Rats inside my run!

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by IamRainey, Jul 30, 2018.

Tags:
  1. IamRainey

    IamRainey Songster

    709
    1,554
    196
    Aug 22, 2017
    Los Angeles (Woodland Hills)
    I went out to shoo my 5wo chicks into the coop tonight because they don't follow the hens up there. They just hunker together down in the darkness.

    So I'm out there in the run and I sense some movement. Up in the framing for the roof there are 3 small rats just waiting for their moment!

    I got the chicks up in the coop. I put down the door and wedged it closed. In the morning I'll put their food and water up there with them until I get the rats out and the perimeter secured.

    I don't know how they got in. And, worse, I don't know how I'm going to get them out!

    Has anyone dealt with small predators inside their runs? How did you get rid of them? I don't want to put down poison that the hens or chicks could get to. And I don't really even have any other ideas.

    Thanks in advance!
     
    SurferchickinSB likes this.
  2. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. .....

    19,061
    11,026
    701
    Mar 9, 2014
    Oregon
    My Coop
    Rats are drawn by spilled feed or accessible feeders...essentially, you've opened an all-night all you can eat buffet. To eliminate the draw, use a no waste feed system that prevents spillage or feed only what the birds will est each day or remove the feed each night.
    Next, close any opening larger than 1 inch using solid barrier or 1/2 inch hardware cloth.....if you arent sure where all this needs done, post some pics of your setup.
    If rats can get in, so can sone other predators, that's the bigger concern
     
  3. Folly's place

    Folly's place Free Ranging

    13,137
    12,040
    716
    Sep 13, 2011
    southern Michigan
    Keep the birds in and upgrade your enclosure; 1/2" hardware cloth everywhere if you can.
    Only bait will eliminate rats, and you need to use safe bait stations that only rodents can enter. Most rats and mice will die in their tunnels, so few bodies would be out there. If you find a dead or dying rodent, it goes in the garbage, not thrown out in the weeds.
    You can set out bait in the run after you lock your chickens in each night, and pick it up in the morning.
    Make sure that your coop is rat proof!!! They will eat eggs, and also kill chickens at night. They will chew through wood and tunnel up from below, and avoid traps. You can maybe get one or two in a trap, but the rest will avoid it. That's why only poisons work, and they must be changed every week or two also.
    Mary
     
    Susan Dye likes this.
  4. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

    18,675
    5,224
    511
    Nov 18, 2007
    Florida
    My Coop
    I had rats nesting in one of my coops. We made the mistake of framing in and putting a inside wall up around the bottom of the coop and the rats got in-between the inside and out side walls by chewing holes in the wood. I saw some rats in the barn too so I put out rat baits where I knew other critters such as birds couldn't get the baits and took out the walls in that coop. No more rats. I did find a few dead ones which I disposed of.
    IMG_20180214_123653.jpg
    IMG_20180220_165446.jpg
     
    Susan Dye and to BarbsGirls like this.
  5. Folly's place

    Folly's place Free Ranging

    13,137
    12,040
    716
    Sep 13, 2011
    southern Michigan
    I made the same mistake; insulated walls in the coop, giving a nice home to mice, and then rats. Also, my aged broken concrete floor developed cracks that tunneling rodents could exploit. It's safer now out there, and a lot of bait was eaten before the rodents all disappeared.
    If you see ONE rat or mouse, you have MANY!!!
    Mary
     
  6. IamRainey

    IamRainey Songster

    709
    1,554
    196
    Aug 22, 2017
    Los Angeles (Woodland Hills)
    I just ordered sand and gravel to lay down around the exterior perimeter of my run. Then I'll top that with 12" square concrete pavers. My hardware cloth is dug in 12" into the ground but they made their way through that somehow. Haven't figured that out yet...

    Inside the run I'm going to put sticky traps up in the rafters where they're running. Someone told me the best bait was rice krispy treats so I'm going to go get some of them. I'll also put some heavy duty double-sided tape down to secure the traps so that if a rat gets onto one and struggles the sticky trap won't fall down into the run with the chickens.

    I set regular mouse traps with peanut butter last night but there were no takers, unfortunately. Don't suppose it would hurt anything to put them out again tonight around where the feeders were.

    Thanks for the advice to remove the feeders at night. I'll do that. But I don't know how to eliminate the crumbles that are all over the ground. Maybe I'll need to bury it each night for a while...

    I'm also contemplating a pellet gun. Cause last night we could see the little rat bastards! Just couldn't get to them.

    Wish me -- or rather MY CHICKENS -- luck!
     
    GrannyHeeney, Susan Dye and snow5164 like this.
  7. snow5164

    snow5164 Crowing

    2,547
    3,343
    402
    May 16, 2015
    We stuck a few pieces of dog food in the center of the sticky traps, caught so many mice ,

    Good luck
     
    GrannyHeeney and Susan Dye like this.
  8. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Crowing

    6,680
    2,054
    386
    Oct 16, 2010
    NEK, VT
    I'm with Folly'sPlace and also use tamper proof bait stations with chunx poison. I keep one in my run 24/7 unless there are new chicks that can get inside them. When you're overrun it takes time for them to first start taking the bait then they are emptying it every few days so it seems it's not working at all....after three weeks every rat and brood in the immediate area is dead. Then I only keep one or two chunx block in and change out every few months if not used up. Really don't use much maintaining but you'll go through half a bucket of chunx or more if your already overrun.
     
    Susan Dye likes this.
  9. IamRainey

    IamRainey Songster

    709
    1,554
    196
    Aug 22, 2017
    Los Angeles (Woodland Hills)
    I guess my 5wo chicks would not be able to get into bait boxes so I'll go out and get a few of them too!

    Thanks everyone for your helpful ideas!

    I've got another 10' or so of the concrete pavers to lay down but it's 100˚ out there so I'm taking a break.

    I used to think I was a chicken owner. I've come to realize I'm a chicken servant. But at least I get 2 eggs a day as wages...
     
  10. Shamo Hybrid

    Shamo Hybrid Songster

    1,254
    1,396
    186
    Jun 6, 2018
    Keep setting out the spring mouse trap, the suckers will eventually take the bait. There are a lot of field mice around here and it's worked for me. But you should look into a better and easy set up, all you need is like a 5 gallon or whatever bucket (as long as mouse can't escape) and a can or 2 of soft drink. What it essentially is, is a trap where you put peanut butter or whatever on the cans and when they try to get close to the bait, they will try to walk on the cans, it will spin around and they will fall into the bucket...... put water in the bucket so they drown.

    Look up on Youtube, you will find out how it works!
     
    Susan Dye likes this.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: