rats and new chicks

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by gaja, Apr 30, 2011.

  1. gaja

    gaja New Egg

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    Apr 30, 2011
    I am new to this forum so hope i am doing this correctly--we had a neighboring farm abandoned and buildings demolished--unfortunately we had gotten some new chicks and we were invaded by timber rats (perhaps from their usual habitat being demolished) and all chicks were killed. we are preparing for another batch and am wondering how old/big chicks have to be before rats will not be attracted to them (or that they can protect themselves)? we did have to resort to poisoning the rats and haven't seen any signs of activity but don't want to take any chances. any knowledge in this area? or experience? thx!
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Feb 5, 2009
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    Welcome to BYC, and sorry this is what brought you here.

    Rats IME are attracted to the feed, not the chickens, or not particularly. I'm not quite sure what a timber rat is, but if it's pretty good sized, they can be a threat to adults -- for example, eating toes. I have read of rats biting babies in cribs in the city. I don't know that I'd ever feel truly safe from them. Let's hope you have indeed gotten rid of them -- but I'd keep my eye out just the same.
     
  3. gaja

    gaja New Egg

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    Apr 30, 2011
    Thx much! we will keep poison out and not put the chickens in the coop until they are larger for sure--and right now we are reinforcing everything with hardware cloth--keep your fingers crossed!
     
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    Northwest Arkansas
    Rats will eat eggs and baby chicks. I don't know how big the chickens have to be to be safe. It is probably like chicks and snakes. It depends on the size of the chicken and rat.
     
  5. gaja

    gaja New Egg

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    Apr 30, 2011
    i know there must be some correlation between size and number--we had older chickens and they were never bothered--but then why would they when they had the chicks i guess--anyway, we will probably just keet them well protected until they are much larger then they were last time--thx!
     
  6. Barrdwing

    Barrdwing Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have had roof rats kill and eat chicks that were 6 to 8 weeks old--fairly large birds, in other words. The pattern seemed to be that if the rats could somehow scare the bird off the perch, they would then mob it on the floor. Pretty horrible, and although the coop is thirty feet from our bedroom window we never heard anything.

    I'm a big fan of bromadiolone when it comes to rat baits, because if the dog gets it, there's an antidote. Because the rats will drag baits everywhere, the poison has to be in a bait station or wired down. We use so much of the stuff that I worry that the rats will become resistant one of these days. [​IMG]
     

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