Pesky rat/mouse

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by PuggyDawn, Jun 25, 2019.

  1. PuggyDawn

    PuggyDawn In the Brooder

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    Mar 20, 2019
    Lakehills, Texas
    I am so upset!! I'm a backyard flock....well, I have 3 girls right now. Wanted to dip my toe into backyard raising. I love it, gonna move onto bigger things....ANYWAY, a rat/mouse, I'm not sure which one it was, stole an egg. It was dark brownish/black and fast. Not large but not tiny either. This was 2 o'clock in the afternoon. Pretty brave rodent!! What do I do?? I hang the girl's waterer from the run, so it doesn't sit on the ground. Should I remove that at night? I also use an automatic feeder on the side of the rum that only dispenses food when the girls peck. Should I remove that at night too? I'll do anything to discourage these vermin!!
     
  2. Folly's place

    Folly's place Free Ranging

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    No mouse could carry an egg away, so it's a rat until proven otherwise. Rats will also kill chickens, at night when they are roosting.
    Upgrade your coop, at least, so no critters can get into it.
    Trapping is hard; you may get one or two, but never everyone.
    Bait in safe bait stations is generally necessary.
    Good luck, Mary
     
  3. courtsmarans

    courtsmarans Chirping

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    I have used a peppermint spray in the past when I had a little bit of a problem. You can get this type of spray at TSC for pretty cheap
     
  4. PuggyDawn

    PuggyDawn In the Brooder

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    Mar 20, 2019
    Lakehills, Texas
     
  5. PuggyDawn

    PuggyDawn In the Brooder

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    Mar 20, 2019
    Lakehills, Texas
    Thank you
     
  6. Cmacc

    Cmacc In the Brooder

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    Oct 1, 2018
    I'm not exactly sure what your automatic feeder is or how it functions, but I would start there. I can share that we had a BIG rat problem last year. A rather large rat colony set up home underneath our coop and at any one point in time we could spot between five and 7 rats running around. Just think of what we were not seeing! At the time the rats were able to feed from an open feeder and spent time running between the open feeder and our compost.

    Bottom line, we had to shut down the open access to feed, compost, and water. We got a Grandpa's Feeder (will only dispense food when chicken's weight opens the feeder) and we also purchased an electric rat zapper (which never worked for us). The feeder alone was enough to begin to deter the rats as they no longer had access to any feed and we stopped using our compost pile. We also used a pellet gun to shoot some rats, which my husband would do periodically. Lastly, a Coopers Hawk established a presence on a tree right by our run, but was thankfully there just for the abundance of rats.

    I love the feeder, though it is a little pricey. It took a few weeks to train the chickens to use, but with pellet gun and hawk, were able to wipe out the population. With no food, I think most of the rats moved back down the mountain to the dairy farm, which is where I think they came from in the first place.
     
  7. so lucky

    so lucky Songster

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    We had mice in the run and under the coop, so I set mouse traps after the chickens were penned up for the night. I caught a few mice but one morning I saw a big commotion out in the run as I went out to trip the traps and let the chickens out. I was horrified to see that I had caught a cardinal in the mouse trap! It was caught right behind the beak, and not in good shape at all. I had to put the poor bird out of its misery. That was so hard!
    I did learn my lesson, though, to put the traps inside something that mice can reach, but not any other critters.
     
  8. PuggyDawn

    PuggyDawn In the Brooder

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    Mar 20, 2019
    Lakehills, Texas
     
  9. PuggyDawn

    PuggyDawn In the Brooder

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    Mar 20, 2019
    Lakehills, Texas
    Thank you
     
  10. Folly's place

    Folly's place Free Ranging

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    Having bantams and often young birds, those 'rat proof' feeders won't work here. Having no food outside of their fenced area does help, at least.
    Predator control is a constant issue with chicken keeping.
    Mary
     

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