So we've been struggling with rats lately. We tried live trapping, laid TONS of hardware cloth and more. We've had an exterminator out who put poison outside of the chicken's access and only found one dead baby rat. Please don't send me anti-poison msgs. I have young kids playing in the yard and cannot risk fooling around with the diseases that rats carry. The coop and run are against our house and I've heard about the damage that rats can cause. Our current approach is as follows: I have a hanging metal feeder (which the rats jump up onto... and eat while enjoying a spin ride). If I hang it higher the chickens will not be able to reach. It's this one: The chickens make a mess of food beneath where it is hung. So each night I remove the feeder and hose off the area where the spillage is. After the chickens are locked up, I place a board with screwed in poison bricks. This is the third night I've put it out and the rats so far haven't touched it. I remove the poison in the AM before letting the chickens out. During the day the rats come out and eat what falls while the chickens are RIGHT there! My chickens are apparently pacifists because they are happy to live with rats weaving around their feet... even baby rats! I've read that I can try wetting their food to prevent spillage. Does anyone know if this works? I really don't want the hassle of fermenting food. Is there a feeder or system that prevents spillage so that during the day there is less for the rats to get? Help!!