Just discovered a rat...

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Just wingin' it, Jan 12, 2010.

  1. Just wingin' it

    Just wingin' it New Egg

    Jun 15, 2009
    ....near the chicken coop. Our coop and run is built along a retaining wall of massive concrete stones which he can fit between and must be tunneling behind. As the coop is off the ground and the chicken food inaccessible, I am pretty sure he is raiding miscellaneous food scraps from the run.

    I am still a newbie to the chook world so would welcome some basics on rats. IE: Will they harm the chooks? Will they transmit disease? Should I be concerned and work to exterminate or should I simply change the food scrapping?
    In short I would like to understand why rats are/could be a problem and what to do about it.

    Thanks for any words of wisdom you may have to offer!
  2. You should IMMEDIATELY declare WAR on these critters. They multiply, well, like RATS !!

    They WILL NOT go away unless you make them go away. They are clever and industrious.

    Put out RAT traps were you think they are at. If you have seen one, you probably have dozens.

    You may think it is the same rat coming back for seconds, it is not, it is a different. one.

    They are there for a reason. They have food and water within 25 feet. This is a common knowledge thing.

    I have had them in my barn and ignoring them got me NOWHERE. I had to take very aggressive actions

    The WILL try for small chicks, but a hen or roo is pretty much out of their league.
  3. gsim

    gsim Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 18, 2009
    East Tennessee
    Guinea goonie nailed it. If you see one, he has a brother, or twenty. [​IMG] Spring traps, death buckets, rat zappers are all things that work. He may be attracted to feed. It has to be secured in metal containers. If he is eating feed already, he has marked your coop as a place to eat by the odor of his urine. That is how they communicate with each other. If he has eaten your feed already and marked it ok, then poisoning it will work too.

    Make a PVC "T" of 3" pipe. Invert the T and pour poisoned feed, etc down in it. The rat/mouse will crawl into the pipe to get it, but the chooks and your pets cannot get to it. Tie off the single leg of the T so that it cannot be upset.[​IMG]
  4. gkeesling

    gkeesling Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 24, 2008
    Hagerstown, IN
    need to get them pretty quickly as the others have said. I think the best way would be to use rat poison. Use the pvc pipe idea from the other post and/or put it outside the coop someplace where the chickens can't get at it.
  5. Just wingin' it

    Just wingin' it New Egg

    Jun 15, 2009
    Thank you three G's. I will get right on it. I appreciate your tips and words of advice. War is declared.
  6. fancbrd4me02

    fancbrd4me02 Chillin' With My Peeps

    It is also important to take steps to exclude rats from your animals housing. Rats find certain kinds of set ups more appealing than others. For instance, a layer house set onto dirt is a great place for the rats to burrow under and create tunnels to access your pen. Insulation foam (backed with chunks of steel wool) squirted into any crevice bigger or as big around as a pencil or larger will exclude mice and rats. Rats can get into anyspace nickle sized or bigger. Rats & mice don't like steel wool, so stuffing that into crevices and them topping it with insulation foam works great. Rats can jump at least 3 feet horizontally from say a roof to tree branch, etc. Chicken wire won't keep rats out of a pen, 1/2" or 1/4" hardware cloth is a better choice. I have chicken wire in my pen, but it is lined with metal screen. Keeps the flies down, and rats out. Because rats burrow (and so do a lot of predators), burying wire at least 8 inches down and turned outwards will minimize burrowing under. If the roof to your chicken pen has holes or gaps the rats can gain entry into the pen thru the top. Again the steel wool & insulation foam is invaluable for that. Lastly, until you get your rat problem out of control it is well worth your time to put feeders (& empty waterers if possible) away in a sealed container at night. That way they may be more attracted to your bait.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by