Rats, rats EVERYWHERE! ☹️

HuffleClaw

Sudden Reptile Fanatic
Jul 8, 2018
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That was my first thought.

..and the tail tells the tale! Shrew.

Always put something down for scale when taking pics for ID.
I use quarters for eggs, and dollar bills for bodies.
Will do! Then I think the odds are that the cats managed to catch that one if it IS a shrew. Or maybe I just have a shrew infestation? Idk. Will get pics with reference items for scale next time for sure. Thank you.
 

Geena

Crowing
6 Years
Aug 17, 2014
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Could be.
Was thinking the same about no rats after all.

If you think about it, I doubt either a shrew or a vole would be hanging around anywhere near a rat colony. But something is eating the feed... so maybe like OHLD said it might be field mice. I caught a huge field mouse last week, it could have been mistaken for a small rat.
 

HuffleClaw

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Jul 8, 2018
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Shrews are insectivores, so they are looking for bugs, and can be very viscous little critters. They are similar to moles, but they aren't as strange looking.

Rats are quite distinctive, big ears, and they are meaty critters. We get them here yearly in my shed. We use bait boxes with Tom cat poison. Most die in their holes within a week. I've only seen dead ones out in the open twice in a decade. Traps don't work here for rats.

We do trap mice. They are easy with some peanut butter. We see mostly deer mice and house mice here.

Here we also have what we call field mice. They are bigger and more robust, and have a shorter tail. They can sometimes be mistaken for small rat. Those are usually just out in the hay field, and don't come into the buildings.

Generally in the fall here we see an increase in rodents trying to find a nice warm place to winter close to food. We generally only put out poison during a few weeks, than we put everything away.

While it's out I'm always afraid of secondary poisoning as well, but I've never seen it. We place the boxes where nothing can get into them except for the rodents, and we use the blocks so nothing gets dragged off.

This year was a high rodent year. They started early, so we did too. We are still trapping a few mice, but we haven't seen any signs of rats lately thankfully.
Wow, thanks OHLD!
 

WindingRoad

Crowing
Nov 21, 2018
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I quoted this from the article, DO NOT USE POSION! It is terrible! Plus the rat has a painful death!
Poison
I’m going to say this right at the start: beware the use of poisons. This should be your last resort if nothing else is working. I know it seems like an easy fix to a big problem, but using poison to get rid of rodents could lead to bigger problems down the road. If a poisoned rodent were to die anywhere out in the open, it could be eaten by your chickens, your cat, your dog, or neighborhood wildlife. This means poisoning the rat is effectively poisoning other animals as well.

Another downside to poison is that over the years rats have developed immunity to many poisons, and others they’ve just learned not to eat it. This means you’ll have to frequently change the type of poison as one won’t work for long.

Even if you do manage to get the rats to eat the poison and they do die from it, they will likely die in a very hard to reach place, such as underneath the coop or within its walls, and you’ll be reminded daily of this horrible mistake by the stench.
Most rats won't eat poison anymore.
 

WindingRoad

Crowing
Nov 21, 2018
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If she has an infestation like she's saying what do you think they're gonna eat when the feed is taken away?
They'lI start eating the birds.
It's not a rat proof feeder you need it's a no waste feeder that is needed.

The rats I have get into the coop during the day and eat to their hearts content while my birds are out in the run. I can't close the coop all day as the birds need to get in there to eat, drink and lay eggs.
 

Overo Mare

I see you.
Premium Feather Member
Aug 26, 2019
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Most cats won't bother with rats. Too much work.

Definitely not all. Mine has porched them.
20200913_085215.jpg


Only rat I've ever seen here.
 

WindingRoad

Crowing
Nov 21, 2018
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Step one is deny them food. Step two is elimination. Elimination is pointless without cleaning and maintenance and food reduction. For that I started feeding the chickens only what they'd eat in a day, sweeping up every single spilled pellet, and being diligent about compost burying deeply.

RATX did almost nothing for me. What did something for me was keeping my dogs on a tight leash for 4 months and using bait boxes. Prior to this the dogs were killing up to 6 rats a night and it did nothing. They WILL start in on eating your chickens if their numbers get too large and they aren't getting free fed. The rats I had started with the baby rabbits, then the chicks, then the cockerels. I also patrolled my chicken pen daily for issues and cleaned up bodies.

The VAST majority of rats that die from poison go back to their holes to do it and die underground. The amount of poison left in dead rodents is trace enough that even if a cat eats a whole rat chances are good it won't die, and a dog certainly wouldn't. It would take a few rats for a cat to have problems. The bait itself is in boxes that nothing but a rat or smaller can access it. They're even IN the chicken pen with my birds.

You can TRY snap traps and glue traps but they must be moved every time you catch a single rat to not tip off the colony and you have to rotate baits. You can imagine how bad it is to get rid of hundreds of rats with needing to rotate traps every time you catch one. Especially because snap traps must be baited unset for a few days to encourage them. Bucket traps are the same.

If you won't use poisons... Well, I had no luck using any of the above methods and I used them all. My dogs, RAT-X, snap traps, bucket traps... They did not make a dent. Good luck.
x2
 

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