Rats and Mice


Feb 20, 2018
South eastern Ky
A friend of ours that has chickens told us to watch for rats and mice. He said that chickens draw them like a kid to a candy store. Is this true? I have cats here and one is a predator and will bring in the occasional rabbit, squirrel, ground squirrel, or bird. Will he keep the mice down or is this something I will need to keep watch for? He is a Main Coon cat and weighs about 18 pounds last I weighed him. He is HUGE so if it were rats I am sure he could handle them. We are going to use the heavy duty wire for our coop and run to keep him and deter raccoons and opossums. putting our feed in metal trash cans with the lid tied down because we had an opossum get in our dog food once lol

Ol Grey Mare

One egg shy of a full carton. .....
8 Years
Mar 9, 2014
My Coop
My Coop
Poultry feed is base on grain and grain as an attractant to rodents. Preventing spillage of your feed and making the feed inaccessible to the rodents both in how you store it and the feeders that you use will drastically reduce the attraction factor. Depending on the structure of your co-op and run you can also addressed the issue of access. This is important to consider because if a rat can access your co-op and run so can other predators who could do potential harm to your flock


Feb 20, 2018
South eastern Ky
Was going to do something like this so I assuming it would attract them. I may have to scratch this idea and only put feed out when feeding


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Chicken Lover, Duck Therapist
6 Years
Mar 11, 2017
South Park, Colorado, USA
Hopefully your cat can handle it. Last summer I was new to chickens. The prairie dogs and voles thrived. They were everywhere. I'm not sure if my chickens attracted more than usual or I just was more vigilant and annoyed that I seemed to be feeding the neighborhood rodents and going through way more chicken food than I should and watching my vegetable garden be eaten by rodents before I could harvest it for myself. It was so much so that I brought home an outdoor cat to take care of the problem. In peak time he caught something almost every time I sent him out. We'll see how this next summer goes.

lazy gardener

Crossing the Road
7 Years
Nov 7, 2012
I would not leave feed out over night. I use fermented feed. That is one of the greatest deterrents to rodent issues. If the birds have not eaten it all by the end of the day, I bring it in, or shut it up in their broody section of the coop. Yes, you have to be on the alert for rodent issues. And I find this to be true whether you have poultry or not. Last summer, I had my first dealings with rats (excluding an issue about 35 years ago). Horse farms about 1/4 mile away. Gardening can also be an attractant.


Feb 16, 2018
SF Bay Area
My Coop
My Coop
It has been so for me*. I use 1/2" 16 gauge wire to protect my girls/their food - anything with larger holes will allow rats/adult mice in. Baby mice can squeeze through the 1/2" though - 1/4" is more reliable for mice but it is not enough to deter raccoons. If I had larger predators I would have a double layer of heavy duty livestock fencing + the 1/2".

My feed is stored in metal trash cans with locking lids. My girls feeders are either in their enclosed, predator proof, run or in a rodent proof treadle feeder.

My chickens are good mousers, but are only active during the day. I also have traps and am doing serious consideration in regards to poison (risks to pets and my own chickens that will eat the poisoned rodents is something I am concerned about). There are multiple local cats, possums and skunks** - they don't seem to be able to keep up.

*There are other factors at work as well. We had flooding in a nearby creek last year and that seems to have chased the wildlife from the riparian corridor into the surrounding neighborhoods.

**Both possums and skunks eat mice and rats...and chickens


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Project Manager
Premium Feather Member
7 Years
Jul 31, 2015
Houston, TX
My Coop
My Coop
A must in my opinion is using hardware cloth to build an "apron" around everything (coop and run) to prevent rats from even trying to dig in.

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