Rats in coop, and other coop problems.

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by LeslieMiikal, Nov 8, 2015.

  1. LeslieMiikal

    LeslieMiikal Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 5, 2013
    So. The house we bought came with guinea hens, 4 of them. The coop hadn't been cleaned in some time and I cleaned half of it today. I didn't wash it, just scooped it, making sure to wear full respirator and all because the bedding is FULL of rat crap. Not a little bit, it's all rat crap, everywhere. I hadn't really looked in there when we moved in under 2 weeks ago, but today I was hit by the reality of the rat situation. There are two walls of the coop that are stuffed full of straw (it's all ramshackled together out of upcycled materials), one wall has a low set hole chewed into it and you can hear rats in the walls. Not all the time, just usually in the morning or evening. There are tunnels under the coop, and there are tunnels under the other ramshackle buildings surrounding the coop. The coop itself is too big, for the winter I was going to block off half of it because it's just too much space.

    After seeing the rat crap everywhere today, and hearing them, I'm worried about several things.First off, I'm worried about how many rats may be residing under these different buildings. My cat seems to be killing rats, and there's a fox that seems to hunt them too, but I know it's not enough, even with my husband shooting them. I'm worried about how much the rats could breed over the winter. I'm worried about the diseases they may carry and if the rats will hurt the guineas over winter. I'm also worried that if we remove all these stupid crappy buildings and put up a new guinea only coop that the rats will move into our house or under our deck. What the heck do we do? Help please!
    *I want to add that poison is not an option. We have two dogs, two cats, two kids, and a waning predator bird population that can not get into poison or poisoned rats*
  2. Sonya9

    Sonya9 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 7, 2014
    Jones County, Georgia
    IMO if you can afford it, get a new coop (with a solid floor) for the guineas. You will be much happier and if you decide to add some chicks to the flock in the spring they will have a safe/sanitary place to live. If the rats have tunnels everywhere you won't be able to fix this and when spring comes it will attract snakes (depending on where you live). Of course keep all of the food locked up, those metal trash bin type food containers may be best if you are buying something anyway.

    And yes, some of the rats will probably think about moving into your warm/toasty house. I don't like the old fashioned "spring" rat traps, far too much chance of hearing a screaming rat that got afoot or tail caught in one. Might want to look at rat zappers for the house: http://www.amazon.com/Rat-Zapper-RZC001-Classic/dp/B002665ZTC

    Also most rat species in the US don't carry the dreaded deadly Hantavirus if that makes you feel any better. http://www.cdc.gov/hantavirus/rodents/
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2015
    1 person likes this.
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    If you won't use poison, it's going to be a long hard war.
    Tearing down the buildings will only make them move to another one... which could be your house.

    A fire might be in order...burn the old bad buildings if they are unsalvageable..that along with your other means might severely reduce the population.
    1 person likes this.
  4. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

    Apr 15, 2009
    I have had very good luck using bucket traps. A few years back I had a major rodent issue- mice, squirrels and chipmunks. Using a combination of snap traps, bucket traps, a .22 and live traps I ended up dispatching 104 mice, 56 chipmunks and 8 squirrels. It put a dent in the population that has held on until just this past year. The bucket traps are being put back into use just this week- 7 mice down so far. To ensure that no non-target animals are caught I put the trap inside a wire dog crate. This also keeps the raccoons from cleaning out my bait.

    The zap traps work very well, but eat batteries up like they are going out of style. I couldn't keep up with that.

    1 person likes this.

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