Rat Proof Coop

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by pyros, Mar 23, 2008.

  1. pyros

    pyros Hatching

    Mar 22, 2008
    I would like to keep chickens and not have rats, ever.

    Is it possible to only keep feed in the coop, never outside.
    Will this cause even more destruction of the lawn?

    Also, does anyone know of a rat proof coop design to stop them getting in to the food?

    I was thinking of having it raised 3 foot on stilts and having a dangling ledge (drawbridge
    style) about 2 foot above the ground, hoping that chickens could jump up, but rats could not.
  2. jjthink

    jjthink Crowing

    Jan 17, 2007
    New Jersey
    Once I put hardware cloth on the floor of a coop that was only maybe 5 inches off the ground and also ran it maybe 6 inches up the walls, I never saw a rat again. You could make your coop a little higher off the ground and run a ramp but I doubt you'll need it to be 3 feet off the ground.

    p.s. I put a nice layer of straw or wood shavings (depending on time of year) on the floor over the hardware cloth (which itself was on top of a wood floor) so my feathered friends tootsies would be comfy walking on the floor.
  3. Dawn419

    Dawn419 Lost in the Woods

    Apr 16, 2007
    Evening Shade, AR
    We keep our feed in large galvanized "trash" cans and haven't had a problem with any critters getting into them. We have a feed storage area set up in our main run so we're able to keep them locked up whenever we aren't feeding.



    Hope this is some help!

  4. hensdeliverthegoods

    hensdeliverthegoods Songster

    Dec 18, 2007
    Catawba County, NC
    We use galvanized trash cans as well, and reinforce them with nice tight bungee cords. That's to attempt to keep the raccoons, out too. We all know how clever those critters can be....[​IMG]
  5. DLS

    DLS Songster

    I spread cyanne pepper all around that keeps rodents out. I get BIG jugs of it a Sams Club I get the flakes that still has seeds in it (like some folks puts on pizza). It keeps out rats chip monks & mice . that all I do . I have tryed for years, I have tried , traps, poison, wire A cat, shooting, ect. & this is the only thing I have had an success with. you just have to make a circle & do it a few times & the just plain old GO AWAY!
  6. homefarm

    homefarm Hatching

    Mar 4, 2008
    i have a concrete floor that helps...keep grain in metal trash cans covered that helps....keep a cat in the barn..... if all else fails use rat traps dont give them a chance to hide under anything....homefarm....
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2008
  7. CarolsCritters

    CarolsCritters In the Brooder

    Mar 9, 2008
    Central Florida
    My husband (poor guy) just finished our new chicken coop a few hours ago after working on it for 2 full weekends. Our problem was 3 fold..... rats, goats and Florida weather! We wanted to install a coop that would fit inside our goat pen (had extra space there that was safe away from dogs), but the problem was that inside the goat pen we have rats! Plus the goats like the ram everything AND with rain, wind and extreme summer heat we had to do a lot of research before making a final decision. My new baby chicks lived 5 weeks in a ferret cage on my dining room table until we got their permanent home finished, yippee, not a better day to move into your new Easter Egg chicken coop than Easter Day! I was told my chickens are Araucana's but suspect they are Americanas since they now have tails and no funny face feathers. But they do have very green feet! So I guess they are mutt chicks but I have enjoyed every day with them since I brought them home. So smart and people friendly, they were calling for me this evening when the sun was going down, they were scared in their new surroundings. So after 4 trips out there to reassure them, they finally settled down in their new home.

    We ended up purchasing the plans on this site from Dennis on Small Playhouse Coop, $35 well spent for online video and detailed plans. But we took his plans and revised them to accommodate our needs (and budget), which included 2x4's (pressure treated) vs 1x3's, 1/2 inch wire vs 1 inch wire, plywood vs cedar, rubber roof panels vs metal roof panels, added wire from frame to frame underneath the roof, and added a complete wire floor to keep rats from burrying underneath it. In addition we made it 3 ft wide vs 4 ft wide (stock width of wire), shortened the height a tad so the roof didn't show over the goat pen privacy fence, and to make up for lost space in the nesting area on width we brought it out in depth by one foot. We are also adding a resting ledge in front of the nesting box since my chicks seem to enjoy just hanging out together on ledges.

    But to respond to your concern about the rats, that was our biggest problem too, so we added a framed out bottom completely covered in wire. We buried that in the sand/dirt about 3-4 inches so the chicks would still have pecking/scratching depth and bugs/worms could still surface. So the entire coop is now surrounded by wire, even the roof panels have rat proof wire underneath. You have to use the 1/2 inch wire, not 1 inch or the rats will squeeze right through. And every frame has to be wire to wire, we used about 1300 staples in this project. And the roof panels have to be screwed in and sealed so rats can't get underneath. It would certainly be easier to kill the rats, but with our 6 dogs, 2 goats, 11 cats and more, we can't chance using any kind of poison on our property.

    You are welcome to write me if you have any other questions or wish to see photos, my husband can fill you in or I can send photos. Our total cost for this neat chick abode is currently about $250 and still counting. Send email to [email protected]. Good luck!
  8. WDPKS

    WDPKS In the Brooder

    Jan 21, 2008
    Norco, Ca
    we have plenty of csts that do a fair job but can't get into tight spots & in the pens so what we've done is take a PVC pipe just big enough for the mouse or rat to craw into, make it 3 foot long & put "Bar Bait" (that is the product name) inside middle with a broom handle or stick, drill holes on the end lip of the pipe & wire it to the inside fence of the chicken pen so it won't roll around. The bar bait doesn't effect secondary animals, if any other animal eats the death rat, the 3 ft. pipe keeps the chickens for eating the bar bait & rats & mice like to hide in holes. We had a problem with them & stated using this method in each pen & its wipe out our problem. Can also use the pipes in barns so that other animals won't it the poison
  9. jjthink

    jjthink Crowing

    Jan 17, 2007
    New Jersey
    I use the galvanized cans too and they work great. I now use a metal weight on top of each after a determined somebody chewed through the bungee cords (one of my squirrel friends I think!). Cans and food undisturbed since. Except one day I left the lid off one in an absentminded moment and then found an adorable little mouse inside, petrified, looking up at me, unable to get out once he got in as the food was getting low in the can and he was too far down to climb out. I set the frightened little guy free. A reminder to me to remember to put the lid and weights on.
  10. Um, the average Norway rat can jump 6 feet. Sorry...but this is a great thread, I'm reading intently...[​IMG]

    We support a feral cat colony and haven't had a rat near any of our animals in 21 years...and like most of you we seal all animal food in covered containers.
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2008

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