I am dumbstruck! How is this possible?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Rynn, Jul 10, 2010.

  1. Rynn

    Rynn In the Brooder

    Aug 17, 2009
    Hi All,

    I have been trying to catch a rat for the last 2 weeks and cannot believe what has been happening! [​IMG]

    We have had rats before in our barn and have always gotten rid *with snap traps* as they are close to our chickens and don't want them stealing the eggs or passing on any nasty's! We use the traps so we know when we've got the rat and as we have dogs and chickens close to the area don't want to risk it.

    We noticed we had another rat over a month after we caught the last few because the dog goes mad sniffing around the area they usually inhabit so we started with the snap trap again - for over 3 nights the git has had free meals as the trap has failed to go off at all and all traces of food have vanished! We even used cured sausage and sewn it on to the trap and it has been chewed off and the the trap still set in the morning. we decided the trap was getting old and must be a bit stiff so we bought a brand new trap and set that! The next 3 nights the same thing has happened and both traps have had food taken of the hook and not been set off at all!

    So for the last 2 nights we have resorted to the poison and the traps. we put the poison in a food freezer bag so we could see when the rat has chewed into the bag and would know if it had taken any poison - The problem now is that both bags have vanished as well. On both nights there is no sign of any poison falling out or drag marks when it has been moved! The bags were quite full so it was quite heavy for a rat to carry!

    We put the bags and traps in a side room in our barn where there is most rat activity and it has a door so no other animals can get in!

    Has anyone encountered a rat stealing bags of poison?!

    We are in France and are dumbstruck as to what is going on it is as if someone is going into the barn and removing the bags and food

    I know it is a rat as I have seen its foot prints around the traps so it couldn't be anything bigger.

  2. mickistoy

    mickistoy Chirping

    Jun 21, 2010
    northern ohio
    sounds like a good time for a game camera or security camera system!!!!
  3. Jaguaress

    Jaguaress Chicken Addict Wanna-be

    May 27, 2010
    Piedmont, NC
    No idea what would've carried off the bag of rat poison. That's not a good thing, as you can't control what (pet) animals can get into it if you don't know where it is. Naughty rats!

    A non-poison way to kill rats, that is supposed to work, is to pour a carbonated soda in a pan for them to drink. Coca Cola apparently works well. You can also flood their holes with a hose to drown any babies; the adults will scatter.

    Good luck.
  4. buckabucka

    buckabucka Crowing

    Jan 13, 2010
    Fairfield, Maine
    My Coop
    Wow. that is weird. I do know that rats are very smart and cautious. It would be very interesting to see what is happening with a hidden camera.
  5. Godsgrl

    Godsgrl Ostrich wrangler

    Aug 27, 2007
    at the zoo usually
    I do believe rats would steal a bag of poison like that. A friend's hamster stuffed rat poison in his cheeks, then took it back to his cage. (the owner removed it, hamster was fine). My ferret has stolen a bag of army men toys, a sleeve of crackers, and (repeatedly) a bag of fish food. Dragged them through the house to put under my bed.

    Can you maybe wedge the poison in somewhere where they have to chew some off to get it? If they are just moving the poison and storing it, then they may not be eating it. Good luck
  6. Godsgrl

    Godsgrl Ostrich wrangler

    Aug 27, 2007
    at the zoo usually
    have you tried the bucket method? I don't have a link handy, but you set them up with an empty soda can with peanut butter on it. The can rolls, they fall in a bucket of water and drown. This might work, and it can't be moved by a rat. I don't think, anyway. If you search bucket trap on here, several links should come up for it.
  7. BackyardAR

    BackyardAR In the Brooder

    Jun 19, 2010
    When I lived in Korea there would be brightly colored 2ft long clay pipes laying around the base of most buildings. Inside was pink oatmeal, laden with poison. However, I would sit out in the yard and watch rats visit the "poison" over and over. As long as they didn't overeat, the poison dispenser was nothing more than a feeder. If one poison isn't doing the trick, you often had to switch. They would periodically change out the type of poison they used as the smarter rats would develope immunity to it.

    Again, rats are strong and smart. They will store food for consumption later, particularly certain types of rats. If your rat (is really a rat) and is carrying poison off in those quantities, you need to stop that method. If that rat is killed, that poison may remain and some other animal might get into it later. Also, if you look at some of the various mouse threads you see it mentioned many times that you likely aren't going to see a dead mouse from poison. They typically die where they nest.

    For your issues, it's hard to call. A game camera might give you some insight as to your pest, rat or otherwise. Going with a different style of trap might help too. Spending some quiet time near your birds with a pellet gun or .22 might also get you the result you need. I've shot way more rats than I've ever trapped.

  8. PhilErvin

    PhilErvin Songster

    Sep 11, 2009
    Yucaipa, CA
    I would NEVER put poison where a rat could carry it off.
    I took a 5 gallon bucket with a lid that snaps shut on it. I then cut out a hole about 1.5" up from the bottom on the side. The hole is about 2 inches around. I bought some of the poison that is a block about the size of a paperback book. I then zip tied this block of poison to a brick and put this in the bucket with the poison facing away from the entrance hole. The rats go in and eat their bellies full and then exit to die somewhere well hidden. The reason to zip tie to the brick is so that the rat DOES NOT carry any out that other animals may eat. I check out the poison from time to time and add more when necessary.
    Good luck. [​IMG]
  9. crossedwires

    crossedwires Chirping

    Jan 19, 2010
    is also a bad year for rats with us as well. i shot over 40 in one night last week, i use a poison thats a wax block with a hole in the middle you thread heavey duty wire thru it and attached it to something, that way the rat cant carry it off, they normaly eat it were it is.
    this week i have spent alot of time putting mole smoke down there borrows and standing by them with a modified parrafin weed gun (now a home made flame thrower!) and i toast the little buggers when they are smoked out.
    i would say this year so far we have lost 1000+ chicks to rats, even tho the brroders all have lids and electric parimeters round them. they can be hard to stop. and cause no end of damage, shooting is probally the worse way to get rid but i do it as it makes me feel better [​IMG], we change the type of poison every six months to avoid immunity and keet the bait stations baited, but on a farm rats is something to have to constantly battle.
  10. noodleroo

    noodleroo Snuggles with Chickens

    Apr 29, 2010
    Rockport, Tx
    Rats are smart. We had a box of PVC pieces in the shed at the bay and DH kept picking up the pieces and putting them back because a pack rat was using them to design his little 'rat condo'. We put out snap traps that he figured out how to get the bait off and left unsnapped. Poison; didn't touch it. Sticky traps; disappeard. Finally DH waited (in the dark) with a baseball bat and....well, you know...

    Anyway, as for the poison in the bags - i think you would have to tie them down some way or they'll just carry them off...if they want to....

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by