Rat skirt -- do you think it'll work?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by msjones, Sep 16, 2009.

  1. msjones

    msjones Out Of The Brooder

    87
    0
    39
    Aug 1, 2009
    Seattle
    We 'skirted' our coop and run on all sides with about 2 feet of 1/2" hardware cloth. The cloth is buried under dirt and woodchips and stapled firmly to the base of the coop/run frame. The 'skirting' overlaps on the corners.

    It was a pain in the neck to do.

    Do you think it'll work to keep out rats?
     
  2. fowltemptress

    fowltemptress Frugal Fan Club President

    1,796
    42
    181
    Jan 20, 2008
    I wouldn't think so. Our rats around here dig pretty elaborate tunnel systems. A skirt wouldn't bother them . . . It would just take a few days for them to dig under.
     
  3. msjones

    msjones Out Of The Brooder

    87
    0
    39
    Aug 1, 2009
    Seattle
    So, a rat is smart enough to back up two feet and just dig in the general direction? How about a raccoon?

    Is there ANY way to keep rats out of an open-bottom run/coop?
     
  4. fowltemptress

    fowltemptress Frugal Fan Club President

    1,796
    42
    181
    Jan 20, 2008
    I don't know about being smart enough to back up . . . the obnoxious things would just build a tunnel straight from the woods or wherever else they were coming from into my coop. I'd stomp their tunnels in and they'd be rebuilt the next day. When I bothered to move the coop, when I walked along where it had been I'd sink a few inches into the ground from all the tunnels they had criss crossing down there. It was weird. I'm holding my breath that it's not quite as bad at our new place. No clue whether it would stop raccoons . . . Luckily, I have yet to wrangle with that critter. It did stop a dog that had gotten into our yard, though, and that in itself was worth all the effort of putting on the skirt. [​IMG]
     
  5. chookchick

    chookchick Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,901
    22
    176
    Aug 18, 2008
    Olympia WA
    Rats can climb, and squeeze through amazingly small spaces, so it is pretty difficult to keep them out of a run. I know from experience that a skirt won't stop them. The best way to keep them out is to take out all food at night and lock it inside the coop. If there is no food, they won't bother coming in. Make sure all holes in the coop have hardware cloth over them. And get a nice big cat.
     
  6. msjones

    msjones Out Of The Brooder

    87
    0
    39
    Aug 1, 2009
    Seattle
    Every last spot of the run and coop are covered with 1/2" hardware cloth. So, I'm hoping that'll do it.
     
  7. al6517

    al6517 Real Men can Cook

    10,684
    96
    321
    May 13, 2008
    Resistance is futile, they will win in the end. But don't give up the ship. your best hope is just maintain good control measures to keep the population way down.

    AL
     
  8. chickerdoodle

    chickerdoodle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 21, 2009
    Oregon
    Rats are intelligent and resourceful [​IMG] when it comes to getting a nice snack. Our plan is to actually have cement under our entire run as well as the henhouse. We then will put 4-6 inches of playground sand over that (easy to clean!). We only plan on 4-6 hens and the run itself to be 5x12. I know it'll cost a bit to do it but then the safety it will afford will be our payback.
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  9. chseeads

    chseeads Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 28, 2009
    Bloomington, Indiana
    Quote:Especially the ones from NIMH.


    [​IMG]
     
  10. stephhassler

    stephhassler Chillin' With My Peeps

    152
    1
    121
    Jan 30, 2009
    Eastern Iowa
    Quote:Especially the ones from NIMH.


    [​IMG]

    Don't forget Mrs. Frisby!
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by