Rats, rats EVERYWHERE! ☹️

May 10, 2020
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We had so many rats last year we literally had them eating out of the chicken feeder at the same time as the chickens during the middle of the day in the open large enclosed chicken yard!

Tried lots of stuff and finally got rid of them with the “everything and the kitchen sink” approach.

Used Tomcat secure kill snap traps. Tried lots of baits but for us peanut butter with a chocolate chip on top seemed to be the preferred bait. Take the food in at night and place in a secure location that mice and rats can’t get into - don’t want to lure them to your garage or house. We use a 5 gallon bucket with chicken nipples for water so that wasn’t a problem.

Cover any holes in the coop with copper mesh - story is that the copper gives them a tiny shock when they try to bite it. Seems to help as rats stopped climbing the outside of the coop to get in. Fill any holes you find in the ground with copper mesh and cover with dirt.

We did place bait boxes where it looked like they were nesting which in one case was the woodpile quite a distance from the coop.

Last thing is we used cut up chunks of Irish Spring soap anywhere they were nesting which in our case was roof rats in the space between the insulation and roof of the coop as well as under decks. I don’t remember where I read that but dang it works for us!

So far this year we’ve only seen two rats and have caught them both. Mice still and issue so moving on to that now although we have caught a dozen or so just in the last couple of weeks.
 

Dephora

Songster
Apr 30, 2020
220
233
111
Southern Oregon
Just watched all of this...and part two here:
Fascinating to watch the dogs and the mink..
Wonders if the dogs ever go after the mink, he must train them all to work together.

I love the Mink Man, I got his book for christmas two years ago as a joke. While the cover was hilarious and a great coffee table conversation piece, as the title is "The New Sport of Minkenry". I found it to actually be a very educational book on how to use mink and dog to hunt rats.

He really does go into all this detail and lays out how to train mink. He has great techniques that all revolve around positive reinforcement. Once one of his dogs from years ago almost bit a mink in the rat frenzy, he didn't pop the dog or anything, just immediately pulled the dog back and rewarded it for going someplace else. You can tell he loves his minks and dogs. If you watch his old videos you can see he was literally trying to train mink and dogs in a condo like situation, he had a horrible problem with theives stealing his minks and a few sad accidents with some of his dogs. Like I signed up to be amused by an excentric mink man and ended up having feelings. I can tell you one thing though, watching all the work he puts into training minks makes me know I could never do it. He must train them all day everyday. He has 100s of videos also dedicated to just the breeding process. I would rather just set a trap, but like his book says, this isn't the best method to catch rats, this is a sport to him.


EDIT: To anyone interested he just posted a video of him doing a hunt at a suburban home where the lady has a rat problem at her chicken coop. What are the odds?

 
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JCaseyHammond

Crowing
Sep 6, 2020
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California Delta
At our old house we had a bad rat problem in the chicken coop. It got so bad they actually ate one of the chickens. We got the big live ratinator trap, and caught 36 rats in one night! And then we just submerged it in the tub, dumped them all out, and reset it. It pretty much fixed our rat problem. We caught hundreds of rats in that thing.
Hello, I concur about the Ratinator! It is devastating to bring food to one’s beloved chickens and discover their bodies instead. My chickens’ food trough is mounted on the wall where the roost meets the wall, to keep their food out of the sand/diatomaceous earth floor. The chickens get Flockraiser moistened with water containing Sav-A-Chick electrolytes and probiotics, in addition to a bucket of water that’s scrubbed before refilling. I placed a Ratinator on the sand floor right up against the coop wall and directly beneath the food trough, so any bits of food fall down into the trap. Any rats that climb the wall will discover I sprayed the wall around the trough with “Bitter Yuck” from Tractor Supply. Any rats caught in the Ratinator go first into their “bath”, after which the bodies get recycled, either in the soil, or on the fence for raptors, or added to the maggot bucket (Google how-to videos), which in turn feeds the poultry. I can do this because I never use poison. Then I flood the rat holes with the garden hose every week to limit rat offspring and to get an idea how many adult rats come running out of the holes. In my case there will never be an end to the struggle, because I rent space for my breeder flock next to a walnut orchard. Hope this helps.
 

Chicken Heel

Songster
Jun 8, 2019
539
1,566
161
Hey Huff,
I'm not sure if this has been brought up yet or not butt.....
Have you ever considered,




Getting a 🐈?

🤭
:lau :lau :lau :lau :lau :lau
I have six cats that do a nice job on the rodents but Millie was even better. She would lie under the coops for hours waiting on the next unlucky victim. But as I noted in my earlier post, Millie would eat kittens too so I didn't get cats until after her passing.
 

tamdeva

Songster
9 Years
Jan 9, 2012
42
62
130
Kingman, AZ
Okay, this is the same thing I say to every member, read this article! It decimated my rat problem! I suggest the feeder (Grandpas feeder) that is suggested in the article! I bought one and love it! Fo more reasons then just keeping out rats! Look here for the Q&A section, and here for the purchase section! There is also another brand of feeder that will probably come up here, one made my Al Gerhart with also looks well made. You want to do everything that the article says, I highly suggest not using poison, for all the reasons and more listed in the article. I hope this helps! Article- https://backyardchickenproject.com/how-to-get-rid-of-rats-in-the-chicken-coop-the-definitive-guide/
I love my treadle feeder! Keeps the sparrows under control.
 

JaketheMurr

In the Brooder
Apr 6, 2018
6
10
19
This all started last year when my neighbor unloaded some rat-infested materials. They quickly came up to my house. Plentiful food supply, right? Well. I cant take it anymore. There’s stupid rats EVERYWHERE by my chicken pens. And I can’t use poison and no amount of traps would ever get all those dang mice.

Do I rehome my flock and start anew later?? It seems the rat population keeps growing and growing. My feed bill is sky high because I’m feeding more rats than chickens. It’s to the point where my chickens are absolutely starving if not fed twice daily.

If anyone has any other suggestions please let me know.

I already have 4 cats.
So I only have 12 hens, but at night, I put out blue cheese. I read on line that it kills rats and it seems to have worked for me. And the blue cheese doesn’t hurt the hens. And we have a black cat. You need to get a black one. They are “hunters.”
 

HuffleClaw

Sudden Reptile Fanatic
Jul 8, 2018
26,874
141,613
1,607
Alabama
My Coop
My Coop
Don’t know if anyone mentioned this, but have you considered a Carin Terrier? They are made for ratting. People would keep packs of them for ratting.
I think a few people have mentioned terriers. But, if possible, I’d like to not spend thousands of dollars on a pack of dogs haha 😅
So I only have 12 hens, but at night, I put out blue cheese. I read on line that it kills rats and it seems to have worked for me. And the blue cheese doesn’t hurt the hens. And we have a black cat. You need to get a black one. They are “hunters.”
I don’t think color makes the difference. I have a black cat with white feet :)
 

shawluvsbirds

🦆Lord luv a Duck!
Apr 17, 2017
21,412
140,472
1,552
Missouri
I have six cats that do a nice job on the rodents but Millie was even better. She would lie under the coops for hours waiting on the next unlucky victim. But as I noted in my earlier post, Millie would eat kittens too so I didn't get cats until after her passing.
😝 That was a joke.

She's said a million times already that she already has cats. Lol.
 

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