Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Kenny, the Chipmunk Whisperer

Kenny and I went to the barn this evening around 8pm to check on Lucy and fill her outside water so she'd have plenty of fresh water for tomorrow. It was 95 degrees and extremely humid here today, and it's going to be equally hot and sticky tomorrow. When we got to the barn, we found Lucy absolutely drenched in sweat in her stall, so I took her out and gave her a nice long cool bath with the hose. As I was doing that, I asked Kenny to fill her outside tub, so he walked out to her paddock with a 5 gallon bucket full of water.

He got to her paddock and then called over to me.

"Kate! Kate! We have to have a chipmunk rescue mission!"

I put Lucy away quickly and went to see what he was talking about. He walked over, orange Home Depot bucket in hand, and inside the bucket was a very exhausted looking chipmunk that Kenny had just saved from certain death by drowning! Kenny said he found the chipmunk swimming frantically around in circles in Lucy's water tub, trying to find a way out. Kenny fished him out with the empty bucket and brought him over to the barn, where we made sure he looked ok. We gave him a few minutes in the bucket to recover before setting him free. He scampered off quickly, but we left him a pile of grain and a carrot so he can have a snack after his workout.

I posted about this on Facebook and someone replied I should have some sort of a ladder so that the little animals can get out easily if they fall in. Does anyone do this? I was thinking I could put a piece of thick rope in there. The bucket has a heating element in the bottom that I am obviously not using now that it's a gazillion degrees out, but I could tie the rope to that and just have it drape over the side of the bucket.

Here's the lucky little chipmunk post-rescue and pre-release:

 And here is a funny photo of Lucy after I hosed her down, proving that the stall guard is no match for her:


  1. Crazy! Little guy must have been thirsty, that's not usually an animal you see in a water bucket in a stable. You don't need a thick rope, most animals small enough to fall into a bucket and get stuck won't have very big paws. Several girls at the equine college I attended used them, the chair of the department called them "rat ladders". We used thicker shoelaces.

    I found a mother bat and a baby bat sleeping in an EMPTY water bucket at the barn last week! That was a new one on me.

  2. Poor little thing! Glad it had a happy ending.

  3. Oh, bless his (or her) little heart!

  4. Poor little thing! How the heck did it manage to climb up there in the first place??

  5. At our barn we have these metal things that have bars across that the animals can walk up to get out. They are similar to this:

    The horses never bother them or have any trouble and we don't get drowned animals anymore either.

  6. I've found birds, squirrels, mice, and all sorts of small critters floating in tanks over the years. The old cowboy method is to find a down limb, about 3-4" in diameter, and lean it in the tank so they have something to crawl up to get out. Of course, it also gives them a way to get in easier to drink, so scrubbing the tank regularly is a must.

  7. Poor little chipper!! I've never heard of a 'way out' but seems like it could be a good idea! How sweet is your animal loving Hubbie :)


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