Are rats a problem when you're keeping chickens in your back yard?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by chickcan, Aug 6, 2010.

  1. chickcan

    chickcan Hatching

    Aug 6, 2010
    An argument against urban chicken keeping is that they attract rats. But, how is it that much different than having a dog? I mean you have to keep both areas clean in order to avoid rats, right? It shouldn’t matter if it’s a dog, chicken, or some other animal.
  2. Mark & Nique

    Mark & Nique Chirping

    Jun 20, 2010
    South Carolina
    No offense, but the statement 'urban chicken keeping is that they attract rats' itself in not true.

    Rats, like raccoons, mice, and other creatures, are drawn to food, water, or shelter. One need not keep chickens to attract rats. In fact, I know many dog owners who are careless with storage of dog food who attract rats. However, no one says keeping dogs attracts rats. What of the many people who are careless in storage of their own food and in turn attract rats?

    Careless food storage attracting unwanted guests = TRUE.

    Urban chickens attracting rats = FALSE.
  3. bigdaddyabc

    bigdaddyabc Songster

    May 5, 2010
    I WISH I had a few rats around for my chickens to eat. So my only "rat problem" is that I have to buy protein rich treats like meal worms when nature could provide it, but isn't. [​IMG]
  4. OtneyPrice

    OtneyPrice In the Brooder

    May 31, 2008
    Anytime you introduce a predictable available food source into your yard you can attract rats. We've been so over-urbanized in recent years that our society has forgotton that yes, rats exist, and always have. My father-in-law grew up rural and talked about how there were bugs and snakes and rats everywhere. Before you made your biscuits, you had to sift the rat turds out of the flour. Really. I grew up with possums being attracted to cat food if it was left on the porch. The dirty truth is that if you live in an area that is naturally supportive of wildlife (is there grass, woods, stream in a nearby 5 mile radius?) there are likely rats living in the area too. We have a million squirrels. A friend used to say that squirrels were just rats with better PR. We had a compost chowing rat years before we got chickens. Chicken feed simply ups the rat's food supply and they...breed like rats. They'll also take up permanent residence near the coop in your woodpile or in a burrow.

    Rat population each year can fluctuate wildly - seasonal weather plays a part. This year its been bad.

    My best solution is Just One Bite II Bars - rats want to eat them (they were not interested in compressed green poison baits from the grocery store.)
  5. LoreenH

    LoreenH Songster

    Jul 10, 2009
    Thanks, I just ordered some One Bite. We've always had rodent problems in the neighorhood due to bird feeders, but now that we have chickens they, the, rats, have moved into our yard. I know we can't totally get rid of them but can at least control the numbers.

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