Help - how to better "rat-proof" the coop!

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Princessferf, Nov 11, 2008.

  1. Princessferf

    Princessferf Out Of The Brooder

    63
    0
    29
    Nov 30, 2007
    Wisconsin
    We have an older coop that we refurbished 2 years ago. It serves our chickens well, but we are constantly fighting a battle against rats. We have 5 barn cats who do help, but they can't get them all.

    The floor of the coop is metal, but the sides (and most everything else) is wood. The coop is elevated on cinder blocks (high enough so that the cats can get underneath) The rats have chewed through all sorts of things to get into the coop. I've tried using steel wool in the holes they chewed, then covering it with sheet metal and then fastening it down with a 2X4 on top. Is this the best I can do? Will this be a never-ending battle no matter what I do?

    Any tips/tricks and suggestions are welcome. Its SOOOO frustrating to go into the coop to finish the chores only to find rats scurrying! ARGH!
     
  2. Pumpkinpup

    Pumpkinpup Poultry Princess

    Jul 16, 2008
    North-West Georgia
    If you want to go to the expense, hardware cloth tacked down to the inside of the walls would be a way to prevent them getting in there and I suppose you could do a drop ceiling with it as well if you wanted to truly rat proof it. Just an idea. I'd check around to find the best price on it before I just went to home depot and bought any because they are WAY more expensive on chicken wire than the local co-op. I would think they would be more pricey on the hardware cloth too. Good Luck!!! [​IMG]
     
  3. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

    5,719
    43
    283
    May 8, 2007
    Wisconsin
    I'd work on trapping them, too, to get the numbers down. There are a lot of good rat trapping suggestions on some of the previous threads about rats. This was just recently discussed, probably in the predators and pests section. You might want to take a look at those.
     
  4. joerogrz

    joerogrz Chillin' With My Peeps

    184
    0
    119
    Oct 28, 2008
    Loretto, TN
    I still haven't got my coop finished yet, but my Dad came up with a very good way of keeping rats/mice out. We plan on raising the coop up to about 3-4 feet on movable posts made out of rebar, pvc, and concrete. It's going to be a concrete pad about 16" square, reinforced with rebar (to withstand being moved) and 8" pvc pipe coming straight
    up from the pad, filled with concrete and reinforced with rebar also.

    Now it doesn't necessarily have to be done this way. The only reason mine is so heavy duty is because I have a big coop. You could get by with just raising yours up and coating the posts with something that rats and mice couldn't climb. That's why I'm using the pvc and raising it up so high. The height on mine is also to deter other predators besides mice and rats.

    Rats can also chew around the openings like doors and windows and probably vents if your coop has them. I plan on putting an aluminum guard around the lower parts of the entrances where I have steps and the chicken ladder.

    Another good way to deter rats is to get a really tough tomcat...[​IMG]
     
  5. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

    16,229
    679
    396
    Nov 18, 2007
    Florida
    My Coop
    Hardware cloth and Decon in a place where the other animals can't get to it. I put Decon in my wood pile and under the pallets the wood is stacked on. The cats and dogs can't fit but the rats can.
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2008
  6. Princessferf

    Princessferf Out Of The Brooder

    63
    0
    29
    Nov 30, 2007
    Wisconsin
    I have used some aluminum guard, but its a bit harder to work with. I really like the hardware cloth idea, and we happen to have a bit on hand that I can start to use right away.

    I don't mind putting in some $$ to save me headaches in the future.

    Our cats do hunt the rats, but they prefer going after the smaller ones... I guess I'm going to have to put more snap traps out, too. I put those on the "people side" of the coop so as not to injure any of the chickens, of course!
     
  7. Omran

    Omran Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 26, 2008
    Bagdad KY
    I know it might sounds unreal, but I think you are going o spend tons of money trying to win the war with rats and they will never quit, if you have this problem for a while now I will suggest to save money and build you a new coop on soled concrete foundation, and if you think that you have a lot of rats in the area I will go the extreme and build at least 3 block foundation, before framing.
    Or get som help from pest companies and poisen the rats.

    I wish you the best luck, because I know how annoying preaditors can be.
    Omran.
     
  8. ncCHICKS

    ncCHICKS Chillin' With My Peeps

    376
    0
    139
    Oct 5, 2008
    Hope Mills, NC
    mothballs lotsa mothballs
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by