Rats Rats And More Rats

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Nifty-Chicken, May 25, 2008.

  1. Nifty-Chicken

    Nifty-Chicken Administrator

    I don't know what I hate the most about rats:

    1) Going out to the coop at night to close in the girls and having something jump out right in front of your hand as you reach for the latch. Ugh.... rats

    2) Having to set those crazy huge rat traps. Just look at it the wrong way while setting it up and that action arm will snap 3 fingers in half.

    3) While it may be a little satisfying at first, finding a dead rat in one of those traps, having to deal with a dead rat in a trap it is no picnic.
  2. Dawn419

    Dawn419 Lost in the Woods

    Apr 16, 2007
    Evening Shade, AR
    Sounds like you could have used the Black Snake that we removed from the main run a week or so, ago. [​IMG]

    We set it free after finally catching it in the net. It was in the "grow-out" side (with the "teenagers") and wasn't after eggs (yes, I know they will eat eggs but it was in the wrong side)...it was actually doing it's darnedest to find an escape route.

    I know, I know, big help, huh? [​IMG]

  3. d.k

    d.k red-headed stepchild

    *Hey, Nifty?? Try this-- my favorite recycling trick. Use doubled plastic grocery bags inside out over your hand to get the sprung trap. Pull the bags down over the trap, rat and all. Upend the bags and with a little finagling you can either open the trap and keep just the rat in the bags or just dispose of the whole thing. IF you opt to keep the trap to reuse it, make yourself a small bucket of bleach water BEFORE USING THE BAGS andslip the trap GENTLY out right into the bleach bucket. (P.S.-- NOW can we get the time-outs extended??? [​IMG])
    Last edited: May 26, 2008
  4. Scrambled Egg

    Scrambled Egg Flock Mistress

    Aug 29, 2007
    Fayetteville, NC
    I am unfortunately, having the exact same problem lately. I have mouse tunnels in several places around my coop and inside the edges. I know they must be small because I have a foot of chicken wire on the ground around my pen and they get through that. I think they live under my shed, at least my dogs think so! I have been thinking about using that powdered sugar plaster of paris mixture but wasn't sure what would happen to my chickens if they ate the mouse that ate that? anyone know?
  5. Standard Hen

    Standard Hen Songster

    May 17, 2007
    I never had a rat problem until I got chickens and I have had horses and other livestock for years. I personally could not handle the idea of dead rats in traps and was afraid that one of my cats or small dogs would get caught in them.
    I decided to go the poison route after much debate. I had three tunnels under the coops which of course led into the pen where the feed was. The poison comes in a block, I broke off pieces, threw them in the holes and proceeded to cover the holes with dirt and big rocks. I have never had a rat since but I will say I believe I got the problem before it was out of control.
    It was easy and fast but I know many are afraid of the poison. It worked for me.
  6. d.k

    d.k red-headed stepchild

    * Try funneling the plaster bait into a 5-gal. plastic water jug and then greasing the inside neck with some slicky silicone stuff, SE. Wedge the bottle in or wire it in upright and tight next to or in the coop. Mice are a lot less suspicious overall than rats. They'll likely parade right in an not be able to get out, though some of em are pretty accurate jumpers, the height, bottle shape, and silicone will slow them.
    Last edited: May 26, 2008
  7. I'm on to using the new generation of rodent poisons now. See they are deer mice here, and they carry Hanta Virus in this area. And they got into the house too. It was creepy enough when they were in the coop and barn.

    So I got a great tip from the guy that did the plumbing for the house. Use scraps of electric wire and pipe to make very safe mouse or rat bait stations. I used electric fence wire since I had lots of that, but had him save me the short bits left over on the plastic 2, 3 or 4 inch pipe. Put the bait on the wire and twist it around in the center then put it through the pipe and bend the ends over the ends of the pipe. I use about a foot long hunk of pipe at least, but mostly whatever length it came to me as. Rodents love tunnels so just leave them out anywhere and they go in, especially near walls or ground cover. The other critters can't get directly at the bait as it is suspended in the center of the pipe. If you have any critters that could carry the pipe away wire it down.

    I forget the name of the stuff right now, I can get it for you when I'm home, but it's said to be safe for anything but a rodent to eat, it functions by tageting a liver function that rodents have, and they go into a coma. They must head for the nest to go to sleep because I almost never find bodies. The bodies are said to be safe for other critters to eat and I don't have any unexplained poultry losses or sick dogs/cats.

    The stuff has been a miracle around here, I went from major damage to my tack daily and a full on house invasion with chewed up siding needing repair to hardly ever seeing the things in a few months of treatment. I was rebaiting weekly till I had control but have moved on to monthly now. I guess I have about 10 stations between around the house, the shed, barns. The stuff is not cheep but well worth the price. The bait stations need to be good rodent holes so that only your rodents will eat the stuff due to the price! I spoke with a biologist that was out in the area doing a raptor survey and she said that they see the stuff out where birds can get at it and they have tested some song birds positive for the active ingredient with no signs of illness, but wonder why anyone would leave that stuff out to ‘feed the birds’ at the price, but I think it’s also just irresponsible.

    I did have a few problems with Pack Rats and have not seen another so far so hopefully it's working on them too, some of the pipes are bigger so they could get in.
  8. d.k

    d.k red-headed stepchild

    * I don't use the poisons, not because of the poison itself, but b/c last fall after the mangoes stopped fruiting I used poison blocks and a rat died in the wall. In the 9O degree heat the stench was worse than noxious and we had a plague of flies to boot!!!! WAY WORSE than emptying traps when they snap!! TRUST ME!!
  9. Scrambled Egg

    Scrambled Egg Flock Mistress

    Aug 29, 2007
    Fayetteville, NC
    What is that called April? I could shove it under the shed and only the rats could get to it. My dogs can't get under there and my chickens wouldn't have opportunity. I would wonder what would happen if a poisoned mouse got into the coop before it died and a chicken ate it?

    Course I may not have to worry about any of that much longer if my chickens don't SHUT UP!! It's 7:30AM on a holiday morning and they are laying eggs in their very LOUDEST egg laying voices ever!! My neighbors probably want to kill them first, me second, or maybe the other way around, lol!!! Geez, how long does it take to pop that egg out!!! Man they are loud..maybe all that noise will just scare the mice away!!! [​IMG]
  10. jjthink

    jjthink Crowing

    Jan 17, 2007
    New Jersey
    Rats are known to move their food/poison to other locations for ingestion at a later time - and when they do there can be unintended victims.

    Hardware cloth to prevent entry does work - a bit labor intensive at the start but it's a permanent solution.


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