We were leaving the food container down in the run for the girls all the time, for them to eat whenever they wanted. The other day we noticed that our four layers were going through A LOT of food. Because they were going through so much food and we thought it might be rats, we stored their food dish in our metal food container last night. First thing this morning I laid their food out. This afternoon I went to check on them in this heat and their food container is empty! Is it possible that a rodent would come in run during the day to clean them out? I cannot imagine four chickens eating so much food. Is hanging a metal food container from the center of their run a good idea for keeping the rats out of the food, or will the little boogers just jump on the container? Thanks for any advice.