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Rat Bait Boxes...safe or not?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

My coop is an enclosed building but has a dirt bottom so I put land timbers around the base of the perimeter. It sits up against the woods and in a year I have not had any casualties to preditors but now I have seen a rat inside and also it has dug a couple of holes into the coop. I am trying to decide the best way to eliminate as many as I can and as safely as I can .... I don't want to get a cat because I have a dog that might kill the cat and I'm afraid the cat would do more harm to my chickens than rats....I don't want to do traps because by putting them on the outside of the coop, my dog would probably "trip" them or it would kill other animals that I don't want killed....

My mother told me about these bait LOCKBOXES that have a key. The box is really big and the bait is in blocks so the rat will come inside, eat bait, and leave. They are supposed to be safe for other pets because the pets can't get to the blocks to eat on and it's not like pellets that could get scattered. I thought it sounded easy to do so I ordered 2 baitboxes and some poison blocks and 2 traps that actually fit up inside of the box that would instantly kill one rat at a time.

How does this sound to anyone else???? Any drawbacks from this method of ridding my rat problem??  I thought about putting one right up against one of the rat holes alongside the wall where they usually travel.

My new hobby began Dec. 08 as a rescue: 3 game roosters & 1 game hen (kinda' backwards) but now I'm up to 8 roos, 19 hens & 12 chicks!  I went coo coo for chickens!  (Oh yeah, I also have 1 dog & 2 parrots).
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My new hobby began Dec. 08 as a rescue: 3 game roosters & 1 game hen (kinda' backwards) but now I'm up to 8 roos, 19 hens & 12 chicks!  I went coo coo for chickens!  (Oh yeah, I also have 1 dog & 2 parrots).
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post #2 of 8

Bait boxes is a great Idea I use them all the time,only I make mine It's the posion that you need to be careful of.When used around chickens get the posion that kills rodents after a few feeding,this way if chicken eats the rodent it can't be posioned. That 1 bite posion is more exspensive& dangerious to the chicken if it eats the dead rodent.This method works great on moles to


Edited by skywatcher - 10/31/09 at 3:05pm
post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thanks Skywatcher! I didn't know chickens would eat rats? I was only worried that a rat might take a bite off the poison block and carry a chunk outside of the box. (Thanks for the tip on the type of poison) I'm going to go ahead and give it a whirl!

My new hobby began Dec. 08 as a rescue: 3 game roosters & 1 game hen (kinda' backwards) but now I'm up to 8 roos, 19 hens & 12 chicks!  I went coo coo for chickens!  (Oh yeah, I also have 1 dog & 2 parrots).
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My new hobby began Dec. 08 as a rescue: 3 game roosters & 1 game hen (kinda' backwards) but now I'm up to 8 roos, 19 hens & 12 chicks!  I went coo coo for chickens!  (Oh yeah, I also have 1 dog & 2 parrots).
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post #4 of 8

This is a somewhat 'canned' response to the rat poison issue.  I have it saved and post it when this question gets raised because I have researched this pretty well back when I had a rat problem.  Like I said, it's a bit generic, but should have some helpful info.

Rat Poison in the Barn

I understand why people are reluctant to use rat poison, I share that reluctance but it IS possible to use poisons responsibly even if you have pets and children and chickens.

In response to the posts about dogs eating the rats and dying from the poison theyve ingested, that must either be a very small dog, or a large dog that has eaten dozens and dozens of rats.  They've studied the amount of the active poison left after rats ingest it, and it's very small.  Not enough to affect dogs very much, possibly enough to affect chickens or cats depending on the type used.  The meat itself does not get affected, or so little as to be ineffectual, and the amount that may be left in the rat's digestive system is usually quite small. 

If you have a rat colony established in or around your coop/barn/yard, you have a real problem.  If you see a few, you probably have a few hundred.  They spread disease, parasites, bugs and can kill or injure chickens, young or old, and theyll raid eggs and steal huge amounts of feed from you and your chickens.

Theyre smart and tenacious and traps are not always very effective after a time because they do learn very well.

First clean your barn, eliminate all feed sources you can, clean up all stray edible things and make sure your feed is stored in rat-proof containers and even stop feeding free-choice for a time while you work to get things under control.

Get your coop as rat proof as possible, but its not always possible, so just do your best.  Rats can squeeze in through the most amazingly small holes so its very difficult, darn near impossible.

