Rats and Mice and Everything NOT Nice

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by TheBantyCoop, Jun 22, 2016.

  1. TheBantyCoop

    TheBantyCoop Chillin' With My Peeps

    313
    118
    146
    Jun 9, 2015
    The California Coast
    I'm seeking advice on a rat and mouse problem I've been having.

    My coop is currently littered with droppings, which are a nightmare to clean up. Children periodically enter my coop, I have other pets, and I myself DO NOT want to deal with any rat or mouse related diseases. Recently, they have even found their way into my nest box, which is an even larger problem then having them scurrying around on the shelves. My feeder and waterer are both hanging 6 inches above the ground, thus they have not been polluted yet, and all of my chicken-related items and food are in metal trash cans, which have also stayed safe this far. I don't know WHY they are entering my coop, as there seems to be no food sources in there. Could they just smell the food? I have looked around for any possible entryways multiple times, but found none. The whole coop is guarded with 1/4 inch hardware cloth, which is SECURELY stapled to the coop's wooden planks.
    I have tried an electric mouse/rat trap, which broke and barely did anything at all. It caught a few rats, but since it only killed one at a time it had no effect. I have tried putting peppermint oil in the coop both on cotton balls and even DIRECTLY onto the wood with no success. The most recent thing I've done is purchase Fresh Cab packets and put one on the shelves and one in my nest box. I did that today, so I guess I'll see how it goes.... I'm doubtful because my coop is very drafty.....
    Anyone have any advice? Has anyone successfully demolished this problem before? Are rats and mice a "given" if you have chickens?
    Is there a trap out there that can catch multiple rats/mice at a time?
    Would it help to put mouse/rat tape around the coop?
    I cannot use poisons where I live, unless they are "natural."
     
  2. scooter147

    scooter147 Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,042
    63
    221
    Jul 30, 2008
    Missouri
    MIce and rats are not a given if you have chickens.

    I've had chickens for over 50 years and only had a rat problem once and that was because they dug up the sewers and the rats came out.

    It sounds like you are doing ever thing correctly.

    They are attracted to the feed. My guess is they are eating what the chickens are flicking out and jumping into the feeder to eat.

    I would start by removing the feeder each night.

    I would continue to use traps. I used traps until I got rid of the rats that were visiting my coop.

    Peanut butter seem to work the best for me. I place the traps along the wall, rodents like to "hug" things when they travel.

    The only problem with rat traps is they can badly injure or kill a chicken so removal asap in the morning is a must.
     
  3. TheBantyCoop

    TheBantyCoop Chillin' With My Peeps

    313
    118
    146
    Jun 9, 2015
    The California Coast
    Ok, thanks so much!!
    I'll go purchase some new traps asap
     
  4. Donna R Raybon

    Donna R Raybon Chillin' With My Peeps

    238
    42
    68
    Apr 13, 2016
    Lean a piece of plywood against the wall and put traps there, so they are able to function, but it is dark where the trap is. Chickens won't be as likely to mess with trap.
    You can also use wire with opening big enough for rat but not birds to keep birds away from trap.
     
    1 person likes this.
  5. Manningjw

    Manningjw Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

    You can also make a "kill box" of sorts. Using a bucket with a lid or a garbage with lid cut and opening in the lid big enough for a rat to walk through but too small for a chicken - place the mechanical trap towards the back of the box so a chicken cannot reach it by extending through the hole.

    It it often recommended to leave the boxes out with small amounts of food so the local rats get used to going to them, then set a bunch of traps in a few nights after they are comfortable going to them. Rats are smart and become trap aware quickly from what I have read.

    The most important thing is finding the point of ingress like you have already looked for. One way you might be able to do this is to go out to the coop at night quietly and then rap on the walls to scare the rats and see where they exit. I did this without intending to and discovered where my rats were getting into the coop and jumping into the feeder! Gross! Mine were climbing up the side walls of the coop(8' high!) and entering and exiting through the eaves of the roof. Before I had closed the coop at night, they would jump 2' into the air to the chicken ramp to go into the coop. They are agile little buggers! Any hole larger than 1-2" should be covered with hardware cloth like you are doing, then the rats shouldn't have any point of entry.
     
  6. TheBantyCoop

    TheBantyCoop Chillin' With My Peeps

    313
    118
    146
    Jun 9, 2015
    The California Coast
    Thanks for that!
    Sounds like a good idea!
     
  7. TheBantyCoop

    TheBantyCoop Chillin' With My Peeps

    313
    118
    146
    Jun 9, 2015
    The California Coast
    Thanks!
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by