Rat colony around my chicken yard.... What do I do?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by portlandchics, Jun 22, 2016.

  1. portlandchics

    portlandchics New Egg

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    Feb 26, 2016
    Currently I have a colony that keeps growing, plus the neighborhood rats that come 'visiting'. I actually love rats, but am concerned about diseases spreading to my chickens and to the eggs they produce. I have contacted two exterminators who both told me that if I have chickens, I will always have rats. Does anybody have an idea how to deal with them. I cannot use traps and will not use sticky strips.

    Thanks for whatever advice I get, I am new to backyard chickens (I love it) and want to take care of them the best way I can.

    Leslie
     
  2. ejcrist

    ejcrist Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 16, 2015
    Desert Hills, AZ
    Hi Leslie,

    Rats are there because of the food source and not the chickens. I hate it when people say that because it gives chicken keeping a bad name. I know birds are messy eaters but try to keep things clean and put the feed in a secure place when the girls turn in for the night. If you do that it should take care of the problem. If you're like me and compost the chicken manure, that will attract them too. If you keep the pile wet though they won't be interested since they like a warm, dry location to camp out in.
     
  3. portlandchics

    portlandchics New Egg

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    Feb 26, 2016
    Thanks so much. I will make sure the coop is as food free as possible before I shut them up for the night.
     
  4. SunHwaKwon

    SunHwaKwon Overrun With Chickens

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    Eastern Shore, MD
    I battled some rats for a while. I bought metal trash cans and started putting away food and water at night. I set out live and snap traps. Still, every morning the tunnels were reopened and the traps avoided. I even put out a poison station after a month of this and they wouldn't touch it either. Eventually I found a better hiding spot for the bait station and had a taker. Then I borrowed a raccoon live trap from a neighbor and caught an adult male. I guess I only had the two adults. Three days after I removed the male, nine babies came crawling out of the tunnels looking for food, water, parents... I felt kind of bad because their eyes weren't even open. They were quite cute. I also knew I had narrowly avoided a huge rat problem.

    My suggestion is the big live traps as long as you know what you'll do with any you trap. I also read good things about electronic traps and had just bought one but not set it out yet.
     
    1 person likes this.
  5. Rock Home Isle

    Rock Home Isle Chillin' With My Peeps


    I typically do not like Havahart products, but they make a great squirrel cage trap...open at both ends; 3 or 4 of these and you should be in control of the rat problem.

    Great post by the way [​IMG]
     
  6. MeepBeep

    MeepBeep Chillin' With My Peeps

    Like them or not rats are not your friend, they will chew and destroy things, eat your eggs, eat baby chicks, spread disease and you name it...

    You can make snares cheap, use them by any tunnels you find, or use conibear style traps in the openings live traps are costly up front but they work very well and last forever, for live trapping it's best to have a garbage can filled with water handy to finish the job, just drop the trap in, snap traps placed inside a box or plastic tub with some food can do wonder...

    As said above food waste and availability needs to be controlled, store food in steel garbage cans and control waste and where you feed the chickens so the rats have no access to spillage/waste...
     
  7. Donna R Raybon

    Donna R Raybon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have good luck with using plastic culvert like you use for downspout of gutter. Lay against a wall and put bait bites in as far as you can reach. You can also cut a small hole and block back up with duct tape. Old stove pipe from our wood stove is another favorite. You keep baiting until the bait quits getting gone. Then just watch for signs of new rats moving in. As suggested keep food up at night. Chickens don't eat at night, rodents do. I read an interview with ApA judge that said almost half of birds he judges have mice/rat damage from chewed feathers.
     

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