How are rats getting in???

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by PrincessTrudeia, Jul 16, 2019.

  1. PrincessTrudeia

    PrincessTrudeia In the Brooder

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    I am away on holidays and a neighbor is looking after our 3, 3 month old chickens. They said that they found a rat in the coop in the morning and I cannot even figure out how it would get in. This is a link if you want more details about the coop:
    https://www.aosom.ca/item/pawhut-77...tch-with-nesting-box-run-green~D51-092GN.html
    We leave the ramp open at night because I have put hardware cloth along the bottom of the run.

    The venting has hardware cloth stuck inside.

    I have wedged the floor of the nesting box down, but it does have 1/4" gaps in the floor.

    I have found that the tray under the coop can be budged open, so I've pinned those with a stake in the ground.

    For now, they will bring the food and water in at night, but I can't, for the life of me, figure out where they are getting in. I don't know if anyone else has this problem or if you can see a design flaw. When I get home I will hardware cloth the coop and nesting box bottoms.

    Any other suggestions would be helpful. I am new to chickens and am at the end of any ideas that I had.

    I have included a picture of the run that the smaller coop is inside of, in case that is relevant. It is not fully predator proof yet, as I will still bury wire. I just thought it could wait because the inside one should have been ok.
     

    Attached Files:

    Eggscaping likes this.
  2. Tycine1

    Tycine1 Crowing

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    Perhaps of interest:
     
  3. Joev1973

    Joev1973 Songster

    Food for thought. About 10 years ago saw a little hole in the yard a full 3 feet from the coop.

    I only noticed it bc I had a beautiful lawn and noticed fresh dirt as if something was flinging dirt.

    My wife and I got the garden hose and a shotgun and I turned the water on. The hole began to fill with water

    I could hear the water and could tell it was almost full. Then a big wet rat came out of that hole and ran into the garden and disappeared into the plants.

    I did have hardware cloth buried. That rat went way out in the yard and made himself a tunnel bypassing the hardware cloth altogether.

    And I believe he made that hole in 1 night as I didnt notice the dirt the previous day and that area of my yard I frequent on a daily basis for the garden.

    Never underestimate a rat. As much thought as you put into keeping him out he will put that much thought on how to get in.

    He even dug a little spot under a live trap and ate the bait from below the trap. I finally got him but it took a while. He got brave one day in broad daylight.

    Check for holes a little larger than a golf ball and they dont have to be near your fence. They are tunnel masters
     
  4. PrincessTrudeia

    PrincessTrudeia In the Brooder

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    Jul 6, 2019
    Vancouver Island

    Good point. The little coop run does have hardware cloth stapled to the bottom.

    It's so hard to know when I'm not there to inspect, but the neighbors can't find anything.
     
  5. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

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    If you have seen one rat there is a good chance you have more. This is what I use and only the rats can get to the bait and they usually go into their tunnels and die.
    RatBait.jpg RatBaitStationRev.jpg
     
    igorsMistress likes this.
  6. Absolutely. I say this all the time. I have many past experiences from when I raised quail where rats made MULTIPLE tunnels into my aviary from wayyyyyy back away from the actual walls. They were bypassing the hardware cloth. In my case it was not buried deep, but was just below the surface running perpendicular to the coop wall. Now that I have chickens, I had a rat (on video) recently dig a tunnel that was about 2 feet away from the door in order to better access a spot that was juuuuuuuuuuuuust a bit too small for him to squeeze thru. I have a spot on my doorframe that was just barely to small for him to fit in, so he backed away and made a tunnel under some pavers and bricks to get BELOW that portion of my door frame and then into the coop. So he still came in right where he wanted to, but from below and not from the surface. Very creative creatures.
     
  7. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

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    My Coop
    I think they can dig pretty deep. We have pocket gophers here and we do have a trap to put into their tunnel. Some of the tunnels are 2'+ deep under the ground for the gophers. They don't bother the birds but make huge mounds when digging their tunnels and I hate to run over the mounds with the mower when the mounds are in the yard.
     
    igorsMistress likes this.
  8. Folly's place

    Folly's place Crossing the Road

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    Rats are smart and motivated, and do eat eggs and kill chickens. We had them in our coop a couple of years ago. The old concrete floor had cracks, and they found a place large enough to enter. Miserable!
    It's an ongoing battle to keep critters out!
    Mary
     
    igorsMistress likes this.
  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    Probably need a game camera to figure it out.

    :lol::gig:lau:lau:lau
    Not that we need to know by a half a millimeter,
    but the sound affects had me cracking UP!
    So, thanks for that @Tycine1 !

     
  10. igorsMistress

    igorsMistress Crossing the Road Barefoot

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    Do you open the run to let the flock out to free range at all? If so, it's possible the rat could have entered then and been trapped inside for the night. Depending on the size of wire on the run it could have entered through that as well.
     

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