Is a rat eating my chicks through the cage bottom?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Rowanm77, Apr 21, 2008.

  1. Rowanm77

    Rowanm77 In the Brooder

    Jul 19, 2007
    Blairstown, NJ
    [​IMG] I put my 17 1-month old RIR chicks in a different cage than usual for the night when I brought them in from their ex-pen. The bottom of the cage sits about 1 1/2 inches off the ground. When I went out the next morning I was horrified to find 5 of my dear babies with severe leg and toe injuries. One baby lost his whole foot! It was hideous!!! The only other injuries were 2 chicks who had some skin tears on their breasts. What could have caused this? A rat? Only after this happened, my brother mentioned that he'd heard some rustling in the horse stall which is about 40 feet from my coop. I have had problems with raccoons before but this didn't follow the same pattern as a coon and my adult birds were fine. Meanwhile, everyone is still alive and recovering from their injuries although the one hops pitifully on one foot with a broken toe and a stump on the other one. I am putting them back in the original, smaller cage that is 1 1/2 feet off the ground. I feel like a terrible chick momma! I guess it's time to buy more rat poison for the barn. [​IMG]
  2. S n M Poultry

    S n M Poultry Songster

    Aug 31, 2007
    Ive has somthing very fermiliar happen to me. I had my flock of 7 button quail in a cage on the ground. When i went out one morning 6 of my buttons were dead. Some missing legs, wings, some were even half eaten. 2 of them were decapatated but the heads were right next to them. I never found out what had gotten them. I always suspected it was a rat or mouse. I had my fav. one Bologna left but i think he died from lonlyness =[
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2008
  3. mooman

    mooman Dirty Egg Eater

    Apr 9, 2008
    Marietta, SC
    I would say the rat theory is very plausable. When my first four birds were about a 4-5 weeks old we started putting them in a tractor during the day. The tractor was built to withstand raccons (2x4 welded wire floor) but I did not think about rats.

    About this time a white rat that must have been someones escaped pet started showing up. I know it was half tame because it would poke around in the garage during broad daylight and not even mind your presense untill you tried to catch it.

    Anyway I came home from work one day and hear the chickens raising kane. I go over to the tractor and the rat is in there chasing the chickens around and actually jumping into the air to try and get them. scratched them up a bit, but everyone was ok. When I caught the rat it could actually be handled without biting (I was wearing gloves of course). Couldnt have it attacking the hens though. I put it in a pillow case and introduced it to a brick wall at about 40mph.

    Let us know how the one legged chicken gets on.
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2008
  4. EllyMae

    EllyMae Songster

    What about weasels? are they in your area? They are pretty small and can be so violent. My grandma used to complain about them in her hen house occasionally.
  5. aberfitch

    aberfitch Songster

    Mar 24, 2008
    Texas Fort Worth
    there are so many of these intruder problems. I am wondering if video servalince will work ...I know if I had a problem that is the first thing I would do. just to know what did it and to know what to go after.
  6. RobinEgg

    RobinEgg Songster

    Feb 21, 2008
    i had a panic attack the other day thinking i could hear a rat knawing at the back of my broader, thinking i can't let that thing get in with my babies! After frantically searching all around my brooder I could find nothing and then I noticed each time the chicks would jump on their porch I would hear that sound. I was much relieved to find out it was my over reactive imagination. Get some poison traps or cats whateverit takes to get rid of that evil thingso your babies can be safe.

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