We live in the countryside and so some natural pests such as mice and rats are to be expected. What I don't like is the fact that the rat (or rats) is stealing our chicken pellets. We let our chickens out in the morning to roam around as they please. We leave the door open so they can come back in our of the rain/cold or to get some pellets or water. Lately, every time I look out, there's a rat helping himself to the pellets. I already poisoned one that had made a home and stash of pellets in my car engine.
Should we close the door of the coop to keep the rodents out? Would the chickens be ok not to have access during the day?
Or should I take away the pellets during the day (the chickens seem to find enough food around the yard/fields)?
Any advice would be appreciated.