I Hate Rats!

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Enchanted Sunrise Farms, Oct 9, 2011.

  1. Enchanted Sunrise Farms

    Enchanted Sunrise Farms Overrun With Chickens

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    Apr 26, 2007
    Fair Oaks, California
    . . . . even more than i hated them before.

    Our back pen has a large wooden and hardware cloth aviary. i have been seeing chewings around the bottom, holes to underneath. i seal up one, next day there is another one, etc. Then this morning i see they have chewed through the floor to inside. i wondered why the broody hen who had been sitting in the nest box on the floor decided to suddenly roost up high with the rest of the birds. Those dang rats are just chewing that thing to pieces.

    Anyhow, my tactic this morning is to do some chicken shuffling and get those five chickens (small flighty bantams) out of there. Then seal up all around the outside of the aviary, leave the hole in the floor, clean up every speck of chicken feed, and put down a block of rat bait. i really hate using that stuff as i don't want my birds to happen across it. But i figure if i trap them under and inside that aviary, with only poison to eat, that should get them. Not sure if i will be able to totally secure that aviary in the future without encasing the entire bottom in concrete. It may be a total loss.

    Did i mention, i hate rats?
     
  2. Chicken_Guy

    Chicken_Guy New Egg

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    Oct 9, 2011
    Wow, that sure sounds like a real hassle! I haven't encountered any rat issues myself but I imagine that it can be something that sneaks up on you (those darn rats). Are rats only concerned with getting to the chicken food? If it's the food that is attracting them perhaps you could try an automatic chicken feeder. I am still new in the chicken game but I have heard really good things from friends about this product in particular http://www.grandpasfeeders.com
     
  3. Enchanted Sunrise Farms

    Enchanted Sunrise Farms Overrun With Chickens

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    Apr 26, 2007
    Fair Oaks, California
    Interesting feeder. i can see where that would be good for standard size chickens. My fear with bantams would be that someone would get decapitated.

    So far, the rats seem to only be interested in the chicken feed. But i've heard stories of rats nibbling the feet off of sleeping chickens. They are just nasty and so hard to catch. They won't go in a trap or a rat zapper. They avoid anything new like the plague. Only way we've gotten them before is to sit and wait with a pellet gun.
     
  4. SilkieBantams

    SilkieBantams Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 23, 2011
    Houston, TX
    If you have barn cats they'd do the rat killings for you and you can also shoot those rats.
     
  5. Enchanted Sunrise Farms

    Enchanted Sunrise Farms Overrun With Chickens

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    Apr 26, 2007
    Fair Oaks, California
    i keep my cats inside, but we have neighbor cats in our yard all the time. i found one right up by the pens this morning, which is just fine with me. i'm not sure if they've caught any yet, or maybe they have, and it would be worse if they weren't around. This current rat is living under that aviary in the back. i caught it on the game cam last night coming out of the hole in the floor looking for food. It's didn't go for the rat bait. But maybe tonight i'll put a sticky trap right outside that hole. Then i can have my husband shoot it in the morning.
     
  6. Yay Chicks!

    Yay Chicks! Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Can you put up and secure the food at night? Granted, I only have four birds, but I put their feeder in a secure container in a garden shed at night and just bring it out again in the morning. I have never seen any evidence of rats. Don't know if that's possible for you...?
     
  7. Enchanted Sunrise Farms

    Enchanted Sunrise Farms Overrun With Chickens

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    Well, i have 8 chicken pens and coops, then another 2 for our ducks and geese. i always keep the food inside their coops, which get locked up at night. But there still seems to be spillage outside the coops, and then some grains of leftover scratch from the morning. It's hard to pick up every bit. Then this one rat ate right through the floor to get to the food. That's pretty bold, and i hope it doesn't happen in any of the other coops, else i'll have to put in metal floors (or some such thing). They don't seem to bother the coops that are elevated. They just want to burrow underneath the ones that sit at ground level.
     
  8. Impress

    Impress Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Gray, TN
    I have had a ton of luck with the Tomcat bait stations, but I don't put poison in them, they are made where a large rat snap trap fits perfectly in them. I set them right up against the wall, and as they instinctively slink along walls, when they walk into the station they get snapped and killed on their way through. You could always bait the back parts of the trap with chicken food, and when they wander in to get it, SNAP!
     
  9. Yay Chicks!

    Yay Chicks! Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Yes, you have a large venture to manage. Not so easy at all.
     
  10. Enchanted Sunrise Farms

    Enchanted Sunrise Farms Overrun With Chickens

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    Apr 26, 2007
    Fair Oaks, California
    Quote:i've never used the bait stations. i will look into those.
     

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