Rat and other predator proofing

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by lampshadeee69, Dec 28, 2011.

  1. For the winter, I moved my flock into a smaller room in the barn with a wood stove in it. Because I lost many chicks to rats, possums, raccoons, etc. I tried to go overboard on security. I have a grated door covered in a tarp with a wooden board on one side and a metal panel on the other blocking one entrance, a screen door with the bottom blocked off by a thick plastic panel with the rest sealed off. The door I use is another screen door with a board underneath covering a 6 inch gap. There is also a plastic barrier preventing any pests to crawl up and over the board. There are no holes in the roof or any along the ground (that I could see...) The only forseeable problem is a rat crawling through the pipe used to drain floodwater from that room, but it would have to crawl about 100 feet. The floor is covered in about 6 inches of mesh hay too. Mice are not a problem, in fact I welcome any mice that show up because they are cute and can co-exist with my chickens. Rats and other animals can't. So far I haven't seen one sign of rodents in that room, and it's been about a week. Any other tips to make sure nothing gets my precious flock during this winter? I'll keep posted on weather or not this works.

  2. patman75

    patman75 Songster

    Secure all foot sources so not to attract rodents. Add a hot wire to keep the bigger predators out.
  3. Ole and Lena

    Ole and Lena Songster

    Jul 22, 2011
    Wright Co Minnesota
    As above, secure all food sources in METAL containers. The old fashioned trash cans work well as does an old metal chest freezer.

    Plug any ground burrows around your prop. with landscape rock and compacted heavy soil. Plug any holes in wooden buildings with steel wool or shredded beercans and sprayfoam. Remove or split apart hollow logs, clean up any loose junk, leave woodpiles open to the wind and piled on skids above the ground. Mow tall grass and weeds and brush within 100' of buildings. Sounds like your coop is pretty secure but watch for signs of chewing. Rats will easily chew through plastic and wood if they smell goodies on the other side. I'd recommend running a small trapline for varmints.
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2011
  4. I feel your frustration. I only have adult birds right now so the rodents aren't doing any harm, but they are sure digging and chewing up a lot.
    plus who knows what kind of pests and disease they bring with them. I have made 2 attempts to rectify their access to my coop but they always seem to find some other inch-wide opening under the ground. For me, I have stopped throwing scratch or treats on the ground in or around the coop, run, or anywhere in the yard. I feed the chickens in bowls that I bring to them and only enough where they can finish it in a few minutes so there is nothing to attract the pests. This has significantly reduced rodent activity and now it's down to just a few curious stragglers.

    If I were you I would cover that drain pipe with hardware cloth or some other mesh to keep them out. It's 100' but hey they are hungry and it's winter. Plus you never know what kind of access they might have along the route via a crack or drain hole. Just a thought.
  5. 1234duck

    1234duck Songster

    We had a big rat problem. They were eating all my ducks/chicken food. They even were in the walls of the house. We blocked off a section of the ducks area(closest to our house where rats were totally loving all the ducks food). In that area we put a plastic tub/bowl with a little duck food and rat poison. The rats ate every bit and soon we had no more rats running in the walls of the house (still don't). All of our feed is also stored in air tight containers which helps. ~Now in a different area I'm having a problem with the squirrels eating all the chickens food. The squirrels are EATING holes right through the bottom of the deer fencing which is being used to fence in my chickens. ugggg.... so long for deer fencing to fence my chickens. I heard that putting "bubble gum" in the squirrel holes is a way of getting rid of them? "DOUBLE BUBBLE GUM" ? lol well what have i got to lose, guess i will try that. ~Julie~

  6. Wow Thats A Great Idea, My Duck Yard Is Chain Link And Chicken Wire On Three Sides With The 4th Side Being The Backside Of My House. I Think Now I Will Put Chicken Wire About One Foot Away From The Back Of The House That Way If Need Be I Can Use Rat Traps And Poison If Needed. Last Summer I Had Rats Under My House And They Would Run Along The Fence Line At Night, Traps Worked But Now With Ducks, And Duck Food And Duck Poop And A Duck Pond All In The Back Of My House , I Suppose I Need To Become Aware. I Havew Two Ducks Now But Am Concerned About Their Safety This Spring And Summer. Will Rats Or Gophers Attack Or Try To Kill My Ducks? I Do Have Gophers And Mice And Rats As Well. [​IMG]

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