HELP!! Anyone successfully dispatched all rats from their coop? HELP!!

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by 19hhbelgian, Jul 19, 2010.

  1. 19hhbelgian

    19hhbelgian Pigs DO Fly!!

    Apr 9, 2009
    New Tripoli PA
    Ok, we have the coop in our fenced yard where our dogs roam, so I'm not worried about any predators other than these stinkin' rats. They are a huge problem for me. We have done everything from plug up the holes, to rat traps the chickens couldn't get into, to live traps, to my DH sitting on a chair at the coop door with his 22 for hours on end. The things are smarter than we are, apparently, and they are stealing eggs, eating all my chicken food, and have killed a few chickens (all bantams) now. I'm sick over this because I do not want my chickens paying the price for my seeming incompetence. I block the holes, they just dig a completely new one - the last hole actually came out in the middle of the coop! [​IMG] We have tried flooding the holes to no avail, and DH said he will sit out again for me, but I don't want him to have to do this - he works hard enough. I hope someone has a great idea that has worked for them - I'm extremely desperate at this point [​IMG] Think of this little guy when posting your answer... [​IMG] Do it for him and the rest of my crew, not me...

  2. Buugette

    Buugette [IMG]emojione/assets/png/2665.png?v=2.2.7[/IMG]Cra

    May 26, 2009
    Bucks County, PA
    Flooding the holes is of no point... they can hold their breath and swim for some crazy amount of time. The only thing I can think of is surrounding the coop in hardware wire... and dig it a foot or so into the ground.

    Where are they coming up... in your run or in the coop itself?

    Hope someone has more infor for you.

  3. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Rats can swim up sewer pipes and get into people's homes through their toilets... water isn't going to get them. Hardware cloth, brining in food at night, and trapping them to control them, but to get rid of all of them... I don't know if it can truly be done.
  4. thefishery

    thefishery Songster

    Oct 19, 2009
    cats? I've got a cat that lives in the coop and hangs out with the chickens all day.
  5. crazyhen

    crazyhen Crowing

    Aug 26, 2008
    mtns of ,NC.
    I made a hardware cloth floor in mine. I also put out poison, and traps. I have not seen one in awhile but am not really sure they are completely gone. They had killed two little chicks before I got a handle on them. If you have cats feed them close the coop. just them being around seems to help. I use the large block shaped poison, from one bite. Good luck this seems to be an ongoing battle. Gloria Jean
  6. 19hhbelgian

    19hhbelgian Pigs DO Fly!!

    Apr 9, 2009
    New Tripoli PA
    Quote:Yeah, we have cats... They run from my chickens [​IMG]

    Never thought about the fact that the dumb things can swim! UGH!! I hate having to take anything's life, but I'm ready to use my bare hands if I can catch em. If I collect all the birds, has anybody ever had luck with sticky traps? I hate the thought because of the way they'd go, but my birds are more important than that.
  7. ZooMummzy

    ZooMummzy Queen of the Zoo

    Mar 31, 2008
    Philomath, Oregon
    I'm assuming they are doing all this at night? I have rats under my coop right now, but they haven't caused any problems other than just being there - which drives me crazy in itself! I'm sorry you are going through this. I don't have any other advice than what has been given already. Traps seem to be the only thing working for us but it's a real pain because my husband has to empty them every morning and put them out every night (no way I'm doing it lol) and I know it's only a control method - I will never get them all. What type of floor do you have in your coop? We have wood now but it's sagging a bit so we are laying another layer of thicker wood with hardware cloth in between. I'm hoping that is enough to keep them out if they ever decide they want to get in the coop. I have a lot of bantams in there, some very small breeds.
  8. 19hhbelgian

    19hhbelgian Pigs DO Fly!!

    Apr 9, 2009
    New Tripoli PA
    Quote:Actually, putting a floor down sounds like a great idea! They'd still have the dirt for "baths" but the rats couldn't get through it... I have poison out in these maze type traps that the chickens and dogs cannot get into. I think it might have worked to a point, but maybe this newer problem are the babies or something? They actually dig right up into the coop itself. Never into the runs. Off to see what I have to use 'til I can get some hardware cloth!
  9. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Free Ranging Premium Member

    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.
    Friends of ours mixed dry cement mix with chicken feed and put it out for the rats (where their chickens and other animals couldn't get it) and they started dying off. Once they started to die, the survivors moved on.
  10. 19hhbelgian

    19hhbelgian Pigs DO Fly!!

    Apr 9, 2009
    New Tripoli PA
    Quote:My floor is just dirt, which was fine for the first year. We made the coop out of an old run in shed that was too small for our horses, which is why it has no floor. Some of my birds don't roost up at night, and they are the ones getting picked off. I've lost 4 now - [​IMG], and am still in [​IMG] mode from last night...

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by