I'm in the home office, hear an odd rucus at the side of the house. Chickens and another noisey critter. It's like 10:30 in the morning. I book outside to see what's happening and find all the older girls in a circle. Elbow my way through the crowd (yes I am short) and find one unhappy rat. He isn't dead, but something internally must have happened, because although his eyes are moving and his tail moving a little, he's hunkered do his belly like he's been stunned by something uncomfortable. I get my big shovel and whack him one. He is suddenly motivated to move. I should mention that I do NOT like rodents. Whack him again, hoping he hasn't seen any sy fy movies. He scurries over to a wooden box and manages to get inside. I finish him off, trying not to look. I heard his cries.... Trying not to, ahem, get sick. I covered him with a brick until I work up the nerve or decide to take up carreer drinking to dispose of its body. Sooooo much simplier when they mosie into the battery opperated zappers. Question: surrounded by a bunch of chickens, would they have eventually killed him? Could he have harmed them fighting back? I'm going to keep an eye on them to make sure they weren't snacked upon, bribe them with their fav treats: grapes. Another reality check for me in what it really takes to raise chickens.