Dealing with rats

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by CarpCharacin, Nov 11, 2019.

  1. CarpCharacin

    CarpCharacin Cyprinus carpio

    Aug 17, 2016
    Salt Lake City, UT
    My Coop
    I let my birds free range in my yard during the day, and then lock them in at night, but I have a problem with rats in the yard. I have noticed a good amount of them, and sometimes I see them eating the chicken food during the day. Any suggestions as to what to do about them? I was thinking about putting rat poison in the garage, up high where the chickens can't get it.
  2. Duck_life

    Duck_life Duck Addict

    May 14, 2019
    Woods of PA
    I have the same problem, but my rats are huge and are stealing my chickens eggs. Mine hide under the chickens coops so I'll be using rat poison under their. I don't really know how to deal with rats but that's my plan. Good luck with your rat problem.
  3. 21hens-incharge

    21hens-incharge Addict

    Mar 9, 2014
    Northern Colorado
    If putting poison out it should be in a bait box that the rats cannot haul around.

    They will drag bait out and leave it where others (chickens, cats, dogs etc) can find it.

    Be very careful with that poison please.

    If you are seeing them during the day you have many. It will take time even with poison to knock the numbers down.
    The warfarin based poisons take a LONG time to kill them. You may want to go with a heavier poison.

    Be sure to walk the property a few times a day looking for the bodies. No need for a secondary poisoning.
  4. ----------

    ---------- Chirping

    May 29, 2019
    if you get the bait boxes your chickens or dog cant get into
  5. CarpCharacin

    CarpCharacin Cyprinus carpio

    Aug 17, 2016
    Salt Lake City, UT
    My Coop
    So the bait box will prevent them from dragging the poison out?
  6. 21hens-incharge

    21hens-incharge Addict

    Mar 9, 2014
    Northern Colorado
    Bait boxes specifically made for rats yes. They prevent random drag outs of poison.
    Use the type of poison the box is designed to dispense....compressed cube, pellets etc.
  7. chrissynemetz

    chrissynemetz I want a hippopotamus for Christmas

    Dec 19, 2013
    Olathe Colorado
    I agree with @21hens-incharge if you're seeing them during the day you have lots of them. I would use poison, but do be careful, and definitely use bait boxes. Rats are awful, and in my experience they're harder to get rid of than mice. Good luck. :hmm
  8. SilkieLover7

    SilkieLover7 In the Brooder

    Nov 11, 2019
    Yes do be careful especially with the bodies because the chickens will eat them if they find them.
  9. Howard E

    Howard E Crowing

    Feb 18, 2016
    Hmmm.......seems like "deja vu all over again".......since there is another rat thread running that has covered all this.

    To the OP and others, what you are sitting on is a thriving rat colony......and to get rid of them is a multi-step process. Thread above has links to several videos that explain what you are up against......your understanding of which is critical towards you getting a jump on getting rid of them, which in summary revolves around three keys steps.

    Sanitation.......eliminating access to feed and shelter.
    Exclusion.....rat proofing your structures so rats can't get in to harm chickens, steal eggs, get to feed, etc.

    and if those two fail to starve them out so them move on.....

    Elimination: The tendency of most folks is to go straight to elimination in the form of traps, bait blocks, etc., which will likely lead to failure to rid yourself of the problem.

    Traps won't work to eliminate a colony......forget that. Provided you have taken the all important sanitation step so rats can't get to any other food source and are starving.... they may be receptive to poison bait blocks.......of which there are several layers of potency and affect. Skip the sanitation step and the rats will likely skip the bait blocks.

    BYC least some of them......are adverse to using poison bait blocks out of fear of secondary poisoning. That concern can largely be mitigated depending on the choice of bait block and delivery method. Others are not adverse at all and will gladly use the bait blocks if it will help their cause.

    Study the videos, do your homework and you will be armed with the knowledge to get rid of your rat problem.
  10. Wee Farmer Sarah

    Wee Farmer Sarah Free Ranging

    I don't have rats in my coop or run, however, this being the time of year field mice are always looking for a warm place to spend the winter. A friend of mine who is a farmer recommended a product called "RatX." It is a natural "poison" that interferes with the rodents ability to eat. It is safe to use around livestock and pets and there is no risk of secondary poisoning. Good luck with your rodent "clean-up."

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: