gopher rat (big rat) in coop...HELP

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by mcg30_40, Sep 11, 2008.

  1. mcg30_40

    mcg30_40 Songster

    Jan 2, 2008
    Short of having a stake-out with a gun in my coop how do I get rid of gopher rats inside the coop? The coop is free standing in the middle of the pen. The pen holds chickens and goats. I went out tonight to see if any of my younger hens had learned to roost inside the coop yet and found a gopher rat (have I mentioned how big these things are) staring back at me. I have the laying pellets inside the coop so the goats can't eat it, I'm assuming that is what they are after since the eggs weren't touched and the chickens in the coop weren't concerned at all.
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2008
  2. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    Well, other than sealing the coop or staking them out... might try taking out the food for the night so they aren't attracted to the coop.
  3. Cetawin

    Cetawin Chicken Beader

    Mar 20, 2008
    NW Kentucky
    You could toss peppermint leaves in there or peppermint oil around the coop...rodents (rats) hate peppermint and will not go near it! Other than that..close up the coop or shoot it.
  4. Check under your coop for a rat burrow, too. Also, if you have any sealed rafter space, be suspicious he might be in there. He probably waits until nighttime to reveal himself and is terrorizing your flock. This is a creature you must remove, not only will he kill, but he will bite at or near the birds' vents, infecting them and spreading diseaser (leptospirosis) throughout the birds, and this is an organism that can hurt you and your family.

    Very sorry to hear this...have you considered those sonic devices that emit noises to repel them? Bait stations can be used to lure them away from a flock until you can identify the species and number and perhaps poison them where your birds can't get the toxin.
    If you have an earthen floor in the coop, it may be time to renovate...
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2008
  5. mcg30_40

    mcg30_40 Songster

    Jan 2, 2008
    Well I found him last night hiding out in my shed so I poisoned the shed (chickens can't get there) and took the feed out of the coop. We will see how it goes.
  6. d.k

    d.k red-headed stepchild

    *Never seen a gopher rat-- how big are these things?
  7. ksmama97

    ksmama97 In the Brooder

    May 2, 2007
    I have peppermint planted next to my coop. Yesterday I found a rat sized tunnel into my coop right behind the peppermint. [​IMG] Really burst my bubble there. lol The rat was seen in a window in our basement, so I know we have one around. We also saw a 3-4 ft long snake skin, but I wasn't sure if a snake would dig a hole into the coop?
  8. rufus

    rufus Crowing

    May 17, 2007
    Are talking about pocket gophers here? I recommend the Macabee gopher trap. Dig out the tunnels. Use a large old spoon. Don't put your hand in the tunnel.

    Usually you will find two tunnels; the pile of dirt is just when they pushed up the soil. Anyway, set a trap in each of the tunnels, cover the tunnel ends with an old can and then cover them with dirt. You don't want any light getting in there.

    Check the traps every morning. Traps should be on a chain attached to a stake. You don't want the animal to back into the tunnel and take your trap.

    Happy Hunting.

  9. mcg30_40

    mcg30_40 Songster

    Jan 2, 2008
    Quote:I'm not sure what a pocket gopher is... I have large (8 to 10 in long not counting tail) rats. Normally no tunnels. They come in from the hay pasture and woods to live in our shed, they get worse during the winter. I'm not sure of the techinal (sp?) name for these rats, gopher rats is just what I've always heard them called. I just know they are very large and left unchecked will get where they don't run from you at all.
  10. jjthink

    jjthink Crowing

    Jan 17, 2007
    New Jersey
    One problem with poison is that rats often move their food (or in this case their poison) to alternate locations where the stuff can be eaten by unintended (innocent) victims. I wouldn't use the stuff.

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