Neighbors, rats and other chicken woes

lmcfadden7

Hatching
6 Years
Sep 6, 2013
6
0
9
I have 6 beautiful chickens, 1 and 2 year olds from 2 different Saturday afternoon excursions to the Chick store. Life was ideal with them clucking in the back yard and laying eggs all day long. Until it wasn't. Now I'm faced with the decision to battle the odds and keep them (my preference) or give them up. Why?

NEIGHBORS - My neighbors got together and decided to go to Washington County to complain that my chickens were responsible for the rise of rodents on our block. Wow, I used to be the only person who got everyone together to celebrate neighborly love and they go to the county rather than to me directly. The truth is that rodents were there before the chickens (rodents love vegetable gardens and being the only hippie on the block I do own some blame in attracting creatures) but they don't want to look at the fact that rodents were present before chicks. They just want a scapegoat. To say the least, this has cause a rift between us and anyone close enough to feed them while we're away for the weekend. Now finding care for them is really difficult and a total pain. Who wants to drive across Portland to let them out in the am and in at night and hang the feeder to keep rats at bay for a few free eggs?

RATS- We have 2 big dogs that keep them away but apparently rodents hang out in the neighbors yards. Is that my problem? Doesn't feel that way to me as I don't have them on my property like they seem to. But feeling like a low life after receiving my first nuisance - non-compliance notice from the county. I hang the food high at night and everything is sealed as not to attract. What else can I do? I set traps, but days go by without action and then they figure out the trap, spring them and then eat the remaining bait. I won't use poison - don't believe in inhumane death and I have dogs.

Discouraged and am wondering if all the trouble is worth it. Ideas on best way to find cheap care for chickens over the weekend and how to rid the rats. Happy for any advice!

Lorrie & Chicks
Mrs Featherbottom
La-A
Scout
Lana
CJ
Celine
 

Folly's place

Enabler
9 Years
Sep 13, 2011
22,784
36,931
1,096
southern Michigan
I agree that rats and mice are everywhere, but now you have a situation to deal with. By the time rats are noticeable (people are seeing them) there are MANY rats! No trap works well enough to fix a rat problem; they are much too smart. Only poison and managing food sources will work. If any pet food is left out, or wild bird feeders, or garbage, in the neighborhood, there will be rodents. Make sure it's not on your property. I would talk to Animal Control, and plan to use bait. Lock up your chickens and pets, inform the neighbors, and set out broudificon. Sorry, but if it's a neighborhood problem, that's what has to happen. Mary
 

MrsEskew

Songster
Mar 26, 2015
332
206
156
Arkansas!!
My Coop
My Coop
Have you thought about getting a cat or two? Mine live outside and were raised around the chickens so they never bother them and I never see any mice. Everyone's happy.
 
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lmcfadden7

Hatching
6 Years
Sep 6, 2013
6
0
9
Great idea but we're a dog household. No one living here, including the dogs, are cat lovers. But it would be great if I lived on a bigger property with a barn! Thanks for responding.
 

Rayelene

Chirping
Feb 3, 2015
57
14
56
New Zealand
Ouch .. sometimes chooks are hard work. I have had a rat problem too (out in the country). No neighbours to bother like you but stil they are annoying and I think they were responsible for two of my chooks getting sick last month. I tried traps and they are too smart so I've had to resort to more desparate measures and put out bait. I have the chooks in 'lockdown' while I exterminate them. I have now made feeding boxes with lids that the chooks cannot scratch the food out of and I can close the lids at night when I lock the chooks away so there is no food to be found anywhere. I'm hoping with no food I can get them all using the bait. Tried digging down and putting some wire netting around the chook run (about 1 foot deep) but they dug under it. Obviously has to be deeper .. sigh ...
 

lmcfadden7

Hatching
6 Years
Sep 6, 2013
6
0
9
That's what I'll be doing, I think because if I enclose the entire space, there's nowhere to dig under. Dig in a foot, lay hardware cloth and up the sides, refill and hope that their exclusion from the chicken area sends them packing. That and continue to trap the less clever ones. Thanks all!
 
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Cacique500

Songster
6 Years
Jun 2, 2013
441
118
181
Atlanta, Georgia
We used one of the "T" type bait traps, the rats can get in bit the chickens can't. Set it just outside their run and finally got them.

41Ie%2BS3r7gL._SX425_.jpg


http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001QT4F1O?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_search_detailpage

And this is the link for the bait we used: http://www.amazon.com/Tomcat-All-We...F8&qid=1432942061&sr=1-1&keywords=rodent+bait

Good luck!
 

Egghead_Jr

Crowing
10 Years
Oct 16, 2010
7,470
3,514
436
NEK, VT
I use Chunx bait traps too. The pellet bait end up being dropped all over the place but having to chew off the bait with the chunx type it stays in the rodents mouth.

I use a lockable bait station with large holes similar to this:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Protecta-LP...667?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item1e58206beb

I put the bait boxes right in the run. In fall I put them around the house to aid in keeping mice out of the house.

The dark green Tomcat chunx bait works well. Usually the pest die in their lairs but now and then you'll find a squirrel or other rodent on the lawn so a morning check to toss before letting out the dogs is all one would do,
 
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