PDA

View Full Version : Who Ate My Dead Rat?



eldragon
10-31-2006, 05:12 AM
We live in a strange land.

Last winter, we buried a dead snake over by our back pond, and the next day, it was dug up and gone.

Yesterday, I found Winnie dead on the bottom of the cage. She was a rescued feeder rat who pooped everytime someone tried to pick her up. (She spent two years in a cage...running on a wheel for exercise.)

I buried her out by the woods, in a grave about a foot deep. I tamped the dirt down so that my 9 year old wouldn't be able to tell where the grave was. (She's curious, perhaps she'll be a scientist.)

Today the dead rat is gone. Someone done ate her.

Who would do this?

An armadillo?
A raccoon?
An Opposum?
Or, something else?

oarsman
10-31-2006, 07:55 AM
Did you see any tracks or scratching marks? It might be a skunk. They have powerful front claws and are excellent at digging. They like to eat small rodents and insects. I am not sure if they would eat a snake.

ETA: Yes, I found out they will eat snakes too.

cree
10-31-2006, 08:02 AM
I have no guesses; the thread title was just too compelling not to stop in...:)

Vincent
10-31-2006, 08:33 AM
You might have a zombie problem.

Nakhlasmoke
10-31-2006, 08:52 AM
Pet Semetary, anyone?

eldragon
10-31-2006, 05:14 PM
Pet Semetary, anyone?

That's all I need, another two years with this rat.


Happy Halloween everyone!

eldragon
10-31-2006, 05:16 PM
Did you see any tracks or scratching marks? It might be a skunk. They have powerful front claws and are excellent at digging. They like to eat small rodents and insects. I am not sure if they would eat a snake.

ETA: Yes, I found out they will eat snakes too.

Yes, there were some serious scratch marks. We do have skunks, although I've never seen one, we have their smell around the house quite often. In fact, just two nights ago I smelled skunk spray.


It's amazing to me that any animal would be able to smell a dead rat buried 6 inches in the ground.

Haggis
10-31-2006, 05:19 PM
I think Spooky did it.

J. Weiland
10-31-2006, 05:33 PM
hillbillies? Do any live close by?

eldragon
10-31-2006, 06:07 PM
hillbillies? Do any live close by?

Heck yeah!


No, actually, we refer to them as rednecks. And there are plenty here.

MidnightMuse
10-31-2006, 07:22 PM
Do you have coyotes where you live?

Badgers?

Budding sociopaths, perhaps?

eldragon
10-31-2006, 08:35 PM
Do you have coyotes where you live?

Badgers?

Budding sociopaths, perhaps?

We might have coyotes, but I don't think they would come in our yard. We have a Great Pyranees dog kenneled pretty close to where the rat was buried, plus a mixed breed dog who stays on our carport at night.

Our Great Pyr barks all night long, keeping predators like coyotes away. Apparently he doesn't scare raccoons, which I'm grateful for, because just yesterday I found one of Luckys empty catfood cans by a fence that runs right by my dogs kennel. Apparently a hungry raccoon still helps himself to our trash cans despite two barking dogs.

No badgers.

I went and looked at the tracks, it's probably a skunk.

Haggis
10-31-2006, 08:38 PM
I went and looked at the tracks, it's probably a skunk.

I told you it was probably Spooky. :D

Del
10-31-2006, 08:50 PM
It would take desperation to dig a foot after a lunch as small as a dead rat. I don't know if it could be sensed through a foot of earth.

Maybe you buried it over someone's stash. There is a dog running about thinking who changed my bone into a dead rat.

Or, I don't know. Do you live near Spooky?

bluegrassandyb
10-31-2006, 08:54 PM
As an unabashed hillbilly (sadly misplaced in the land of ice and snow) I take offense to that remark. We don't eat buried animals, it's too hard to clean them properly. Road kill is an entirely different matter.

September skies
10-31-2006, 09:06 PM
I think Spooky did it.

LOL - and i was going to say Haggis did it. Dogs do dig things up all the time, and anyway, I mean, look at him, you can't tell if he's a dog or a rat.

Haggis
10-31-2006, 09:34 PM
LOL - and i was going to say Haggis did it. Dogs do dig things up all the time, and anyway, I mean, look at him, you can't tell if he's a dog or a rat.
:wag:

oarsman
10-31-2006, 10:47 PM
It's amazing to me that any animal would be able to smell a dead rat buried 6 inches in the ground.

Skunks have a strong sense of smell and can find insects and mice just under the surface. I think it comes from being so close to the ground and having to rely on the ground for food. Skunks usually leave a cone-shape hole when they dig.

If you bury another rat, maybe you should try covering it with some mothballs before burying it. It would either hide the scent or attract all kinds of animals (and rednecks) to the spot.

eldragon
10-31-2006, 11:22 PM
It would take desperation to dig a foot after a lunch as small as a dead rat. I don't know if it could be sensed through a foot of earth.

Maybe you buried it over someone's stash. There is a dog running about thinking who changed my bone into a dead rat.

Or, I don't know. Do you live near Spooky?

Well, Winnie weighed at least 8 pounds. She was a well-fed, fat rat who stopped exercising about a year ago. She would be worth the dig, if you liked to eat dead rat flesh, that is.

awatkins
10-31-2006, 11:31 PM
Eight pounds?? I didn't know they got that big! Wow.

MidnightMuse
10-31-2006, 11:53 PM
...if you liked to eat dead rat flesh, that is.

Tonight, on Iron Chef America, it's Bobby Flay vs Billy-Bob. And tonight's secret ingredient is . . .

Dead Rat Flesh!

Let the Battle Begin!

