Chicken-safe rat poison sought

maui chicks

8 Years
Mar 3, 2011
Any advice on eradicating rats who sneak into our girls' coop and eat the feed at night?

Any effective poisons / traps that won't hurt the hens?

My husband was trying to do it old-school and set clamp traps with bait (peanut butter, bacon, etc.) out in the field and near coop at night when girls are safe inside. We caught about five that way, over the course of two weeks. We would like to be more effective and efficient, though. And we don't have many local options so we'd likely have to order something online.

We're scared, too, because there have been news reports that the rats are carrying lungworm; increased incidents have been noted in Hawaii. We have a garden, and we just want to get rid of these pests -- for the chickens' sake and for our own health.
After trying all the "safe" non-poison methods I resorted to "Just One Bite" The vets I contacted said it has a low risk of secondary poisoning. Most of the rats died in their burrows and even the ones who died in the pens the hens ignored. I should have done it sooner. I got some locking bait boxes to keep the actual poison away from the chickens and cats and dogs.
I use a TomCat bait station that keeps the chickens out of the bait. I've never seen a dead rat and haven't had any issues with secondary poisoning, but the bait gets eaten for a while and then stops, so it must be killing them.
Use a bait station with whatever poison you choose. That way, the chickens cant get to the poison. There are many poisons out there with low secondary poisoning. We use Terad by Bell.
Poison is poison. You might try a humane trap and then remove them, or use a lethal trap away from the chickens. But, any poison you introduce into your environment has the potential to poison something else unintentionally. We have cats and dogs, the rat's don't seem to be a problem for us... Best of luck to you on this one, sorry you even have to figure it out.
We used pure peppermint oil on cotton balls. We did not have a bad rat problem but we definately had some. We put pure peppermint oil on cotton balls and shoved them in their holes. Haven't seen them since. Supposedly they hate it.
Here's some info on bromadiolone, which is supposed to be low risk to any chicken, dog, etc. that might eat a dead rat:

I've used it in my coop without harm to the chickens. I used Just One Bite in the past, and will be using some of the Tomcat Hawk as soon as it gets here.

No one should state outright that it will never harm a chicken, IMO, but from what I've read and my own experience, I'm more worried about what rats and mice carry than I am about using this particular poison. When I used it before, I had fairly good sized rat holes in the coop floor, and I stuck part of a stick down the hole then covered the hole with a concrete block. I'll have a bait station this time, which I'll secure better than just snapping it shut as it's designed to do, probably with duct tape.

Rat traps of various sorts are great -- if the rat isn't "trap smart." I never had much luck with that.
This a good thread for me.We were over run with field rats and ground squirrles.
Not onlyl caused the obvious problems but killed some of my chicks..good sized, 6 weeks........
Got into my broody's nest and it was a daily race for the eggs.
My husband used one bite.............He put a wire through a plactic milk crate............Threaded one bite through the wire before connecting it to the other side of the crate, then placed this in various areas outside the barn. He put heavy metal on top to keep it from being tipped over..
I cannot even guess how much we used, lots of trips to Home Depot.
Everytime he put it was totally gone the next morning.
Along with this..We came home one day to find about 6 chickens eating a dead rat.I freaked fearing secondary poisoning.
Came directly to BYC and it was explained about bromadiolone.....didn't make me feel better until I saw they were fine the next day.
We had not intended to kill the ground squirrles but they love the one bite also.
We have a nearly rat free barn ( I am sure they are around somewhere) and the squirrles have moved on.
Worked great for us.I wish you good Luck..................It was worth every cent we spent on the product.
One more thing,I learned on here to try to do a heavy hit........ They do take it back to thier nest so it is better not to allow time for the young ones to start reproducing.
Good Luck.....
What would we do without BYC:lol:
I contacted several vets including at our State veterinary School. They all said the same thing...that a cat or dog would have to eat many, many dead rats to suffer from secondary poisoning from baits that include the active ingrediant that Just One Bite contains. I don't have a package in front of me, but the ingrediant starts with a B

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