Help, please? What am I doing wrong? Rats!


9 Years
Dec 30, 2010
Ocala, Florida
Ok, so just when I thought I was winning this war..once again the rat bat I put out yesterday is all gone, but I still have rat poop in the coop and now some very freshly dug out spots in the run.

The set up..hens in the yard in front of the coop. Pullets and cockerels in the yard to the right. They don't share a space yet, but the rats get into both yards from under the slab that the coop sits on.

This is the hole where I pour the pellets and they are obviously eating them all up. This is on the outside of the porch area and they dig thru to the yards.

This is where they dig out from under the slab every time I try to block it. This dirt used to be very firmly packed. What can I put around the entire perimeter of the slab to keep them from digging under and tunneling thru?

Just cuz it's a pretty side view! Babies to the right and hens to the left. Separate access doors to the yards and soon we will cut a hole in the wall of the coop on the babies' side so they can begin to share the whole space, but I'd prefer they not have to share with the rats!
Last edited:
Do they make hardware cloth that's tiny? I've only seen the larger gauge and that's what we have on the lower third of the yards, sunken about 6 inches into the ground. Should we also sink some around the perimeter of the coop or re-cement it?? I'm so frustrated!
Get the bait for warfarin resistant TSC..or wherever. I prefer the blocks, less chance of a chicken getting one, although, I do lock up my girls/boys until the war is over. That's what it is, a war-anyhow, I keep putting the blocks out until they're dead and gone, you will know by the blocks still being there in the morning. Put the bait out before dusk, that's their feeding time and do it until they're gone. It takes a week or a little longer. Knocking on wood, I've seen nothing since I've done it a month or so ago. Rats/mice...suck! Also, if at all possible...raise that coop up at least a foot to remove the cozy burrows under it. I have one coop, my first-that is on the ground on hoop coop now has a permanent floor and is up a foot off the ground...I will NEVER have a coop that doesn't have an airspace under it! Danged rats!!!

I'm sure hubs never thought about raising it up. That slab is really heavy and the coop (used to be my little girl's play house) just sits on top of it. I wonder how hard it would be to attach flooring to the coop and get rid of the slab??
Just a note, for what's it is worth. Slabs provide an ideal home for rats. Most building codes call for solid poured footers around the perimeter, going 24" into the ground. This is commonly called a "rat wall" footing.

I would consider starting over, at some point, with the design of your setup. Not today, but at some point. Slabs just provide an ideal home for rats. The chickens and feed left around 24/7 attract them, of course.

Yup, this war!! May your military advance be powerful and effective. Best wishes.
I let all of them free range from about 4 p.m. until they go to bed and we have seen the rats in there at dusk. I try to feed the chickens in the a.m. so there is little to no feed left when they come in at dusk and my husband makes fun of me for cleaning the coop every day! I feel like I'm doing all of the right things..but it sure sounds like I need to get that slab out of there. He's going to just LOVE hearing that!
Look into this trap. It's a barrel or drum, partially full of water, with a open top, a wire running across the opening and a bait holder in the middle. Ramps are set up from the ground to each end of the wire and the rodent tries to crawl to the bait and falls in, drowning. Smaller 5 gallon bucket versions can be used for mice too.

Videos are on Youtube and somebody was writing about it, in this section, a few days ago.

No poison and low maintenance
Last edited:
Another idea is one my Dad used to deploy - put out small pans/saucer/bowl of soda pop - no diet/sugar free - sugared and carbonated.

Reason it works is that the rats will drink the soda, and they cannot belch out the gas, the soda bubbles up inside, creates gas in thier stomach and they have a heart attack and die. Better than poison! You will have to change out daily as the soda loses fizz but it works! He used to do in a BIG warehouse, he just poured on the floor in puddles. The mice/rats came out to drink and problem solved. Low investment and no poison.

One other thing to try - a simple box with a lid (google it - mouse bait box). Mice like to follow a wall and same path. Put these in line along a wall, fence etc - they are curious, go in, eat bait (out of reach to all other critters) and die. Here is one link to one like I am talking about.
That also looks like the holes that we have near our runs that are made by squirrels. Could be both. Good luck.

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom