Rats in the coop

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Doodadman, Oct 18, 2009.

  1. Doodadman

    Doodadman Out Of The Brooder

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    It first I thought it was mice but it is rats. They are borrowing in from the front of the coop through pea gravel and dirt. I put a large board over the dirt but that only help for a couple of days. They are not hurting the hens but this can not be good. I'll take all suggestions.
     
  2. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    Cat worked for me.

    A couple years ago I had a rat living in the coop, raising babies. Didn't mess with the chickens but the chickens were afraid to go near the food. I chased them out and strays took care of them. [​IMG] Good luck

    Imp
     
  3. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon Premium Member

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    The quick and inexpensive: If there is room in the coop get a couple of the Big Victor Snap Rat Traps. Tie some raw bacon to the treadle and rub a gob of peanut butter under the treadle (rat either pulls at bacon or jams snout under the treadle). Place traps under heavy duty cardboard (or whatever you have that is just big enough to allow the kill bar to move freely) box, cut rat sized holes in the edges of the sides where box will touch ground, flip boxes over traps and place bricks on top so birds can't knock them around. Rats will walk in and that is that. Also, cut a small hole in the bottom of the box just large enough to look down into to so as to check for whacked rattus without having to move the box.

    Rats are disease vectors, and there have been members who've posted that the rats moved in on the birds and gnawed a bit...

    Remove any chicken feed from coop at night so as to encourage rats to seek out the entrees on the Victors.
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2009
  4. Doodadman

    Doodadman Out Of The Brooder

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    I'm going to try this. I have already caught one with a trap but this is a better plan and the hens can't get into the box.
     
  5. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon Premium Member

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    Just make sure that the box is big enough and traps are placed so that if a hen pokes her head in she can't get near trap.

    We used this method in the turkey shed and got a couple of stragglers from the grain dryer up the road.
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2009
  6. possumqueen

    possumqueen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm with ivan3. Rat trap under box.

    If it turns out you have a chronic problem with rats, you can go with rat bait, but you need to make the bait box out of wood, or buy a manufactured bait box that will hold up to weather and keep the chickens out.

    We're talking birds that eat stryrofoam here, so you know they'll go for rat bait in a New York minute. [​IMG]
     
  7. shelleyd2008

    shelleyd2008 the bird is the word

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    How big of a hole would it need to be? I've got mostly all bantams, though most of the babies are in brooders or almost adult sized. I'd be afraid of one of the smaller chickens getting into it.

    I've tried taking the food away at night, and it worked for a while. Though this morning when I went out to feed, I found what was left of one of my quail. The stupid rats had gotten into the cage and ate it, only thing left was the bones [​IMG] I was wondering if taking the feed out of the cages would then make the rats eat the birds, turns out I was right. I'm going to move the quail in the hopes that there won't be any way for the rats to get into their cages, but I don't know. I guess I'll have to wait and see.
     
  8. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon Premium Member

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    Shellyd2008 wrote: How big of a hole would it need to be? I've got mostly all bantams, though most of the babies are in brooders or almost adult sized. I'd be afraid of one of the smaller chickens getting into it

    Cut your big holes (2.5"x2.5" should be sufficient) in the ends of a shoe box and match up the hole on one end to the hole in the other large box you have the traps under (if you're ambitious and have a large coop you could cut one hole on each side of large box and duct tape a shoe box to each side (four rat entrances). Duct tape them together. This way the rat can get to the traps, but the bantams will just be sticking their head in an empty shoe box. Main thing is to use heavy duty boxes and anchor them in place (we weighed down box, but you could duct tape to wall of coop. As has been mentioned, a wooden or plastic box outside in run, or near any suspected rat holes would work well.

    Since they are on the attack, I'd probably move along to poison and, or applying hardware cloth to any potential breaches in coop structure, and shoving steel wool into any smaller cracks (keeps them from gnawing bigger holes).​
     

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