Rats - arrgh

KaleIAm

Free Ranging
6 Years
Jul 13, 2015
3,286
9,663
701
Carnation, Wa
I have rats. "Ugh" is right. The water bucket thing works for me, as do the electric traps. Thought I had it under control, but nooooooo....... I am seriously considering getting a barn cat. My birds are penned and have a covered run, bug I am running out of options, and I don't want to poison, either. And living in a wooded area doesn't help at all.

Problem I run into is that everything that kills rats also kill chickens and ducks....
Grr! :he
I had a barn cat. Now I have a lap cat. Manipulative little jerk. Right now she's begging for premium canned food while rats are plotting about how to get into the duck house.

Excuse me while I go feed her.
7FF981EB-E503-48AF-8BF1-CE7E0A31A220.jpeg
 

DukesDucks

Crowing
Oct 6, 2019
880
3,037
346
Eastern Ontario, Canada
Sounds like my daughter's barn cat. A rescue cat from an local organization which traps, neuters/sprays, and rehomes "working" cats. Too feral to be a house cat.
Someone should have told her that as she is now a cuddle bug who loves her canned cat food and a good belly rub. At least she brings home a steady supply of mice and the occasional chipmunk.
 

PicklesMom

Songster
Jul 28, 2018
69
108
111
Central MA
Sounds like my daughter's barn cat. A rescue cat from an local organization which traps, neuters/sprays, and rehomes "working" cats. Too feral to be a house cat.
Someone should have told her that as she is now a cuddle bug who loves her canned cat food and a good belly rub. At least she brings home a steady supply of mice and the occasional chipmunk.
This is my husband's fear. We picked up Ms. Harley at a shelter, "not suited for the indoors". She's crated in the barn until she learns this is home but three days in she's coming to the front of the cage for pets and snacks so suspect she'll be indoors soon. Just have to teach her to distinguish rats vs. pet guinea pigs.
 

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Northwest PA chicken dad

In the Brooder
Oct 22, 2021
19
62
48
This is my first year having a rat problem. I know it is fall and they are looking for food and shelter but it is not going to be at my place. I have seen them during the day, and find large holes entering the run. Don't believe they have been in coop yet.
So far I have taken to removing all water sources. I lifted the kiddy pool one morning to drain it, and a rat ran out from under it. I have also been taking the feeders into the shed except this morning there was a rat in the shed eating out of It. Now I'll bring food inside house at night.
I have tried spring traps but the rats have avoided them. Two days ago I set out one of those bait stations, the kind where the rat has to go in to eat the bait. It is under the shed in the area where the rats have been digging. So far no signs that they have used it.
I know that there are effective poison baits but you have to have a special license here to purchase them.
I would appreciate suggestions from others as to how to get rid of them.
This is my first year having a rat problem. I know it is fall and they are looking for food and shelter but it is not going to be at my place. I have seen them during the day, and find large holes entering the run. Don't believe they have been in coop yet.
So far I have taken to removing all water sources. I lifted the kiddy pool one morning to drain it, and a rat ran out from under it. I have also been taking the feeders into the shed except this morning there was a rat in the shed eating out of It. Now I'll bring food inside house at night.
I have tried spring traps but the rats have avoided them. Two days ago I set out one of those bait stations, the kind where the rat has to go in to eat the bait. It is under the shed in the area where the rats have been digging. So far no signs that they have used it.
I know that there are effective poison baits but you have to have a special license here to purchase them.
I would appreciate suggestions from others as to how to get rid of them.
Last year I had a rat issue in my run rat holes in the run so each hole I stuffed after cotton balls soaked with equal amounts of ammonia and vinegar changing them out every few days but your run to be covered so water doesn't get in plus I also started in add dry italian seasoning mix in their feed the girls love it and it's very good for them rats won't eat the feed they hate oregano haven't seen rats in over a year or any kind of rodents
 

CHlCKEN

🍂 Chicken Herder 🍂
Premium Feather Member
Jun 21, 2020
15,583
85,371
1,236
Tennessee
My Coop
My Coop
This is also my first year with a rat problem, as prior I had a barn cat who I just lost in May. I’m also thinking about maybe getting another barn cat soon to keep it under control.
 

