feeder or not

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by AceOfSpadesJJ, Feb 3, 2013.

  1. AceOfSpadesJJ

    AceOfSpadesJJ Out Of The Brooder

    83
    3
    41
    May 14, 2012
    UK Colchester
    i have 11 chickens and i was wondering can i just have a 12 bird feeder inside there coop and just thorw a handfull of corn outside but would they be able to see inside the coop as they have no window and i cant fit one and i cant have the feeder out side because of rats would eat it. Rats any good ideas of getting rid of them they are getting in under our fence into the run and i am not sure if they can get up the ramp into the coop the coop is 1 foot off the ground with metal nailed to the bottom so they cant eat though the bottom.
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2013
  2. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

    25,645
    1,828
    463
    Jul 17, 2011
    North Central Kansas
    I promise you they can get up the ramp into the coop. Rats are nothing if not resourceful. Wherever you put their feeder your chickens will quickly adapt to where they are fed. Personally, I don't like to feed in the coop - keeps everything cleaner to feed the outside in my opinion. I would try trapping the rats. Good luck to you!
     
  3. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    28,907
    113
    408
    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    I only have feeders inside the coop for my chickens. They get scratch or some other treat in their run first thing in the morning when I let them out of the coop. They need to have some source of light in the coop in order for the hens to be comfortable with going into the nestboxes during the day. It doesn't have to be very bright. If you can't create a natural source of light then perhaps a small wattage bulb in a brooder lamp hung high (attached in two ways to avoid coop fires).

    Rats can climb in through the pop door, so can snakes. This past summer I reached into a nestbox and pulled out a 5 ft. long rat snake. [​IMG] I have a barn cat. It's his job to take care of the rodent problem. Otherwise, rat traps placed where none of my critters can be injured from them.
     
  4. CountryTink13

    CountryTink13 Out Of The Brooder

    17
    0
    22
    Dec 30, 2012
    Wilton, CA
    Ok, If I ever find a snake in with the chickens we'll just have to move! (only half kidding)
    Maybe I'm crazy but it seems like I read somewhere that roosters will kill snakes. Is that not true?
    Barn cats..YES!! We have several and haven't seen a rat or mouse around here.
     
  5. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    28,907
    113
    408
    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Gotten complacent over the years and reached in the nestbox without looking first. Guineas will kill snakes, chickens may kill a smaller one. My very large chickens wanted nothing to do with this guy.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2013
  6. CountryTink13

    CountryTink13 Out Of The Brooder

    17
    0
    22
    Dec 30, 2012
    Wilton, CA
    Neither do I. That's horrible!! (REALLY hate snakes!)
     
  7. raiford921

    raiford921 Out Of The Brooder

    53
    0
    31
    Jan 6, 2013
    Mine have ate two baby snakes already this year. I'll handle any snake issue that comes up, but my wife will be handling the [​IMG] any spider issues.
     
  8. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    28,907
    113
    408
    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    [​IMG]
     
  9. WalkingOnSunshine

    WalkingOnSunshine Overrun With Chickens

    4,210
    452
    328
    Apr 8, 2008
    Ohio
    Yikes! That's a serious rat problem.

    The first thing to do is eliminate where they feed. Make double sure your hen house is rat-proof. Make sure there is no spilled feed left around, and remove feed at night. Make sure there is no trash to draw them, and if you have a compost bin, avoid adding meat scraps or other things that will draw rats.

    And then, do your best to eliminate them. Personally, I'd find a way to poison the little boogers such as stuffing rat poison down their burrows because that way you get the whole colony (use the bait that doesn't kill them right away so that they take it back to the colony for you) --Just make sure any rat bait is kept away from chickens, pets and children. If you don't have a fool-proof way to bait without harming other creatures, they make glue traps. The traps just don't work as well because a trapped rat makes a distinctive "danger" cry and other rats won't go near the remaining traps. You also might consider hiring an exterminator. Yes, the cost is significant (I think it would cost me around $125) but it would be worth it to rid your property of rats.

    I also second the advice to find a way to get a little bit of light into the hen house, or the hens won't go in to lay their eggs.
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2013

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by