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Please help me ID garden droppings!


I hope this is the right forum for this... I'm new here and am hoping someone here can help me identify these two droppings that I found in the back garden this morning. 








Sorry for so many photos! They're on a doormat that's outside a brick shed/outhouse. The first photo is of them in situ, and the next two photos are close ups. I moved them off the mat for the last photo to get a better view. The larger dropping is just over an inch long, maybe around an 1 1/4"? I was last in the garden on Sunday and they definitely weren't there then. They seem fresh but fairly firm, and appear to have some strands of hair/fur in them, but I'm afraid I haven't worked up the stomach to poke about them any further!

In terms of location, we're in a suburban-ish setting in Newcastle upon Tyne, and the back garden where these droppings were found backs onto other back gardens. The front of the house looks onto a large town moor where cows are grazed. We do have foxes, mostly at the front of the house, although I have seen them in back garden before. We've also have hedgehogs which we've seen at the front and at the back, probably partly thanks to our irritatingly healthy slug and snail population. I haven't seen any hedgehogs yet this year, but my other half said that our neighbour disposed one that had been run over (sob!) a couple of weeks ago. There are also bats and lots of birds, and quite a few of the neighbourhood cats seem to enjoy our garden for lounging around in/sauntering through.

I did have a quick Google, but am none the wiser. The best I could guess was either rat or hedgehog. I'd be quite happy if these were hedgehog droppings, but I suspect they might be rats, which I'm considerably less happy about. However Google tells me that they might be too large for rat droppings? There was also a similar single dropping, although longer and slightly darker in colour, last week on the path by the side of the house.

The outhouse they they were found in front of is fairly cluttered at the moment, but I had a quick look inside and couldn't see any more evidence of droppings in there, and nothing looks gnawed. We also have a small DIY compost bin by the side of the outhouse, but again no sign of it being gnawed at, so I'm hoping that it isn't a rat!

Sorry for writing a bit of an essay, but hopefully there's enough info there for you clever folk to help me out! 



  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 21,134
    definitely not rat, or rodent of any sort.

    Could be pheasant, they don't always have white stuff in them. Too small for fox, probably hedgehog.
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

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  • Steve 309Steve 309 Posts: 2,753

    Fox was my first thought,  Rat droppings are small and oval; no idea about hedgehog.

  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 33,264

    depending on scale, hard to tell from photo, if it's small , I'd go with Lyn, if it's dog sized poo, ( the size of dog poo, not poo the size of a dog image) then I'd go with Mr J.

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 82,096
    Hedgehog droppings are usually blacker and thinner than that and if you let them dry out you will find that they glitter a bit because they contain the wing cases of beetles. They won't usually contain fur.
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • Ladybird4Ladybird4 Third rock from the sunPosts: 35,463

    Its difficult to tell from the pictures but from the size you mention they could be owl pellets. Various other birds also regurgitate the indigestible parts of their food in this form. This is only a suggestion as I have a resident owl that regularly leaves me interesting pellets with fur and bits of bone and tiny jawbones in them and at first I thought they were fox poo.

    Cacoethes: An irresistible urge to do something inadvisable
  • Cheryl19Cheryl19 Posts: 2

    Thanks so much for all your responses!

    They're pretty small, the largest is just over an inch.

    Am so glad no one (yet) thinks it's rat poo! Was plagued by rodents in my student house at uni, and definitely don't want to relive that experience.

    I've not seen any pheasants in this area before, although we've only been in the house around 2 years, so you never know. 

    Thanks for clarifying hedgehog droppings, Dovefromabove. The hedgehog dropping photos I saw online did look much thinner and darker, which is why I'm unsure.

    Interesting about the owl pellets, Ladybird4. It seems a little soft and "poo-like" to be a pellet, but then I don't know much about these things.

    I just zoomed into the photo of the larger dropping, and the hair on it looks orangey coloured, so perhaps it is from a fox. I'll see if my other half is up for a bit of poo dissection tomorrow to see if we can find out any more! I bet he'll be thrilled with my plans for his day off.

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  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 21,134
    I don't think a fox would drop just two pieces only an inch long.

    But rest assured it's not rodent. It's a bit too pointed on the ends for an owl, I don't think an owl would drop them on your doormat either.
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • LandlubberLandlubber Posts: 396

    could be a stoat or weasel?image

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