Rat-proof idea?

PdxChick

In the Brooder
11 Years
Aug 29, 2008
17
1
22
I am fighting the rat battle. I bought a rat zapper, but nothing yet. I have only had it two days, so I'll give it time. But, I am wondering if this idea would work:
Dig about 1.5 ft down in run, place hardware cloth, stapled to 2x4's at ground level of run, replace soil/sand/pea gravel over the hardware cloth. Do this under the entire run/coop area.
I have observed that my hens (ony have 3) do like to dig, but they never dig more that 5-6 inches down. I don't want them to hurt themselves on the hardware cloth, but I don't think they would ever get that far down. It would be a lot of work, but I am so sick of these rats/mice that I am willing to do anything to stop them.
I am also raking, and taking up all food at night. But the rodents still dig into the run. I would appreciate any feedback/ideas.
Thanks
 

Dread Pirate Roberts

Songster
11 Years
Jan 20, 2009
1,168
12
161
NorCal
That's a splendid idea.

Loads of work, but a splendid idea.


Just watch out for leaving sharp ends on the hardware cloth. Short of that, you girls really shouldn't hurt themselves even if they do reach that depth.
 

PdxChick

In the Brooder
11 Years
Aug 29, 2008
17
1
22
The sharp edges are what I was concerned about. But, I think if I staple the hardware cloth low enough on the 2x4, I can back-fill with enough soil/sand/gravel that is should cover it. Since I am planning on loads of work anyway, I may take the time to fold the sharp edges down when I staple them. Hmmmm, it's a plan in progress!
 

sunnychooks

Songster
12 Years
Jul 21, 2007
1,164
16
204
NJ
A note about the Rat Zapper...
You MUST bait the trap without putting it on for several days. Let the rats eat some bait and get comfortable going into the trap. I did this and never had a problem getting the little buggers. A friend of mine bought one and didn't bait the trap first and couldn't figure out why the thing wouldn't work. After she set bait down without putting it on, she started catching them.

What we did with my chicken area was attach hardware cloth to the fence (on the outside of the chicken yard) and dug a trench down about a foot. Then we laid the wire down the side of the trench and bent it away from the chicken yard another 12" at the bottom of the trench. When we filled the trench back up with dirt we got some heavy duty barbed wire and laid it under the surface of the ground (again, on the OUTSIDE of the chicken yard). This has worked for us. If anything tries to dig in, they will hit hardware cloth and if they dig down, they will hit barbed wire. If they get past the barbed wire (has never happened) they will still have to get through the hardware cloth that's laid at an angle outward.
Hope this helps!
 

PdxChick

In the Brooder
11 Years
Aug 29, 2008
17
1
22
Yes, Thanks sunnychooks. We do have hardware cloth about 6 inches down, but it just stops there. Before we got the chickens, we had never seen a rat, so we thought that even the little rodent proofing that we did was overkill. Now we know better!!

On a positive note: the rat zapper works. Yay. We caught a huge rat last night. I could not believe how big it was. And, quite by accident, the first few nights we did set the trap without turning it on. Completely unintentional, but the night before last, we remembered to turn it on and then last night -- Zap! So, hopefully the rodent problem will be under control before long.
 

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