Then, go shopping for enclosed bait stations that animals other than rats cannot get into, ask at TSC or other feed and hardware stores around you or if you can find a protected area where pets or chickens cannot get to the bait thats fine.  We had some bad problems at one time, and we built a box that locked on top, and had a hole too small any of our pets to get in, and then fastened some solid block type poison in there. 

Then, get the right type of poison, there are two types, Multi-feed and Single-feed poisons.

First the multi-feed type, the main chemical in that is either warfarin or coumatetralyl.  A rat must eat these types of baits over several days to become affected by them, this means that pets and wildlife are less at risk because they either have to consume a large quantity of bait in one sitting or consume small quantities of bait over quite a long period of time.   

This means that even if your dog or cat does get a dead or dying rat and eat it, there is little in the stomach to hurt them, and since its not terribly potent and its only the poison in the rats stomach that hurts your pet, not what's already been metabolized.

Single feed poisons are MUCH stronger (possibly 40 x stronger) and act more quickly. These rat baits are more toxic to rats and pets and a single dose is more likely to cause poisoning. Single feed poisons are those containing brodifacoum (e.g.Talon) and bromadialone (e.g.Bromakil).

BOTH the single and multiple feed types are commonly available from local supermarkets and hardware stores etc. so check the ingredients.  Brodifacoum is at least 40 times more potent than warfarin and is much more likely to cause the death of a rat, a pet or a wild animal with a single feed. Secondary poisoning is also more likely to occur because a rat could possibly have enough bait in its stomach to poison at least a small dog or a cat, sicken a large one if the pet eats the dead rat.

This is why the single-feed poison which is so much stronger and kills in one shot is more dangerous.  The rat or mouse usually dies with more un-digested in their stomach, and so it's available for a pet or wildlife to ingest if they eat a dead rat. 

Either way, you need to be aware of your pets and control them if/when you do set out poison. Control them more carefully than usual when trying to get rid of a rat infestation, and certainly toddlers etc, but if you really have a bad enough rat infestation, poisons may be a tool to consider, just make sure you think it through.  You need to put it either well down into the actual tunnels/holes or in bait stations and/or protected areas that your chickens and pets cannot get to. 

Also, watch carefully for dead or dying rats and mice etc that dogs, cats or chickens can get to.  Only set out poison when you are going to be home and able to keep track of things for that whole period of time, not when you are planning to be gone a lot or going away for a long weekend etc.

Chickens In The Road A Great friend's site with great photography, stories and recipes for living a full life!

The only exercise some people get is jumping to conclusions
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Chickens In The Road A Great friend's site with great photography, stories and recipes for living a full life!

The only exercise some people get is jumping to conclusions
Reply
post #5 of 8

Awsome information Portagegirl.  Thanks

post #6 of 8

          The bait boxes I make have 4 sides about 4 to 6 inches tall a top & no bottom this allows you to get moles,just drill a 1 1/4 inch hole in 1 side of box so rats or mice can get in. Place a block or brick on box to keep pet from turning it over.  my boxes are 6 inches by 8 -12 inches on the sides.

post #7 of 8

These are what I use in my coops, they don't use poison and are self contained. the mice crawl in the hole and can't get out, the window shows your catch, just set it along a wall at the base and it can catch many many mice every day.

                                                                                                AL

http://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/uploads/10364_img_0126.jpg

http://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/uploads/10364_img_0128.jpg

Standard White Cornish, Dark's & White laced Red Cornish Breeder..........If you don't have Cornish you don't have Chickens. Breeding the best, to the best.
As good as a few and better than most, What You'll Tolerate in your flock is what you'll get.
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Standard White Cornish, Dark's & White laced Red Cornish Breeder..........If you don't have Cornish you don't have Chickens. Breeding the best, to the best.
As good as a few and better than most, What You'll Tolerate in your flock is what you'll get.
Reply
post #8 of 8

I have been using a cheap rubbermaid locking type food container from the grocery store, cut a 1.5" (or so) hole in one side and put in the slow acting poison. Only rodents can get in, and since the rubbermaid type food containers came in a pack of three, I was able to put out multiple traps around the coop and house. So far I have been through a couple of bait trays and the consumption has almost stopped. I am going to keep these out almost all the time. More rats will come...

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