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Safe rodent control with pet ducks - Page 2

post #11 of 15
I have often thought about a ratter. Do they leave the birds alone?

Please PM me, or use @Amiga in the message if you would like to hear from me soon.  

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Please PM me, or use @Amiga in the message if you would like to hear from me soon.  

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post #12 of 15
We leave feed out for our ducks day and night so we have had rats help themselves to the feed supply. We do not keep feed in coops and our coops are all raised so the rats seem to move in under our house and our shop more than anywhere else.

We have used pellet poison and occasionally seen dead rats but our birds do not eat the dead rats and neither does our cat. I have kind of hoped they would eliminate crows that have gone after our duck eggs, ducklings, and even bunnies but I don't know if we have made a dent in the crow population. Birds of pray like hawks and eagles should be safe because poisoned rats do not move in a normal manner and they are attracted by movement. The dead rats we have found have shown no signs of being eaten either so I think predators may have a sense of not eating something that is dying or already dead.

It is sad that foxes may have been baited by poisoned rodents so maybe the poisoned rats seemed like an easy catch and the foxes were too hungry to pass the opportunity. It is a mixed blessing that the foxes were not able to prey on domestic birds but it is better to keep birds safe from foxes rather than eliminate the foxes or other wildlife.

We have not been able to find the poisoned pellets this year so we are using the bait sticks in the plastic containers sold with the bait. I like the fact that the bait stations are duck proof so we can put them in more locations than the pellets. I have considered putting them under our gravity feeders but for now they are next to the house since that is where we usually see tunneling. I am just hoping the rats will chew the blocks because the pellets were easier for them to take to their colony and share.

When I find tunnels I flush them with water to drown the babies underground. I also flush dirt back into the tunnel to discourage the rats from using them. My hope is that the decomposing dead babies will deter the adults but unfortunately rats can be canabalistic so they may just eat the drowned babies, if there are any. I have not seen baby rats at least so hopefully flooding the tunnels is effective.

The place the rats like best is in my raised planters next to the house so we have them fenced off from the birds. I have tried snap traps but they seem to disappear so I think a snapped rat must live long enough to take the trap with it. I like the idea of the electric traps but they are expensive so we have not tried them yet.

With poison the hope is that the rats die underground and we don't have to dispose of the bodies. I did kill a poisoned rat with a shovel once because it was above ground and I did not want it to suffer or get eaten by anything. I have had pet rats before so they don't freak me out but they can't live under our house and reproduce. Poison works best for us for now but there may be more environmentally friendly methods, such as electric shock, that would be better to try if that is an option.
post #13 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amiga View Post

I have often thought about a ratter. Do they leave the birds alone?

 

For me personally I cannot let my dogs be around the ducks at all.  One dog will ignore them but if one walks up to her  she gets into a defensive posture.   This particualr dog is my hunter/chaser/catcher.

 

My other ratter  has waaaay to strong of a prey drive. She quivers with excitement if she is near the ducks.  This ratter is the catcher/killer.

 

My dogs are adults and were not socialized to be around other animals at all.  From puppyhood they were in environments where the other living creatures they experienced were literally vermin or dangerous wild animals.  I've consulted with dog trainers about my specific needs/ reactions  and I've been advised that if our current system works its probably best to keep them excluded.  But if i wanted to we could work on integrating ducks and dogs.

 

I'm  sure with proper training  especially form puppyhood  that you could successfully have ratters around your ducks. 

 

Decker Rat Terriers, JRTs, feists, doxies, etc.  are recommended breeds but any mix  or breed that has the talent or knack for catching vermin  can work as a ratter.

 

My girls are registered as " terrier mixes"  but we adopted them from a southern state that is known for its Decker rat terrier breeders and Feist breeders.  I think our girls were litter rejects because they didn't have that perfect coloring or perfect size.

 

Even though they're little dogs, I feel safe hiking and being outside with them.  I know to run! if their body language tells me that something on the path ahead of us is scaring them.

 

They bring as much joy to me as my ducks. And to be sure they present their own set of challenges....they cannot be outside alone else they'll excavate out a complete chipmunk burrow,  if we do get a mouse or vole in the house they'll  work for it 24 hours a day with no break until it's been neutralized. No  hole or cave or rotten tree or  rock den is safe from their inspection so I can't  hike for cardio  any more.

 

I would love to hike with my ducks and dogs in our woods because i know they both enjoy their hikes in that environment. For now I'm hiking twice as much.

post #14 of 15
Thread Starter 

Thanks all!!! I was only tempted to consider using the poison because it just seemed so effective and convenient. But, my duck's safety is the priority and from what you're all saying, they could come in contact with a poisoned mouse. I don't have much wildlife around me that would be impacted so I hadn't considered that. I'm going to give the spray a try along with my usual shock traps- most humane and effective I've come across. Thanks again for the feedback!

post #15 of 15

I wouldn't chance poison either.  We've got barn cats that are doing a great job.  We've also got Livestock Guardian Dogs that love to help control the rodent population.  Poison is just too risky.


Embden & Sebastapol Geese, India Blue Peafowl, Guinea Fowl, Welsh Harlequin Ducks, Call Ducks, Runner Ducks, Silkie Chickens, Pygmy Goats, a Pot-Bellied Pig, Sarplaninac Livestock Guardian Dogs and a whole lotta fun!!!

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Embden & Sebastapol Geese, India Blue Peafowl, Guinea Fowl, Welsh Harlequin Ducks, Call Ducks, Runner Ducks, Silkie Chickens, Pygmy Goats, a Pot-Bellied Pig, Sarplaninac Livestock Guardian Dogs and a whole lotta fun!!!

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