Rats digging under coop

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Black Feather, Jan 14, 2008.

  1. Black Feather

    Black Feather Songster

    Apr 20, 2007
    Hey guys, I just confirmed that the holes that showed up around my coop foundation have been dug by rats.

    Does anyone know a good way to get rid of them? The coop has outdoor runs attached. The rats dug the holes between the runs and the barn where my cats can't get to.

    Should I put the cat in the runs for a few nights and see if he can get them?

    Any other ideas?

    Urban Coyote
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2008
  2. miss_thenorth

    miss_thenorth Songster

    Dec 28, 2007
    SW Ont, Canada
    We had the same problem here, and even though it wasn't my first or tenth choice--we ended up using rat poison in a tomcat trap box. We tried everythng else and this was the last alternative. Only one of our eggs were eaten. but....

    While the chickens tolerate our dogs, and vice versa, one day one of our cats got into the chicken coop and the chickens were ready to make a meal out of him, so that idea didn't work. Good luck, and know that we have the same problem over here--managed by rat poison.
  3. Miltonchix

    Miltonchix Taking a Break

    Jul 14, 2007
    Milton, Florida
    There is a smoke bomb sold to kill moles underground that I used to dispatch rats in their tunnels. It looks like a small stick of dynamite with a fuse that you light, drop in a tunnel, and then cover the hole quickly. Watch for them escaping from other exits, and blast them. (shotgun or if you're good, a .22) The ones that don't escape from tunnels will die. Any that escape will find a new home.
  4. Wildsky

    Wildsky Wild Egg!

    Oct 13, 2007
    I'd try the cat - if its rat savvy !
  5. Black Feather

    Black Feather Songster

    Apr 20, 2007
    The smoke bomb idea sounds interesting, but my major concern with poison or bombs etc is having rotting rat copses under the coop. Don't want the bad smell, or potential disease issues.

    Has anyone ever tried flooding the holes? In cold weather would that stop them? You know, have the holes flooded and then have the water freeze?

    My cat has caught mice before and a large mole, don't know about rats. I suspect he would go after them as he seems to like hunting. I was thinking of closing him in the coop/run at night and letting him out during the day. This way the birds would not be bothered by his hunting.

  6. lurky

    lurky Songster

    Jun 4, 2007
    Western MA
    I have used a hav-a-heart (sp) trap and we just relocate them. We use PB in the trap and it works fine.
  7. Henrietta23

    Henrietta23 Songster

    Oct 20, 2007
    Eastern CT
    We had that happen last summer. After a week or so of observation we figured out where the openings to their tunnels were and watched their patterns. They were only eating pellets, not eggs. We were able to catch the first in a hav-a-heart trap. That only worked once. The second we caught and killed in a snap trap that we placed behind the fence where the chickens couldn't get to it. We had watched the rats going back there. That only worked once. It took a few more weeks but we finally got the last one by placing the snap trap under the hen house directly in its path.
    Good luck.
  8. Miltonchix

    Miltonchix Taking a Break

    Jul 14, 2007
    Milton, Florida
    The smoke bomb would only work if there are NO tunnel entances in your coop. Threre would be no rotting corpses under your coop if they are dispatched underground.

    RELOCATE RATS???!!! [​IMG] you gotta be joking!
    I got some fleas, ticks, fire ants, coyotes, foxes and rattlesnakes. Want them?
  9. kartking22

    kartking22 Songster

    Jan 12, 2008
    Your idea of flooding the holes is good except for the fact that it would just push them into another hiding spot. If the rats know where to get food, they will keep coming back unless you get rid of them. I had problems with rats under my coop last summer. I tried snap traps baited with PB to find the traps set off and the PB gone. Next, I tried rat pellets. Three boxes of pellets later, I still had rats. ( Rats carried the pellets onto the holes and just stored them away.) Box trap didn't work either. My last ditch attempt was rodent blocks. These blocks were too big to carry down the holes so they had to eat it or try to chew them into smaller pieces. NO MORE RATS!!! [​IMG] I believe that these were made by Motomco and come in a package of four blocks. All-weather makes them great for outside use too.
  10. jjthink

    jjthink Crowing

    Jan 17, 2007
    New Jersey
    I've used hav-a-harts but the best solution of all was when we used hardware cloth (heavy-ish wire grid) and lined the bottom of the coop with it so they couldn't come up through the floor (is that how yours are getting in?) - it worked like a charm. (we put straw over it so that it would be easy on the chickens tootsies) We also put it a few inches up the sides of the interior walls as well as outside in any vulnerable spots. Never saw a rat again after that (tho first we had to rip the insulation out of the coop where they already were snuggling in for sleepy time - there was one in there and he took off in a flash. then put nice new insulation in).

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