Well, I'm at the start of a new problem with my chickens! I swear, two trouble-free years and now this year has been full of problems! I started noticing a network of tunnels the other day, and couldn't remember when the first time I saw the tunnel was. Did I see a tunnel in August and pretend I didn't because I didn't want there to be a tunnel? I don't know. But I hoped at first that that was the case. Before I lost a chicken in October, I never used to close my coop at night, so when I noticed the hole, I hoped that it was from an old rat that had been getting in before I shut my coop at night. After I admitted that I was really seeing a hole in the ground in my chicken run, I took a look around and discovered a LOT of holes, probably about six or seven, and a few spots dug out under my coop. My coop has always been a box sitting on the ground with no wire underneath it and it's never been a problem till now. So I plugged up the holes with the dirt and they got dug out again. Darn. I guess this means the holes aren't old from some rat that has given up and moved on now that I've been faithfully shutting my coop every night. I put out a Havahart trap that worked to catch my raccoon, and I baited it with brewing grains, but it's been about 4 days and no rat has been caught, but new tunnels have been dug. The worst part is, the tunnels do not appear to be being dug at night. They're being dug during the broad daylight. Obviously, it's my chickens' feeder that is attracting it/them. So here's what's on my mind. Let me know your thoughts if you have them. I expect this to be an ongoing saga. 1. I don't know that this is really a rat. I've never seen it. The tunnel comes out of the ground at an angle from under a few objects and piles of dead grass clippings in the chicken run (not in the coop). I googled "rat hole" for images and all of them came straight out of the ground instead of at an angle. The same thing for "gopher hole." The holes are pretty big so I don't think it could be a mouse, so rat is my best guess. Does anyone have any other suggestions that I haven't thought of? 2. I don't want to use poison. There are lots of cats in the neighborhood and I have two wily dogs that manage to get into EVERYTHING. That's a tragedy I am not going to risk. 3. First step, put the small, hexagonal chicken wire under the coop. I think the rest of the structure is tight, it's just the bottom that's unsecured. 4. Remove grass clippings and garbage bins to remove their safe habitat. 5. There are lots of great rat-related threads on here, so I've read all about cayenne pepper and home-built rat traps. These might be good ideas going forward, although I'm doubtful about a trap working, since these rats already seem too smart to be trapped. They should have already been caught in the Havahart, but they're totally ignoring it and going straight for the feeder, which they already know is safe. 6. I don't imagine that hanging my feeder will help, because a rat can probably jump higher than my chickens can reach. Since the rat's getting in during the day, I can't very well close the food up. My hens free-range in their run during the day and they have to have access to their food. 7. I suppose I could use dogs to solve the problem, but since I'm unwilling to risk my dogs' health to kill nasty city rats, it doesn't seem fair to borrow someone's Jack Russel or Schnauzer. I'm also not averse to using some kind of air gun or pellet gun, but I really don't have the time to sit outside and shoot rats. Also, I really, really, don't want to move any dead rats. I'd rather they just lose their incentive to hang around my yard and leave for greener pastures.