Rat problem

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Morgan951, Jan 2, 2015.

  1. Morgan951

    Morgan951 Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 30, 2012
    Hi, we have a problem. We have had chickens for years and in the last few months, we noticed some rats and they are digging under the coop into the run and eating the food. So I started putting the food in at night, we live next to a field by the way . I haven't seen any for awhile, but I see a hole pop up overnight. And now apparently the neighbors have rats living in their house, we do not (and the coop Is next to our house not theirs) so they filed a complaint with the city claiming it's our fault because we have chickens. How can we get rid of rats? Or just keep them away from the coop? Special feeders? (we also only have four hens and keep it very clean.)
  2. Folly's place

    Folly's place Chicken Obsessed

    Sep 13, 2011
    southern Michigan
    By the time you see one rat, there are MANY! You will get some with traps, but unfortunately poison bait is the best most effective solution. Lock up your birds and pets, let the neighbors know to protect their pets, and set out broudificon or some such warfarin type bait, arranged so that only the rats and mice have access to it. When no more bait is being eaten, pick it up and wait another three days or so before letting your critters out. [​IMG] Also please don't be tempted to use some of the really nasty poisons; the pet you kill might be your own! Mary
  3. Howlet

    Howlet Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 31, 2014
    My Coop
    If you have the space i would reccomend a good cat... mine keep the entire neighborhood rodent population at bay and one is half declawed...
  4. Naser

    Naser Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 29, 2014
    The best thing worked for me is rat proof feeders. I bought two treadle feeders "I had to reinforce their closing mechanism with springs to make them more rat proof".
    Other feeders you can try is grandpa feeder. wright feeder or trigger happy chicken feeder
    "I live in Ireland".
    I have wright feeder but recently it rained horizontal "the rain is carried by the wind horizontal" so it got some moisture and it needs to be "unclogged" I didn't do it because the hens are happy enough with the treadle feeders which are sheltered from rain.
    The video below is for trigger happy chicken feeder and it is from their website so it is not neutral opinion
    I bought two trigger happy chicken feeder, they are very simple design merely a small cross. I haven't installed them yet but I am planning to try them if I get broody hens.
    Regarding rat poison, I use rat poison, but if you have it in well protected place you don't need to worry about chicken poisoned, and my neighbors use rat poison anyway "they have horses and cattles"
    If you can show the authorities that you are using rat proof feeders then you are in a better position to defend yourself.
    The other thing you can do is: whenever you see a hole put a water hose in it and let it run. rats hate that.
    No matter what you do, if rats can get food they will keep coming
    Go to ebay and search for: Rat Proof Chicken Feeder, you will get something

  5. RonP

    RonP Chillin' With My Peeps

    Posted to another query.
    Hope it helps.:

    My understanding is that rats/mice are everywhere.
    They will congregate and breed where there is available food, water, and shelter.
    Look closely around any fast food restaurant and you will see rat bait stations.

    They will eventually come, the idea is to prevent them from establishing a colony.
    If you see 1, there are probably fifty.
    If you see two or more holes, expect dozens.

    Keeping a rat trap/bait station baited 24/7 hopefully keeps the population from establishing near your food source. Once established, they are very difficult to eliminate.

    Remember, chickens don't attract rats, food does.

    That said, I fabricated black 4 inch circular x 18" long drainage plastic pipe as a bait station.
    Placed along the outside of my coop, looks like drainage pipe (not unsightly).
    I put a t fitting in the center, capped, for easy viewing once a week.
    Inside I maintain commercial rat poison.

    My run has food scraps 24/7.
    My coop has food access 24/7.
    Water access 24/7.

    5 years, no sign of rats or mice...

    Hope this helps.

    1 person likes this.
  6. Naser

    Naser Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 29, 2014
    I want to do the same but I am afraid that small garden birds will get in and eat the poison
  7. RonP

    RonP Chillin' With My Peeps

    Chipmunks yes, birds, no way.

    Birds don't like tunnels.
  8. Naser

    Naser Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 29, 2014
    Thank you I will make one
  9. Naser

    Naser Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 29, 2014
    Thank you, I made one. I wouldn't worry much about the Chipmunks
  10. Alex435148

    Alex435148 Out Of The Brooder

    May 22, 2014
    rosharon, TX
    I had a rat problem once. At first they weren't a problem they just ate the food the chickens didn't eat off the floor. Our big bags of food weren't on the floor so they couldnt reach it. Then one morning I woke up to feed the chick's and all 30 of them were gone. I soon discovered a tunnel as I was walking and the ground felt like it sunk and I found a tunnel with about 10 baby rats and all 30 dead chicks... My advise is at first sign of rats look around for tunnels (usually not far from the coop) and I put a hose in there and get someone one the other side with a shovel or something waiting to whack whatever comes out

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by