We live near the University campus, in town, so usually the rats have the decency to stay hidden. We all appreciate this. The neighbor's cat does an excellent job killing the ones who wander haplessly into his territory. My little old cat is useless, I think if she saw a rat she would cuddle up right next to it asking it to pet her My run is hardware cloth on the sides and chicken wire on some of the roof. What we thought as predator and pest proof. The only thing that should have been able to get through would be a mouse, which would instantly find the glitch in its scheme to get free yummy chicken feed amongst 6 excitable pullets. This morning, when hubby let the chickens out he noticed a freaked out rat in there being avidly chased by the chickens. This was a respectably sized rat, so I was worried it would hurt one of my girls. Long story short, after much hemming and hawing my soft-hearted hubby "dispatched" the rat. As hubby said, he didn't like doing it and the rat liked it even less. I have no idea how that thing got in, I don't think it even remembered how. It would have loved to have figured out a way out. But we can't have rats in the run and that's just how it is. Today I am going to inspect the ground outside the run and see if it somehow tunneled in underneath the sharp hardware cloth edges that go down about 6 inches (only around half of the run, the other half butts right up to concrete). The chickens were glad for the entertainment this morning, I however was not and hope this was a one time occurrence. Rats, blech!