Rats in the Chicken Coop

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by lsv313, Aug 10, 2010.

  1. lsv313

    lsv313 Chirping

    Jul 23, 2010
    Everett, WA
    This morning my husband found a rat in our chicken coop. We are new at this, and I am not sure what we should do. It's not like we can just close the doors, because then the girls can't get in and out. We can't be the first people who've had this problem - any suggestions?
  2. cjexotic

    cjexotic Cj's Mandarin Ducks 10 Years

    Mar 11, 2008
    Central PA
    I have had this problem. Get feed off floor.. and water source also.. this attract them.
    Be careful as they will take eggs and young ones. I just lost in 3 days 43 juveniles.. about 2-3 months old.
    Some just disappeared others there was evidence left. I even had a showgirl that had puncture wounds and its
    side sliced open where I could see muscle. I packed it with antibiotics and put him in a safe place and he is on the mend.

    Also if you have anything on the floor (if dirt floor) put it up off the floor. I had rubbermaid tubs on the floor for nesting boxes and I had to put them up
    on crates or make legs for them. Or they will burrow from underground and go under something on the ground and sit and wait.

    I also had to put poison (which I hate to do) but did not want to loose anymore around the perimeter of the coup but out of reach of other animals and I found two dead
    a few days later. They were huge. We live by a creek and they are Nordic or river rats.

    Hope this helps. cj
  3. BHyder1

    BHyder1 In the Brooder

    Oct 19, 2009
    Get a cat and lock it in there. Thats what I have done, and she is happy and keeps the mice and the rats out.. She was a stray, happy to have food and a place to stay:)
  4. lsv313

    lsv313 Chirping

    Jul 23, 2010
    Everett, WA
    cjexotic, I'm so sorry to hear you lost so many chickens!!

    We have a tractor coop, as shown in the picture, so no food or anything is actually on the ground. The food and water are on top of bricks inside the coop to keep them raised.


    We let the chickens run free in the yard pretty much all day, so the wired area is usually open to let them in and out. Part of the problem is that our neighbors trash service got cancelled b/c they didn't pay their bill, and now they pile up MOUNDS of trash in their backyard. This is not helping with our rat problem. They have been reported to the Dept of Health, but so far nothing's been done about it. I'm afraid if I put poison out the girls would eat it too, because they wander around all over. Maybe we should try traps?
  5. Tala

    Tala Flock Mistress

    Call the city code enforcer if the health department isn't moving fast enough!!!!

    I had rats stealing eggs from broodies and digging holes in my coop, I also suspect that my neighbor is to blame for them....
    I got a TomCat bait station from TSC for about $15 to keep the poison away from the birds
    like this http://www.jefferspet.com/ssc/product.asp?CID=0&pf_id=16215
    guess it worked. I never found any bodies but the poison was definitely eaten and nothing else really could have gotten to it. [​IMG]
  6. woodmort

    woodmort Songster

    Jul 6, 2010
    Oxford NY
    Quote:May work and may not--some cats will not arrack rats, especially if the rats are large and the cat isn't. It's kind of hit and miss.
  7. cjexotic

    cjexotic Cj's Mandarin Ducks 10 Years

    Mar 11, 2008
    Central PA
    Thanks about the rat bait holder.. will get some of those.

    Doesn't the cat try to get your birds?

    Nice coop!! Trash will draw them.

    Last edited: Aug 12, 2010
  8. poltroon

    poltroon Songster

    Feb 28, 2008
    California (North Coast)
    I have had this problem. I am using peanut-butter baited traps, which is slow if there is more than one or two.

    Other things I do:

    I feed the chickens at night, when I'm about to lock them up in the rat-proof section.

    I move the tractor frequently so that the rats don't establish a network of tunnels into the run.

    I had one coop where I diminished the problem by trimming a tree back that was allowing them on the roof.

    I don't like poison, because I worry about other animals eating the dead rats. It is effective, though.

    When you're raising the food, remember that rats can climb and jump, so it needs to be set up in a way that they can't do either comfortably.
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2010

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