Everyone is different and so is the choice of how to deal with the rats. I have tried a lot of different things. I'll stick with the poison. The bait stations work great because nothing can get to the bait except the rats. I have tried different baits. some they wouldn't touch and another they loved. I haven't seen or found any evidence of rats in a long time and the baits haven't been touched and I haven't found any dead rats laying around and no dead birds or other critters. I don't put the bait stations anywhere near the chickens. Rats will travel a distance so the baits don't need to be around the birds. Different strokes for different folks.