Ol' Fashioned Girl
10-31-2006, 11:57 PM
LOL - and i was going to say Haggis did it. Dogs do dig things up all the time, and anyway, I mean, look at him, you can't tell if he's a dog or a rat.

He just wanted to roll in it... he didn't MEAN to eat it!

oarsman
11-01-2006, 12:10 AM
Do you think this McDonald's story (http://money.cnn.com/2006/10/27/news/newsmakers/mcdonalds_rat/?postversion=2006102714)is any way related to the rat missing?

eldragon
11-01-2006, 01:08 AM
Eight pounds?? I didn't know they got that big! Wow.

Well, she weighed alot. Maybe not 8 pounds, but definitely 5.

Vincent
11-01-2006, 01:34 AM
It's amazing to me that any animal would be able to smell a dead rat buried 6 inches in the ground.

No, half a foot isn't deep at all. Remember, the police use dogs to find bodies a number of feet under the ground.

Del
11-01-2006, 01:59 AM
She would be worth the dig, if you liked to eat dead rat flesh, that is.


I didn't do it. I have an allibi.

Del
11-01-2006, 02:07 AM
the police use dogs to find bodies a number of feet under the ground.

What number? I think I might have to start burying my bodies deeper.

Vincent
11-01-2006, 02:11 AM
Buggered if I know. I know they can sniff out someone under 15 feet of snow, and under concrete.

Go for six feet, can't go wrong there. Tradition, you know.

Del
11-01-2006, 10:08 PM
I always figured out of sight was out of mind. Now I have to go dig up all those bodies and rebury them. This is going to take weeks.

awatkins
11-02-2006, 02:05 AM
Looks like you better get started, then. ;)

eldragon
11-02-2006, 02:18 AM
Oarsman, I'm still thinking about the cone shaped marked the skunks make in a yard when digging.

They are all over the place, and I thought it was armadillos.

They come very close to my dogs kennel.

Skunks?

Del
11-02-2006, 03:20 AM
Oarsman, I'm still thinking about the cone shaped marked the skunks make in a yard when digging.

They are all over the place, and I thought it was armadillos.

They come very close to my dogs kennel.

Skunks?

Maybe we could all take turns and keep watch. Are skunks the ones with rings on their tails?

<----- If I see anything Ill send in my puppy.

eldragon
11-02-2006, 03:31 AM
No, you're thinking of ringtailed raccoons. We have those here, too. They're welcome to eat my catfood anytime.

Skunks are black with a white stripe - and they spray you with their tail. (I mean, they lift their tail and spray comes out.....)

oarsman
11-02-2006, 05:59 AM
Oarsman, I'm still thinking about the cone shaped marked the skunks make in a yard when digging.

They are all over the place, and I thought it was armadillos.

They come very close to my dogs kennel.

Skunks?

You might have both skunks and armadillos. They both dig cone-shaped holes and they will share the same area of land. Armadillos are extremely active diggers (more than skunks). I hear they can dig up a whole yard in one night. They eat insects: worms, grubs, ants, and beetles, etc. Skunks will eat insects, but also fish, nuts, fruits, and small rodents.

I guess the dogs don't scare the animals away.

eldragon
11-02-2006, 06:08 AM
Well, we've seen armadillos a few times. I wish we had more light out there, if just to observe.


Armadillos are very strange animals. They are so focused on whatever they are doing, they don't really run off.

Skunks are beautiful and I have never seen one wild.

We have two ponds full of fish, so maybe they eat them.

oarsman
11-02-2006, 06:45 AM
It sounds like you have a cozy spot for wildlife...a good source of water from the ponds along with tasty insects, fish, and some trash cans for the raccoons.

My neighbor had a raccoon come in her kitchen one night through their doggy door. Her dog quietly watched the raccoon eat his dog food until my neighbor heard some noise, turned on the kitchen light, and saw the raccoon run back out the doggy door. She has a small dog...I suppose not brave enough to bark at a raccoon.

cree
11-02-2006, 07:51 AM
Skunks are beautiful and I have never seen one wild.



Come sit in my back yard.
Be ready to run like hell.
:)

eldragon
11-02-2006, 04:27 PM
It sounds like you have a cozy spot for wildlife...a good source of water from the ponds along with tasty insects, fish, and some trash cans for the raccoons.

My neighbor had a raccoon come in her kitchen one night through their doggy door. Her dog quietly watched the raccoon eat his dog food until my neighbor heard some noise, turned on the kitchen light, and saw the raccoon run back out the doggy door. She has a small dog...I suppose not brave enough to bark at a raccoon.

Oddly enough, we had more raccoons when we lived in town. I used to have several each night, and once had a raccoon who stopped by during the day for food and water.

We rarely / never see them in the country. I know they're out there, though.

Del
11-02-2006, 10:23 PM
City 'coons would be accustom to human presence where country 'coons would try to avoid it.

Kate Thornton
11-03-2006, 02:43 AM
An 8 pound rat? That was a heck of a dinner!

We have skunks in our area and they are powerful diggers with a keen sense of smell. We always put rocks over our little pet cemetery so our loved ones do not become skunk food.

awatkins
11-03-2006, 03:46 AM
Armadillos are extremely active diggers (more than skunks). I hear they can dig up a whole yard in one night.

They certainly can. And all too often do; they make Swiss cheese of our yard!

oarsman
11-03-2006, 05:48 AM
They certainly can. And all too often do; they make Swiss cheese of our yard!

We don't have the little swiss cheese landscapers in the Carolinas yet. I bet the armadillos are marching up our way though. From what I understand, the only place they lived in the U.S. was south Texas back in the early 1900s. So, they are making a slow march north and east.