Barn Rat

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by Skyesrocket, Jul 14, 2010.

  1. Skyesrocket

    Skyesrocket Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 20, 2008
    My husband raises rats for his pythons. During the summer we move them to a big rabbit hutch inside of the barn. We have it set up with wooden boxes with holes and ramps for them to play on.
    Anyway a couple of days ago I was milking the goat and one of the large black and white rats went strolling down the isle and sat down next to two of the barn cats. I picked it up and put it back into it's cage.
    Later on that night I fed the young chickens in an open pen and there was the same rat...sitting in the feeder eating. [​IMG] I picked it up and put it back into the cage.
    Hubby fixed what he though was the escape route. The next day there was the rat again walking around the barn like it owns the place.
    I thought rats scurried and ran along walls? Not this one...lol. Tonight it was in the silkie pen, waiting for me to refill the feeder. [​IMG] Again, I walked up to it and it just sat there and let me pick it up and put it back in the cage.
    My barn cats are good mousers. I guess they just know this one belongs to me. I never see wild mice or rats in the barn. What suprised me more than the cats ignoring it was the hens. They eat out of the feeder with it. They don't seem to mind it at all.
    My friends keep telling me that my farm reminds them of a bad Disney Movie...lol. I think they are right.
     
  2. bock

    bock Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG]
     
  3. zazouse

    zazouse Overrun With Chickens

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    Rats make great pet also, my kids always had them, the stories i could tell.

    A few years ago i had a goat due to kid, i went out before daylight to check on her, it was freezing out, anyway when i opened up the barn door a flipped on the light there sat a big ol rat between the shoulder blades of one of my goat trying to stay warm cutest thing i ever seen.

    I do not know if it is true but when i was growing up dairy farmers said they would get whit rats and turn them loose and they would keep other rats away.

    I do know where there is rats there will not be mice living in the same area, i will take a rat over a mouse any day mice smell like urine
     
  4. Skyesrocket

    Skyesrocket Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 20, 2008
    I do not know if it is true but when i was growing up dairy farmers said they would get whit rats and turn them loose and they would keep other rats away

    That's interesting. I have never heard of that before. I'm going to see if I can find something about it online.​
     
  5. RachelFromTheBlackLagoon

    RachelFromTheBlackLagoon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Welllll.... It's not that simple. It depends a lot on the species of wild rat and has nothing to do with the color of the domestic rat. (White rats are probably just the easiest to come by in most pet stores) What I mean is, during the bubonic plague, the main carrier of the infected Oriental Rat fleas was the Roof rat (Rattus Rattus). As it's name suggests, they spent much of their time on roofs and the fleas they carried would jump down into peoples' homes, biting and infecting them with the plague. It's believed that the plague subsided because the larger and more aggressive Norway rat (Rattus Norvegicus) displaced the Roof rat upon introduction. The domestic rats we keep as pets (or feed to snakes or use in labs) today are also Norway rats. Wild Norway rats are also know as sewer rats and are found everywhere that people are found. They are one of the most common wild rat species.

    Rats live in groups called "mischiefs" and one mischief would be very territorial of another. I guess the theory behind what you heard is that if you introduce a group of domestic rats they'll chase the wild inhabitants out. Common sense should tell you that one of a few things might happen; A) the domestic rats will be killed by their wild counterparts whether by injury or disease, and yes, "
    rival rats will fight and can kill each other, B) most of the domestic rats, especially the white ones, will be prime targets for predators and easy to pick off because they're domestic animals and not as capable of fending for themselves as their wild counterparts, and often not as fearful of natural predators, C) the few that do survive will breed with their wild counterparts of the same (and maybe even some different?) species and add to your rodent problem, or D) probably a bit less likely but certainly possible and certainly has happened, the domestic rats (just as prolific as their wild counterparts) DO chase off the wild rats and then THEY breed like mad and you'll end up with a bunch of feral rats. If you consider rats pests and are trying to eliminate a pest animal population for whatever damage they're doing, you're going to consider them pests whether they're wild or domestic or feral because they're all going to cause the same problems for you. It would be absolutely counter productive. It would be akin to adding 10 intact house cats to a feral cat colony and expecting the ferals to dissipate.

    I've had domestic rats in my life for years. They're wonderful, intelligent, personable, affectionate little creatures with a complex and interesting social structure. The most I had was 12 at once. Two neutered males and the rest females. After my last remaining senior girl passed away I decided to take a break. Then a friend asked me to foster his two girls "Potato" and "Squash" for a month while he was in between homes......and several months later they're still here.

    I think that little escape artist is trying to tell you that he wants to stay for good [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2010
  6. rodriguezpoultry

    rodriguezpoultry Langshan Lover

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    I'd have to keep it.
     
  7. Skyesrocket

    Skyesrocket Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 20, 2008
    Thanks for that info. It does make sense that the pet rats wouldn't stand a chance against the wild ones.
    The escape artist is a keeper. From the time it was a baby it would come up and beg for a treat and climb into our hands to get it.
     
  8. WingingIt

    WingingIt Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 16, 2009
    We need pictures of the escape artist! [​IMG]
     
  9. RachelFromTheBlackLagoon

    RachelFromTheBlackLagoon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    One small victory for ratkind! Yay, escape artist!
     

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