Crazy Rat Exterminating Experience


In the Brooder
12 Years
Nov 30, 2007
All winter I knew that we had a rat in our coop. As the weather allowed, I opened it up to allow our barn cats to do some hunting. The cats didn't get the rat, mostly due to the rat building their nest behind the various bales of straw in the coop (to provide additional insulation during the winter).

The past week has been much warmer in Wisconsin, so I took the opportunity to begin removing the extra straw. The chickens have been out each day and I have been removing the straw as I have time (its been added to my compost heap). When I pulled out one of the bales I discovered nearly 8 rats hiding out!!!! I grabbed my garden shovel and attempted to stab at the rats, but I wasn't fast enough.

I have now made it my quest to destroy the rats (along with my barn cats' help). Its a mission... I want them all DEAD!

(thankfully I have not had any problems with the eggs being eaten, it seems the rats were eating the feed that was in the feeder for the chickens. The feed is stored in a steel can with a cover, so I'm not too worried about that.)

Last night when I was pulling out another bale of straw I discovered a nest of baby rats... there were at least 8 of them. I tried to coax my barn cats inside to eat them, but they were enjoying the sun outside. So I took the baby rats (they were less than a week old and still had their eyes closed.. they were about 3.5 inches long) with a rake and tossed them outside for the cats to have. The cats each took one, but that left 4 or 5 still on the ground.

A couple of my chickens walked up to check out the commotion and one of them started pecking at the baby rat and grabbed it and ran off. Of course this created a "keep-away" game and a couple more chickens grabbed baby rats and ran off. I was shocked at first, but then found the whole situation hillarious.

The chickens ran around with the baby rats in their beaks, with others pecking at them as they could. The rats died pretty quickly and eventually the chickens gave up. I believe the cats ended up with the rat carcasses.

Has anyone else had an experience with their chickens going after baby rats like that?


Premium Feather Member
13 Years
Dec 26, 2006
Both Coasts
Yup. Given the opportunity they will play "keep away" with any tasty treat and apparently, baby rats make the tasty treat list. Blech! And .... Yuck.

Ive heard that the Rat Zapper works pretty well.



12 Years
Apr 25, 2007
Central Michigan
Yes I have had that experience too. Last spring I took out then nesting box that I have in the coup. When I did this I found not only a hole in the floor in the coup but a nest of baby mice (not exactly rats). The chickens that were still in the coup when I did this seen the babies and they each got one and played the keep away game. Never seen a mouse or babies in the coup since.


12 Years
Jul 21, 2007
I agree with Chel about the rat zapper! I have two and they do a great job without poison.

We saw our chickens dismember a live mouse. By the time they were done the entire mouse was gone. I guess it was a good protein source but it really grossed me out!!!


12 Years
Oct 11, 2007
Gervais OR
Years ago I used to work weekends on a horse ranch. When the gal that owned the ranch found a nest of mice she would always throw them to the chickens. I thought it was gross, but it's a quick way to get rid of them.

Frozen Feathers

12 Years
May 4, 2007
Mine have caught the occasional mouse or mole. It's pretty gross. Between them and the cats, I've never had a mouse/rat problem. Now chipmunks are another story.


12 Years
Oct 22, 2007
Wellsville, UT
Mice tunnel in the straw in my coop and occasionally in the feed bins. They jump in but can't climb out. I whack them with whatever I have around and toss them to the chickens. The eat them up like crazy. Now they will chase one down in the coop! I also toss them garden snakes occasionally if its a baby and I have a ton around during the spring. They love it!

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