Anti-Rat Coop??? Scared and confused.....O.O

Gardenpig

In the Brooder
9 Years
Jun 8, 2010
57
0
39
OC
Ok, so I just heard something weird from my dad that has just scared me...he said that rats and mice can gang up and eat chickens so we should make our coop really armed against even those small vermins. Is that true? Will the rats and mice really chew their way into the coop? I don't get it... then how does everyone else keep their chickens alive outside at night? Is there a extra special design that we must follow to defend our chickens from them?
 

Laurajean

Slightly Touched
9 Years
Apr 2, 2010
4,304
9
221
New Hampshire
Rats can definitely chew their way into the coop, but I think they're more interested in the grain than the chickens. I'll be curious to see what others say about this. I have never heard of them eating chickens.
 

Enchanted Sunrise Farms

Crowing
12 Years
Apr 26, 2007
4,255
52
274
Fair Oaks, California
i've never had it happen to me, but know folks who have lost chicks to rats. Have also heard they will chew on adult chicken's legs or vent areas. If you make your coop secure, that shouldn't be a problem. i don't think mice would be interested in anything other than seed.

Make sure all the windows and vent areas, even small openings, are covered in 1/2" or 1/4" hardware cloth. Have an enclosed floor, as rats can tunnel like crazy. You should be able to protect your chickens against rats and mice with some due diligence.
 

Jaguaress

Chicken Addict Wanna-be
9 Years
May 27, 2010
180
1
89
Piedmont, NC
Rats will eat anything, so it isn't beyond the realm of possibility. The threat would be more to the little ones, though. Rats carry diseases and make large openings, so even if they don't directly attack chickens, it's best to keep them out. Using smaller-opening hardware cloth to enclose everything is a good start.

I've heard that chickens are good about killing mice, so also am waiting to see what other people say here.

One thing to mention is that chickens are much safer when closed in a coop at night, rather than left out even in a run.
 

SouthernChick

Chirping
10 Years
Nov 12, 2009
134
0
99
Ohio
You should aways lock your chickens in the coop at night so they will be safe. I keep my corn in a old chest freezer and all my other feed is in tubs to keep mice away. I also have plastic shoeboxes with a hole on both ends big enough a mouse can get through and in the middle is two pieces of bait wire down. Last winter I had hundreds of mice running through the barn but with these boxes and about $50 worth of bait I have to say I haven't seen a mouse since March. Mice also carry diseases too.
 

Gardenpig

In the Brooder
9 Years
Jun 8, 2010
57
0
39
OC
ah...ok...maybe i will line the walls with hardware cloth? would that hurt the chickens?
 

SouthernChick

Chirping
10 Years
Nov 12, 2009
134
0
99
Ohio
Enchanted Sunrise Farms: i don't think mice would be interested in anything other than seed.


The mice was eating there way into my extra feed that I couldn't get into tubs. It didn't matter what kind of feed it was, corn, layer, breeder feed, chick feed they was eating it.
 

lifelight

Hatching
9 Years
Jun 7, 2010
8
0
6
Camden, SC
I know about rats / mice and pigeon coops, and varmits at night. I was originally from up north near wooden are raising chickens, ducks and pigeons.

It's true that the rodents want the grain and it's true that they will chew into your birds CRAW, or stomach to get that grain out to
eat it.

I had a pigeon coop that I built myself out of 2x4's, all of it strictly 2x4(s) in a octagon shape, the walls were 2x4 and everything, it was built way on top of an old odd house about 10 foot high, at the edge of the woods.

I used wire mesh and all to secure any cracks or spaces, on the floor of the coop I put hay or straw, I guess I should have not done that because I think a couple rats used that to hide and killed some pigeons.

I know it was rats because when I clean the straw out i seen them jump out up close, I had to use a ladder to stand on and the coop was only 4 foot tall so my face was very close to the bottom of the floor and I seen about 3 jump out of that coop straight down to the forests ground.

I think they killed for about 2 -3 pigeons before i wised up, but; it was THE GRAIN IN THIER STOMACH, that THE RATS WANT, from what I personally experienced.

 

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