My city won't legalize BYC because they are worried about rats

Kelly Cassani

In the Brooder
Nov 29, 2020
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I live in a city in RI where chicken keeping is banned. I'm working with a newly elected city council member to try and pass ordinances allowing them. The old city council shot down BYC in 2013 and their main issue is rats. They say we have an existing rat problem and they believe chickens will exacerbate this. I'm curious if this can be helped. Are they right? Do you have any ordinances you have to follow that specifically relate to rat control? Thanks in advance for any advice!
 

Weeg

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It depends on your setup. If you setup is sloppy, food everywhere, untidy maybe chicken slop all over the run, then it will attract rats. If the rats have access to your warm coop and decided to use it as there home from the start, that attracts rats. If you keep your food and water sources tidy, and unaccsesable at night, the rats can't get to them. As long as food, water and shelter is blocked off at night, the rats will check it out, and move on, because they can't get anything from the coop. If everyone was sloppy, the rats would find the coop, and decided to live there, because food, water, and shelter was easily accessible.
 

Howard E

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5 Years
Feb 18, 2016
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I live in a city in RI where chicken keeping is banned. I'm working with a newly elected city council member to try and pass ordinances allowing them. The old city council shot down BYC in 2013 and their main issue is rats. They say we have an existing rat problem and they believe chickens will exacerbate this. I'm curious if this can be helped. Are they right? Do you have any ordinances you have to follow that specifically relate to rat control? Thanks in advance for any advice!

Rats are drawn to chickens like a moth to a flame. They come for the easy food source and water. They make their own shelter in tunnels. Been that way since people started keeping chickens in houses.......and if you don't believe that, do a search for "rats" on the predator forum to see what turns up in the way of rat problems.

Having said that, if you do your part, you can keep chickens without attracting rats. Provide chickens with rat proof housing and use a well designed treadle feeder and you should not have rats. It may not be inexpensive, but is doable.
 

Weeg

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Rats are drawn to chickens like a moth to a flame. They come for the easy food source and water. They make their own shelter in tunnels. Been that way since people started keeping chickens in houses.......and if you don't believe that, do a search for "rats" on the predator forum to see what turns up in the way of rat problems.

Having said that, if you do your part, you can keep chickens without attracting rats. Provide chickens with rat proof housing and use a well designed treadle feeder and you should not have rats. It may not be inexpensive, but is doable.
Agreed, if ti tis kept tidy, chickens will not attract rats. You board should shut make a rule, that you have to use a treble feeder, water has to be covered at night and the coop has to have some sort of regulations so that is is rat proof. I think that is fare. Even if they wanted to come check out you setup before you put chickens in, I think that would be better then nothing.
 

Sally PB

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Aug 7, 2020
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As long as food, water and shelter is blocked off at night, the rats will check it out, and move on, because they can't get anything from the coop. If everyone was sloppy, the rats would find the coop, and decided to live there, because food, water, and shelter was easily accessible.

Bingo.

The problem would become some people keeping it clean and having no rats, but others leaving food or water out, and the rats multiplying where there was food. It wouldn't take too many bad apples to spoil it for everyone.

Or, like Weeg just posted, make the regulations part of the deal.
 

Weeg

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It wouldn't take too many bad apples to spoil it for everyone.

Or, like Weeg just posted, make the regulations part of the deal.
Ya, maybe suggest to the board that they have to come and check out you scoop setup, and make suer it is up to code on rat proofing, before you can put chickens in it. It would suck to have to wait for someone to come check out your coop, but then at least no one could ruin it. I think that is pretty fair.
 

Weeg

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Unfortunately some people will not follow through and care for the chickens the way they should and a city can't just be like okay you can have chickens but your neighbor can't. Its too hard to police.

If you already have a rat problem in the city chickens will likely only increase that problem.
That is why it would be a good idea to have them do a mandatory check of the coop and setup, to make sure it is up to code and regulations, before adding chickens. Then they can make sure it is rat proof, and make anyone not up to code, get up to code, or no chickens.
 

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