rats, chicken poo, burning and compost!

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easton coop

9 Years
Feb 5, 2010
Winchester UK
Hi all. I was told by my neighbour that rats are attracted to chicken poo. We have a rat problem at the moment, which we are dealing with. when I clean the coop i collect all the poo with the hay and put it into a compost bin. I feel that the rats may be attracted to it as i would like to use the poo as compost. Anyway, my neighbour said that we could burn the poo and hay as then the rats wouldn't be attracted. Is this so? also could I still use it for compost? any help on this matter would be very much appreciated.
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Rats aren't attracted to chicken poo. They are attracted to chicken feed. If you burn everything it will not make good compost. It's especially bad if you want to make the soil more acidic because ash raises the ph.
I used to have a rat problem. I would remove my feeder every night. I tried old fashion snap traps, new snap traps with teeth, glue boards and poison; all with varying degrees of success. Our cats had passed away a few years ago and a friend had a cat for adoption which he swore was a good mouser. Within a month I was no longer finding mouse or rat poop in or around my coop. So my advise if go to the local shelter and adopt a good mouser.
A cat is the best! Mine kills rats, mice, gophers, and any other furry little vermin he can get a hold of. When rats smell a cat in the area they are less likely to build a nest in or around the house too. Good luck!
I second that the rats are after the chicken feed.
If getting a cat isn't a good option for you, here are some ideas:
Regular old Victor rat traps $2-$3 work alright with cheese or peanut butter, but you'll never catch all the rats (on a good night I've caught two in 1 trap at the same time - once I only found a tail...). Over time the trap springs also get less effective and can rust in the elements. Also if you are casual about checking traps, rebaiting and disposing of rat carcasses the remaining rats get wise and avoid the traps.
Rat poison also can work - provided you can keep it away from chickens/kids. The best brand is Just One Bite II Bars - they are a big yellowish bar that looks similar to a bird suet cake - you can see seeds etc in it. I get it at the local feed store. Thread wire through the hole and tie the wire to something - that way the rats can't carry it off and you can see if they've been eating it. Far more attractive than the green compressed rat baits at the grocery store. The poison ingredient is the same as some grocery brands, but the Bite II Bars are actually made of stuff rats like to eat - they're a little pricier in the NW, but well worth it.
Also know that some years there are just more rats - it depends on the spring weather.

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