Rats! Fall asleep.. lose your feet..

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Farmer Connie, Jun 3, 2017.

  1. Farmer Connie

    Farmer Connie Overrun With Chickens

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    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.
     
    OG Anomaly likes this.
  2. Farmer Connie

    Farmer Connie Overrun With Chickens

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    Typo.. small breeding house's "untouched" not in touched. Sorry. :)
     
  3. IZZYBELLA

    IZZYBELLA Chillin' With My Peeps

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    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!)
     
  4. Sublight

    Sublight Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 2, 2016
    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.
     
  5. Farmer Connie

    Farmer Connie Overrun With Chickens

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    The bait traps we made and placed outside of the big house seem to have positive results. Thanks for your suggestion. :)
     
  6. Sublight

    Sublight Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That's good. I think im going to buy one of those feeders that the chicken has to stand on. Hopefully that gets rid of the spillage, and the rats
     
  7. Farmer Connie

    Farmer Connie Overrun With Chickens

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    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.
     
  8. Farmer Connie

    Farmer Connie Overrun With Chickens

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    We have switched to pellets for the same reason. Spillages.
     
    Sublight likes this.
  9. Then I Will

    Then I Will Chillin' With My Peeps

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    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.
     
  10. Farmer Connie

    Farmer Connie Overrun With Chickens

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    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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