden to keep groundhogs away. Groundhogs are afraid of novelty so time-sensitive or motion-activated scarecrows may also be effective in keeping them out of the garden.
7. Using Lights
Groundhogs are not strictly nocturnal animals but they are most active at low light so they do avoid areas with bright lights.
Motion-activated lights, sounds, and sprinklers may help prevent groundhogs from entering your yard.
Any blinking light will confuse and scare away groundhogs from your yard, especially if they are motion activated and sudden!
8. Motion-activated sprinklers
Like most animals, groundhogs hate surprises, and they will run away if suddenly sprayed with water. I like this solution because it is humane, simple, effective, and does not require much time to set up.
The Havahart 5277 is a motion-activated sprinkler that is activated by the movement of animals up to 25 feet away and sprays them with a harmless water jet, frightening them off and keeping them at bay.
The included metal stake makes it easy to install in your garden, and the sprinkler can be rotated 180 degrees for maximum coverage.
Check out my recent post on the best humane, but effective, tactics against rodents like groundhogs and gophers in your yard!
To sum it up, groundhogs do eat eggs, although it’s not a primary food source for them. As backyard owners, it’s essential to be aware of this and take appropriate measures to protect bird nests from groundhogs and other potential predators.
By doing so, you can ensure the safety of your backyard birds and enjoy the beauty of nature in your own little slice of paradise.