About an hour ago I went out to check on my ladies and encountered a rat on our back porch. This was my fault as I neglected to put the black oil sunflower seeds away last night after filling the wild bird feeders. Now I am mega paranoid! I have noticed that my ladies love to lay right near the skirting of hardware cloth I put up around the coop inside the run. They also like to peck at the ground incessantly (duh) but after this last rain I noticed that when I walked along the run I was colapsing some tunnels. I do not know if they are new or old but I do not want to find out. A friend of mine uses the cookie things that you break off a peice and put down the holes. I mentioned this to my mom and she is worried the cats will get sick if they happen to get a hold of one of the rats or mice that happen upon the poison. Does anyone have experience with rats and cats? A side note, I am planning to rent a trencher tomorrow morning and running it along the exterior of the coop and run. Then I will be placing hardware cloth inside and refilling the trench. Has anyone done this sort of thing with success? Will rats and mice get trapped and come up to the surface inside my coop? Or am I going way overboard?