Rats! Argh....

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Birdydeb, Nov 17, 2016.

  1. Birdydeb

    Birdydeb Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have read nearly every thread I could find on the forum....still do not know what to do. :(

    On Tuesday, my friend and I searched out where the rats were coming from. We searched around my neighbor's barn and old sheds that he no longer uses(with his permission). Finally when we were about to give up....my friend spied something at the end of my chicken house. We got down and looked. They are under the hen house!

    My hen house is a used one we bought from a farmer and is made of double walls of old hickory or locust. It was brought here on a trailer and leveled onto cinder blocks. One end had some loose boards that we never got around to fixing, they went under the chicken house, not into it. The chicken house sits inside a pen with wire fence and HC 3 feet up and a apron going out with 6 in. wide board nailed at the bottom. The rats tunneled under the apron, came up on pen side and then tunneled under the apron surrounding the run. From there I guess they realized the boards were loose and now they are under the hen house. We put out a bait station with Tomcat poison in it. Checked it today, they are nibbling on it. I am SO petrified that I will poison my Great Pyrenees who is doing a bang up job guarding at night(I "was" having a coyote problem but no more!) I bought "One Bite" today but haven't opened it.

    Should I continue with the poison? We put a bar or two down the tunnels we found too. I thought about hooking the hose up tomorrow and filling the tunnels with water...but what about the poison I put in the tunnels two days ago? :(

    No chickens hurt yet....rats are going after the feed that is in feeders in run. I am about at my wit's end. I don't think there is a way for them to get in the chicken house at night...it is pretty tight and windows and ventilation are HC.

    Sorry this was long...oh, and I am getting a barn cat.
     
  2. TheKindaFarmGal

    TheKindaFarmGal Overrun With Chickens

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    I don't like to use poison ,because it can easily kill other animals that either eat the poison or the dead poisoned animal. I have lost three beloved cats to poison. A friend of mine had a dog that ate poison, but they were able to make her vomit it up in time. A few of her chickens ate the vomit (gross, I know. [​IMG] They weren't starving either.) and they died.

    I would definitely get a cat or two, and use rat traps instead. If you set them in good spots and use good bait (peanut butter is their favorite) you can get quite a few every night.
     
  3. Birdydeb

    Birdydeb Chillin' With My Peeps

    I've been using rat traps for over a month... I set out 7 every night in the run. Last night they tripped several traps and no rats. They have gotten wise to the traps. :(
     
  4. TheKindaFarmGal

    TheKindaFarmGal Overrun With Chickens

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    That does make it harder. What bait are you using? Try taking a break from the traps and then bring them back a couple weeks later, and use the bait you have found to work the best for them. For us, they had gotten wise to the traps but couldn't resist peanut butter for very long. If you must use poison, get the strongest you can and put it as far as you can in the tunnel. You want it to kill them quickly, before they come into the open and other animals eat them.
     
  5. Folly's place

    Folly's place Chicken Obsessed

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    Rats are smart and very hard to trap. Poison is really the only effective method, unless you can sit out there and shoot every one at night! I prefer the broudificon bait, NOT bromothelin, because it's possible to save a pet who eats it. When I have to use bait, my pets are on lockdown, not out there. Last year I had a rat family under the foundation of the coop. I put bait in the holes and covered them with bricks/ blocks, and checked every day. When no more digging occurred, and no more bait was eaten, I added another bait block and sealed up the openings. Never saw a dead rodent, they may have died in their burrows. You might trap a few rats, but never all of them. Mary
     
  6. TalkALittle

    TalkALittle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I briefly had some success with traps but the rats seem to have gotten wise to their workings. I'm very close to resorting to poison. If I do I will be doing twice daily patrols for dead rats. My 3 dogs will be VERY closely monitored and will be wearing basket muzzles when outside just in case.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2016
  7. TheKindaFarmGal

    TheKindaFarmGal Overrun With Chickens

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    That's smart. Be careful with the chickens, too. They can and will eat dead rodents and poison.
     
  8. TalkALittle

    TalkALittle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm thinking that using the block rather than pellet form of poison, and inserting it directly into the tunnels under the coop (where I am 99.9% sure they are nesting) should substantially reduce the risk of anything other than the rats eating it.

    Yes, I'd feel horrible if I lost any of the hens to secondary poisoning, but it's a risk I'm willing to take. I'd be absolutely devastated if I lost one of my dogs though, so that is what has been keeping me from using poison to this point.
     
  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Basket muzzles a great idea........they probably won't much like that tho, might be worse than a cone.
    Poor, but safe and well protected, pups
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2016
  10. chickens really

    chickens really Overrun With Chickens

    Mothballs work as a deterrent.......Put them under your Coop....Make sure pets can not get them.....



    Cheers!
     

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