PicklesMom

Songster
Jul 28, 2018
69
108
111
Central MA
Last year I had a rat issue in my run rat holes in the run so each hole I stuffed after cotton balls soaked with equal amounts of ammonia and vinegar changing them out every few days but your run to be covered so water doesn't get in plus I also started in add dry italian seasoning mix in their feed the girls love it and it's very good for them rats won't eat the feed they hate oregano haven't seen rats in over a year or any kind of rodents
Interesting, we have done cayenne to keep the chipmunks away but it did nothing for the rats.
 

DukesDucks

Crowing
Oct 6, 2019
880
3,037
346
Eastern Ontario, Canada
This is my husband's fear. We picked up Ms. Harley at a shelter, "not suited for the indoors". She's crated in the barn until she learns this is home but three days in she's coming to the front of the cage for pets and snacks so suspect she'll be indoors soon. Just have to teach her to distinguish rats vs. pet guinea pigs.
What a pretty kitty. There are already indoor cats, so the barn cat stays outside to earning her living. That said, she does have a lovely shelter in the enclosed porch which she always has access too. In the shelter is a special heated blanket and only comes on with the weight of a cat and doesn't get too warm. Oh, I almost forgot the heated water bowl.
She is probably too satisfied with the constant supply of chow, and several dollops of canned food to be bothered eating the mice she brings home.
It's a rough life.
 

DukesDucks

Crowing
Oct 6, 2019
880
3,037
346
Eastern Ontario, Canada
Finally I won. For three nights, the field camera showed my rat friend (I refused to give it the dignity of a name) enlarging the hole under a ramp off the duck coop. In the process, it kept filing the front of the live trap so the door won't shut properly.
It was wise enough to avoid the snap traps but I did catch a number of mice and one mole. A rat snap trap on a deer mouse is really 'over kill'.
Last night I reset the trap raising it on 2 x 4s and moving it a little further from the entrance. Baited with the remains of a smoked meat on bagel lunch. This morning, there it was. Huge. Angry. After a brief photo session, it meet with a humane ending.
I'm hoping it was a bachelor pad, and I won't see the holes reopened in the morning.
 

Lizzy733

Crowing
Nov 13, 2018
1,026
1,847
251
New Zealand
We had good luck for a little while with baiting a snap trap with bacon grease - it's a really long lasting bait too, unlike peanut butter, which seems to go missing.

Rats are clever and have a phobia of 'new' things in their environment which is why it's best to build traps and trap covers out of things already lying around. If you have set out rat traps, I'd leave them out for the next outbreak and they may be more useful then - just leave them unbaited and unloaded till they're needed.

We have a good nature trap too which has a rearming hydraulic kill bar, but it does not do much good for our rats. I think our main problem is neighbors - the neighbors to one side had a heavily overgown shed that use to be a rat hovel and when they cleaned it out, the rats went everywhere. Directly behind us is a horse field and the feed barn which borders our run.

We tried everything to get them out of the run - where they were coming out in broad daylight. Ended up swapping to a treadle feeder and the rats stopped coming into our yard within a few days. Also had the bonus of keeping the sparrows from stealing food and it's impossible for the girls to spill feed. We are using half the food we were feeding all the little beaks in the neighborhood.

Only took 3 days to get the girls all onboard with using it - I let them get hungry then sat out there with them and pressed down the tread to show them the food and kept it held down till they stepped on it themselves. A hungry chicken is a motivated chicken for sure...

The rats are too interested in the horse grains to bother with our compost and they never cared for the drinkers.
 

DukesDucks

Crowing
Oct 6, 2019
880
3,037
346
Eastern Ontario, Canada
Thanks for the advice. I'll keep the traps out until it snows. I have been diligent with the food and water cleanup. Haven't seen any holes into the run for a week, and cleaned the coop down to the floor to ensure there were no holes getting in.
I wonder if one of those feeders would work with ducks since they are built differently than chickens.
 

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