RATS - In the coop

lambeke1

In the Brooder
8 Years
Mar 22, 2011
40
0
32
Yesterday morning when I checked on my chickens at 5AM, there were 3 rats in the coop. They also left evidence that they were there in the feed. I HATE RATS. I put rat poison outside the coop but I was wondering if rats eat chickens. How do you handle the rat situation in your coop?
 

hazen

In the Brooder
8 Years
Feb 6, 2011
43
3
32
Memphis
I hate rat as well.....I've been battling mice and rats since I started my little "backyard operation" three years ago.....I've tried everything......Guess what.....Still got mice and rats......I think its a lost cause.......I can wait to hear a new suggestion if there is one out there........
 

jjthink

Crowing
13 Years
Jan 17, 2007
4,623
44
274
New Jersey
Unless handled very skillfully, rat poison may well kill unintended victims (e.g. yours or someone else's pets or innocent wildlife). Rats have a tendency to move poison to other locations if it is located in such a way that they can move it.

Best long term method to avoid rats is to rat proof your coop and to ensure that all food is in metal containers at night that can not be accessed by unwanted visitors.

JJ
 

Edwards' East of Eden

Songster
8 Years
May 11, 2011
261
5
101
Biloxi, MS
I don't know if rats eat chickens, but I'm pretty sure chickens will eat rats. My chickens will eat anything.

And - a rat dying from rat poison would be pretty easy to catch, no? I'd be terrified to use rat poison where a rat might die within snacking distance of a chicken - or of all my chickens, after the first one makes the "something good" racket and starts trying to run with the body.

Better to use snap-traps, or live-trap and relocate at your worst enemy's house, whatever.
 
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Katy

Flock Mistress
12 Years
Jun 29, 2007
16,317
76
331
Kansas~50+ yrs of chickens
I had no rat trouble until the big black snakes that used to live under and around my coops disappeared.

Then the rats moved in. I fought them with traps for many months which was a losing battle.

I finally resorted to using a low risk of secondary poisoning rat bait...Just One Bite. I bought 6 locking bait stations and placed them throughout my pens. Within a week there was much less rat activity and after 2 weeks I saw none. I wish I had used it many months before I did, but I have many barn cats and also outside dogs that I was scared of poisoning them . The vets I talked to before using it said they'd have to eat many dead rats within a short time frame to be affected. I lost no cats or dogs because of the dead rats.

Most of the rats died down in their tunnels and the ones that did die about ground the chickens ignored.

I now keep the baited stations out all the time and never see any sign of rats.

And yes, they will take and kill birds.
 

rungirl

Songster
9 Years
Apr 7, 2010
437
11
113
Columbus, Ohio
You definitely have to secure your feed. That's why they're coming around. I'd clean the coop and put the feeders away at night for a while and set some traps.
 

banks

Songster
12 Years
May 31, 2008
149
12
156
Ft Worth Tx (Richland Hills)
Well to solve my rat problem I bit the bullet an ordered the "RAT ZAPPER ULTRA" from Amazon. $45.00 and free shipping. So far I have been very pleased. I like the portability and the fact that there is no posion for other pets to find.
 

rabitrun

Hatching
8 Years
Feb 26, 2011
9
0
7
I second Flock Mistress -- I used the bait, put it down all rat holes I could find, two weeks later, no rats, no return. We have secured the coop (an old horse foaling stall) with hardware cloth all around (due to a weasel attack)
also, which should greatly reduce access for rats. My barn cat is a great mouser, but some of these rats were rather large and she does not have access to the coop at night. Good luck!
 

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