rats around hen house but don't want to kill them


7 Years
May 27, 2012
i want to keep the rats out, but not kill them - and i don't know if i can underwire enough to allow the girls to dust bath (which they absolutely love) and make the pen and house rat proof

is there anything else i can do - killing the rats is not an option

thank you
I've never had to deal with rat problems so I can't help but
Use .5" hardware cloth to skirt the area (under the coop?) attach to coop and fold a foot or so, at the bottom away from coop/area. Then either bury lengths of the hardware cloth/or place on ground surface (stake/weigh down) - should have about 2.5' of hardware cloth on/underground all around area. All windows/openings-cracks in coop should be covered with hardware cloth. All food sources should be removed at night. Fill in all holes.

That said, unless you make your coop/home utterly disgusting to the rats (tough to do) they'll breed like, well, rats and you'll be praying for the Pied Piper.

Very good luck, let us know how the kinder/gentler population and chook protection control program works out for you.
If you block acess to all food sources they wont hang around as much , they will spend more time looking for greener pastures , would you stay where there is no food
. That being said its unlikley youll get rid of them completly but if you keep food from were they can get at it and dont have a bunch of nice nesting places the population will dwindle down. Make shure they never have acess to sick or young birds though they are scavangers and foragers but they can kill though they do it far less often then dogs and racoons and cyoties and hawks and such.

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