Are rats a danger to young pullets?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by fiddleblue, Jan 1, 2013.

  1. fiddleblue

    fiddleblue Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have 8 week old pullets, and right now I am closing them in the henhouse at night, with a sliding door, to keep rats out. I did not do this with my adult hens and never had a problem with rats hurting the adult hens, though rats would go after the feed. BUt the pullets are smaller, particularly one which is a Sultan Bantam, and I'm worried the rats could kill her. (I had rats kill several of my Japanese quail last year). What do you think? I have the coop totally enclosed with wire on walls, ceiling, everything so no coons or opposum can get in, so for years I haven't used a door on the henhouse, but if rats can hurt the pullies I would continue to use the sliding door to close henhouse at night.
     
  2. JerseyGiantfolk

    JerseyGiantfolk Overrun With Chickens

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    If the rats are desperate-- maybe. But if there is easy-to-get chicken food (or eggs) they probably won't go for your pullets.

    Do you see any rats (scat, urine, ect.) around the yard?
     
  3. Hollow Point

    Hollow Point Chillin' With My Peeps

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    A neighbor of mine actually had hens get killed while on roost from wood rats. They would get into her barn and climb up to them and kill the birds by attacking their craw for feed. Never happened to mine though and she only lives a mile down the road.
     
  4. willowbranchfarm

    willowbranchfarm Chicken Boots

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    My Coop
    Rats will rarely kill chickens, they might bite them, but they usually just eat the eggs. I would set some traps. Don't use any poisons in case your chickens get into it.
     
  5. fiddleblue

    fiddleblue Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I aim to have the chicken food all locked up at night so the rats can't get into it. I am now setting out an electronic rat trap to try to trap a rat or two.
    There have been rat poops found in the chicken feed lately. I realized that the feed was not enclosed tightly enough at night and it appears they were getting in through a crack. I plan to enclose the feed more tightly (in a plywood box that's open for chickens to eat during the day but closed at night) from now on.
     

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