missing chicks/ one chew HELP NEEDED

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by tiki244, Jun 30, 2011.

  1. tiki244

    tiki244 Flock Mistress

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    I think I know what I have but I do need advice. Heres my story:

    I have about 40 chicks in a coop from 5 weeks to 10 weeks old all housed together. The coop is built in a field so there is some tall grass around it. Also a shed close by that has been known to harbor mice and something that looks like a mouse with a short tail. I have poisened some of these. And a few fell in a bucket of water and died. This coop has been there for two years and I have not have a predator problem before.

    So, a chick came up missing 2 weeks ago. Then I found another dead chick half eaten and only its toes were sticking out from under tha coop. I pulled on its toes and I found wings and legs and thats it. [​IMG]

    I cannot get under my coop. I then put a hose under my coop and ran it for hours to "flush" anything out. I put out some poison but not a lot. And tried to trap some rodents in a bucket of water with no results. The poison was eaten but not all of it.

    Working outside I saw some brown thing running through the grass and it looked like a mouse but was larger. I am getting creeped out. I didnt get a real good look at it.

    A few days later another one of my smallest chicks is missing. [​IMG]

    Ok I am really creeped out now.

    1)Is it rats?

    2)could it be anything else?

    3) I am not sure if I want to know the answer, but, if I saw one rat, how many could be around?

    4) I cant get under my coop, What can I do?

    5) I did read the method on a bucket and a stick with a string and cotton ball and peanut butter. Does this work?

    6) I also read aboutt someone pulling up their floorboards and finding nests upon nests of rat nests. CREEPY

    70I am afraid of rats but need to know what to do!

    Thanks for your help
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2011
  2. tiki244

    tiki244 Flock Mistress

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    If I did rip up my floorboards, and had nests, would the rats still be there? Or if they left because of the commotion where would they go? I havent seen any signs of mouse or rat poopies. I am thinking that doesnt mean a whole lot??????




    clueless here
     
  3. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

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  4. tiki244

    tiki244 Flock Mistress

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    Well thanks for the poison advice.

    I built the coop 2 years ago and I think I could probably write a book on what not to do when building a coop.
     
  5. bryan99705

    bryan99705 Chillin' With My Peeps

    First, raise the coop off the ground (rock it up on one side and set a couple blocks under the high side, then tip it the otherway and repeat. Do this till anything under it is high enough that a critter will decide there are safer places to live. If you don't have a floor or it's rotted, raise the coop and set it onto RR ties on all 4 sides, remove the rotted floor and fill in with pea gravel. Also remove the litter and inspect for holes chewed thru the floor or base of the walls and for rotten spots

    If the underside of the floor is open then you likely don't have a rat nest in the floor, just between the ground and the floor.

    Consider wiring the underside of the coop floor with hardware cloth to protect against critters digging up thru the floor. but secure it well to solid wood, if the floor supports are rotten, nails or screws won't hold.

    (Mice looking critter with short tails are shrews) They love stealing chicken feed just like mice and rats do.

    If you see a rat or mouse, you don't want to know how big his family is!

    The bucket half full of water with a wire stretched across the top and bait does work well and there is no secondary poisoning issue.

    Think about a good CO2 BB gun when around the coop to shoot rats and plus it gives larger critters a real good reason to leave real fast too.
     
  6. tiki244

    tiki244 Flock Mistress

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    bryan99705 Thanks for the ideas. I have a 12 X 16 coop on old RR ties. Across that the floor is made of 10x 1? planks. I can certainly check for holes. No raising the coop though.

    I can see that something has burrowed under. I just thought smaller varmints, but rats [​IMG] Creepy. I dont even want to go out at night. "shiver"

    I am thinking I might be able to take a wooden side off the bottom and a flashlight to look under there. But Ugh


    Would hardware wire around the edges work? I dont have room to put under. Unless I could do the top of the floor and then put some linoleum over that? I also am pretty sure at least one of the chicks was taken during daylight outside!!!!!! I guess that means a whole revamping of my pens too.

    I also have pens outside and they are not small hardware. I suppose putting the cloth up a couple of feet wouldnt work. Would I have to actually surround the whole pen with it?


    I was afraid you would say I dont want to know how big his family is. More so if I see one in the day???? I am just CREEPED out. Poor Chickies.


    Well I am going to try the bucket deally and hope it works. I would really like to SEE what I capture. Not really but yeah I want evidence,

    Can I put buckets in the coop? Or will chickens fall in. I have heard of chickens drowning. What is good placements?

    Thanks for your help......I am very new to rats and have only seen a pet rat and now possible sighting of a real rat outside. It was a bit braizen I think. Just going from one clump of grass hide out to another. If one charges me I am really done for it. When my daughter was little a chipmunk ran at her and up her side and got on her head and then ran off. [​IMG] That was aweful!!!!!


    And then there are moles, at least I think they are. They burrow in the ground and make piles of dirt in a zig zag shape. Are they harmful?
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2011
  7. dmccann

    dmccann Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My Coop
    This is another bucket trap.fill bucket half full of water put a layer of sunflower seeds on the water then a ramp,board,going from the ground to the bucket edge.I have caught some mice and chipmonks this way.
     
  8. tiki244

    tiki244 Flock Mistress

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    O Ok Cool [​IMG]
     
  9. gd4sumthnmom

    gd4sumthnmom Out Of The Brooder

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    We used to use peach or pear juice...probably not good if you don't like killing the little things.
     
  10. mjuenem

    mjuenem Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Is the coop fastened to the ties? If so chain a vehicle to it and pull it to a new location (then showing what was underneath). If not, put a couple more ties down and slide it over onto the new ones (with a chain and vehicle).
     

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