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Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by wjkmg, Feb 2, 2016.
Does anybody have ideas on how to get rid of rats (or mice) which are eating my chicken feed?
I pour my chicken food in medal garbage cans and put the lids on tight. I hope this helps you.
Thanks, but it's actually the chickens feeders that the rats are eating out of. I don't think that their eating out of where we store our feed. We use fermented feed.
Give enough food for the day, and take it in at night (if most of the Rat/Mice activity is during the night).
Get a rat proof feeder- have one made, make one or buy one (google 'rat proof feeder')
Try adding cayenne pepper to the food. Chickens can't taste it, mammals can.
Rat proof the area that the feeders are in.
I had a rat that was digging into one of my runs and eating the remaining crumbles every night. I feed mine usually twice a day, if I'm not working 12+ hours a day. I put just enough in there so they will get plenty to eat but not have much left over. I put some rat poison out, big green balls that are fish flavored. I counted the balls so I could pick up any that were remaining so the chickens wouldn't eat them when they're out. I also set some of those LARGE wooden rat traps and staked them to the ground with a string. I tried peanut butter for a few nights with no luck. Then I put a big piece of balled up bread on the trap.I caught a huge field rat. Just the body was about 10" long! If it's mice you can make one of those 5 gallon bucket water traps. All you need is a bucket, a large vegetable can or coffee can and piece of 1" PVC pipe. You can google how to make one. I saw a video online where a guy had chickens and had a pretty bad mice problem. He caught about 30 mice the first night.
Metal can for feed storage and tamer proof bait boxes with chunx bait. That's what I use and have absolutely no more rats or mice. I keep one tamper proof box right in the run near food and one in shed where the feed is stored, where I put the feed container each night after closing up the coop.
Sadly there is not enough information in chicken 101 books or any websites promoting the beauty and ease and oneness with nature raising chickens can be about attracting rodents. It's an absolute that if you raise chickens you will attract rats and mice. If they get enough feed you will be raising colonies of rats and mice. This is not talked about. It's the dirty seedy underbelly of nature that people don't want to discuss. Without any kind of rodent population control in place in the very beginning (traps, drowning stations, etc.) and proper storage of bulk feed your soon going to be overrun with pests. At that point you must, I'll repeat that as many don't think it's true, you must use poison. There is no other way to eradicate colonies of rodents (including chipmunk) once established. Pellet poison is not a good way and how many pets get sick. Tamper proof boxes contain the poison. Chunx bait must be chewed so rodents are not strewing poison everywhere as it's neatly kept in checks when chewed off. I'm on what? 3 or 4 years of using this system. Had to start as I was overrun with rats and it sucked. In all that time I've only witnessed one dead chipmunk on the lawn in the morning on route to letting chickens out of coop. All the rest died in their holes in ground after feeding poison to brood. Had three cats at old house, neighbors had dogs that got in my yard every day- not worries, non got a poison filled rodent. It's a wonderful thing. Now hardly any is used. Always out and available but after first use in months time you won't use hardly any. I put in 2 chunx for each box anymore and in 6 months more than half of them are still there. They are only keeping down any potential of population explosion. All new rodents attracted to area die instead of multiplying. We replace chunx every 6 months just to keep it fresh. Likely will go with only one chunx block each box now. One of those 3 lb buckets will last nearly a decade when used small scale like your back yard.
Don't put a box in run with chicks.