Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by amydzek, Oct 28, 2010.

  1. amydzek

    amydzek Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 27, 2010
    So a few weeks ago my little chicks spent their first full day n their chicken run... I went to bring them in that evening and they were all dead, and a BIG rat was in there with them eating them, needless to say I was horrified, these were my first chicks and I had NO idea I needed to worry about rats killing my chicks, so my sweet hubbs thought it would be nice to get me more chicks...now I am terrified to let them out so they are living in my laundry room and I am dealing with poopaploosa in there on a daily basis....any tips on how to keep my chickendeedees safe???? How big do they need to be before they will be safe??
  2. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    You need to get rid of the rats, fast. I use a particular type of rat poison called Just One Bite, because any animal that eats the dead rat will be safe, so all I have to do is have a setup that prevents the chickens from eating the poison. The chemical is bromadiolone. Obviously there are lots of ways to trap rats, too; you can easily build a trap that causes them to fall in a 5 gallon bucket half filled with water and they will drown.

    If you don't go after the rats fast, you will be infested -- well, you may already be. If you see one then there are plenty more around. Go on a rat rampage and THEN get more chicks.
  3. Ibicella

    Ibicella Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 13, 2009
    Everett, WA
    Clean up the coop area. Clear away any and all:

    - Brush and scrub
    - Wood piles
    - Garbage piles and clutter piles
    - Decaying structures like sheds
    - Overhanging tree limbs

    Anyplace rats can hide, nest, or use as a runway to the coop. Keep the area VERY clean.

    Search carefully for entry point holes. Rats can squeeze through openings of 1 inch. Mice: 1/4th inch. The size of a quarter and a dime, respectively. Repair any and ALL holes with hardwire cloth and/or concrete. Tightly seal around drain pipes, windows, and vents.

    ***Your best rodent control is going to be building them out and cleanliness.***

    Keep all food tightly contained in chew-proof METAL containers and swept up.

    Keep garbage and compost well away from the coop area.

    Fill in burrows and keep an eye out for them.

    Clean up any rat urine and feces immediately. Rats are practically blind, so they use their urine as a message system to the colony. Disrupt the scent, it slows them down.

    Get snap traps and live traps and bait with peanut butter. I strongly urge against poison not just because of cross-toxicity to other animals, but also the fact that rats tend to crawl into places like your house and die. Then you have a huge bill to cut open your walls and ceiling to remove a decaying animal that stinks to high heaven.

    First sign of rats, go through the steps again!

    I'm terribly sorry you lost your babies. I really hope this helps you and your chicks.
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2010
  4. amydzek

    amydzek Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 27, 2010
    we havent even finished our coop yet... the poor chicks had just been out in the run for the day! We cleaned everything in our yard up and moved our chicken coop closer to the house, we had it next to the fence and the house next to us hasnt had anyone live in it for months and the rat ran back in that yard... we havent seen anymore but I will be finding that rat killer tonight as well as setting out 5 gal buckets, thank you soooo much for the help!!
  5. shesaredroan

    shesaredroan Chillin' With My Peeps

    My cats and dogs help me with my mouse/rat problem. [​IMG]
    I live in the country and in the fall the field mice/rats start looking for nesting places.......this is one of the times my dogs & cats earn their keep!!!!
    I saw one of my hens eat a baby mouse a while back........yuck!!.........but I guess protein is protein. (I was cleaning the barn and moved a barrel, uncovered a mouse nest.........hen was standing next to me, watching, she grabbed that baby mouse out of that nest faster than a blink and gobbled it down.....I was grossed out!!! ..........but if I was a baby mouse, I'd rather be eaten than poisoned.

    I agree with the above advice of keeping spilled feed swept up and keeping clutter away from the coop area, no point attracting what you don't want.
    Good luck solving your problem. [​IMG]

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