err... Do we have rats!?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by cluckcluck42, Nov 29, 2010.

  1. cluckcluck42

    cluckcluck42 Songster

    Oct 4, 2009
    Okay something just dawned on me today. Over a month ago, I let the chickens out of the coop to find some of them with feathers missing in a bizarre way. It was like someone had taken to them with a rasor and buzzed off a couple spots. It was only a couple of the roosters who had this so I figured it was from roo fights (we have too many boys right now.) One of them got the worst of it shortly after, it looked like someone had pulled a prank on him and shaved off some patches all over him. Again I thought it was rooster fighting, never once thinking it could be RATS!!

    Well now one of my Welsummer hens has a chunk of tail missing with broken feathers opposed to plucked out feathers that you would see from peer plucking. None of the birds fight very much and none of them have been plucking feathers at all that I have seen. This is when the lightbulb went off and I finally thought of the little vermin.

    There is a hole that we thought a mouse made next to the food fish in the coop. We filled it up but now I am wondering if it was a rat all along.

    Whats the best way to get them, poison, death traps or live traps?? We could put rat poison in a place where no chickens or household animals could get to it but where the rats are sure to find it.
  2. D'Angelo N Va.

    D'Angelo N Va. Songster

    Dec 28, 2009
    Well keep in mind, that if you use poison it is also accesible to the chickens....use a live trap is my best solution, also if you use poison it will get sick and look for water and the chickens will peck it to death...hence infecting themselves with the poison as well. I wish you luck in getting this....what ever it is!!
  3. Tropical Chook

    Tropical Chook Songster

    Jul 5, 2010
    I've been having the same problem. Last night I put down a baited "glue rat" trap, and within an hour there were three of the little buggers stuck on it. Will be putting another trap out tonight [​IMG]
  4. cluckcluck42

    cluckcluck42 Songster

    Oct 4, 2009
    Tropical chook, did you have the same thing, the buzz cut look? I'm wondering if that is a rat signature that I am not aware of.

    I didnt think about the rat going to water and dying and the chickens eating them... see, good thing I ask questions on here, I wouldnt have thought of that.
  5. MuscovyMad

    MuscovyMad Chirping

    Dec 2, 2010
    We used to have rats at our bit. There were holes around the chicken coop where they were obviously living. So we put some grain out and watched it for a bit one night and that confirmed our suspicion. Our answer was getting a cat. That way it is a nice safe way to get rid of the rats without risking the chickens. Plus the cat will scare of any rats from coming back. [​IMG]

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