Rats! Fall asleep.. lose your feet..

Farmer Connie

Gallus gallus domesticus
Feb 28, 2017
17,712
60,575
1,317
Florida Peninsula
My Coop
12 yrs of raising chickens and never seen anything like this.
Started of with wounds on one birds feet. We were puzzled. Treated her and kepted a close eye out for a disease out break. Then over 20 birds were getting massive holes on the tops of their feet.
We scrubbed their feet and legs and treated them with topical and oral meds and antiseptic but the problem kept manifesting. We have over 70 chickens so we were freaking out.
I visited the big coop one morning about 3 a.m. and found big rats on the roosts eating away on the chickens while they were sleeping!!!
My god it was terrible. The damage they caused was inconceivable. They even chewed a spur off our beautiful red rooster.
I have since rat proofed the big house (as much as possible) and placed several live traps. As well as bait containers and still going out late night to monitor.
Never a dull moment in the life of a farmer.
We have breeding houses in touched by the rats... knock on wood I suppose.
I wish I could sleep as solid as a chicken sometimes.
 

IZZYBELLA

Songster
7 Years
Jan 11, 2013
512
168
156
Maine
Ewwww! That is horrible!!! Must have been horrifying to see! I hope the traps work!

(Ironically, as I sit typing I am hearing some scampering feet in the ceiling... time to reset the traps! Nasty little creatures!)
 

Sublight

Songster
Jun 2, 2016
573
628
216
Pensacola, FL
Have you tried that rat bucket trap yet?
I tried it, but didn't use a bucket with smooth sides. When made correctly, it is supposed to be a rat killing machine. No pesticides, and no poisons. It makes them drown I a bucket.
 

Farmer Connie

Gallus gallus domesticus
Feb 28, 2017
17,712
60,575
1,317
Florida Peninsula
My Coop
Have you tried that rapositive result s. Thank you for your suggestion.cket trap yet?
I tried it, but didn't use a bucket with smooth sides. When made correctly, it is supposed to be a rat killing machine. No pesticides, and no poisons. It makes them drown I a bucket.
The bait traps we made and placed outside of the big house seem to have positive results. Thanks for your suggestion. :)
 

Farmer Connie

Gallus gallus domesticus
Feb 28, 2017
17,712
60,575
1,317
Florida Peninsula
My Coop
Caught a typo while linking this thread.. Its 20 yrs. Not 12. Can't edit the first post. Still catching the little devils bit chicken s have healed up and removed the ones who turned cannibal after tasting the wounds.
 

Then I Will

Songster
8 Years
Jan 13, 2012
327
548
247
Annville, Pennsylvania
Oh my! That is horrible! I didn't know that the chickens actually slept through being nibbled on!! :hit
So sorry you had some turn cannibalistic.
What kind of roosts do you have? I read somewhere that round roosts make chicken's feet more susceptible to a rat's reach, whereas roosts that allow their feet to be flat allow the bird to cover its feet with its feathers.
 

Farmer Connie

Gallus gallus domesticus
Feb 28, 2017
17,712
60,575
1,317
Florida Peninsula
My Coop
Oh my! That is horrible! I didn't know that the chickens actually slept through being nibbled on!! :hit
So sorry you had some turn cannibalistic.
What kind of roosts do you have? I read somewhere that round roosts make chicken's feet more susceptible to a rat's reach, whereas roosts that allow their feet to be flat allow the bird to cover its feet with its feathers.
2x4 studs narrow end up. 12 feet long. 5 rows. Sort of in a staircase pattern. They hop on the low one, then the next one, then the next etc. Until all forty fill it up like a football stadium when filled. The injured birds effected were on the outsides of the perching. The rats crawled up the houses framed walls and wire. I caught them in action one night/morn. That was one of the most terrible things I ever witnessed. We covered up their entry holes bit they made more.
4 out of forty would pick at the wounds of the weaker birds. My bucket bait houses are behind the coop house now. They are tearing up the bait.
 

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