Rats, Rats Everywhere!

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by FarmerGirl101, Nov 14, 2019.

Tags:
  1. Rat traps

  2. Peppermint plants

  3. Cats

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  1. FarmerGirl101

    FarmerGirl101 Crowing

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    Hello! So I went out tonight to feed my hens before it got pitch black (it was already dark but not too bad) and we had a visitor. I found a RAT in there! :mad: Not what I wanted to see at all. We have had encounters with mice before but now it seems like we have rats. Here are my encounters with rats:
    1. In the summer when at dinner there was one on the roof
    2. A dead one in my coop which my rooster killed
    3. A dead one about 8" on the other side of the fence
    4. A rat on the outside of my coop climbing up
    5. The rat inside of my coop
    This wasn't as bad when we still had cats around to kill them. What will help get rid of them? I am planning to clean up the area around the coop and pick up the loose food on the ground. Are rats sensitive to peppermint like mice are? Should we get rat traps and place them near the coop? Any good rat trap without poison so the cats near us don't get killed? What about getting cats to help with them? At least get the smaller, younger rats. So to sum this up, I am going to list them so it is easier on the eyes:
    1. Would planting peppermint be useful?
    2. What are good rat traps with and without poison?
    3. Could we get cats for the smaller and younger rats?
     
  2. CindyinSD

    CindyinSD Free Ranging

    How big are the rats?
     
    Cedar Creek Farm Lady likes this.
  3. CindyinSD

    CindyinSD Free Ranging

    My DH would be hunting them—stalking them with a .22 rifle.
     
  4. FarmerGirl101

    FarmerGirl101 Crowing

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    They range from 6" to about 8"
     
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  5. CindyinSD

    CindyinSD Free Ranging

    Does that include the tail? If not... Yeah, I’d definitely go with the rifle. (Not kidding... ) You could try one of the many live traps available on Amazon, etc., and then if you catch them, shoot them. The problem with those is that they tend to work a couple or a few times and then the rodents wise up.

    One guy I saw on YouTube took a 5 gallon bucket. Drilled a hole across the top from one side to the other, down an inch or two from the rim, slipped in a dowel rod and baited it in the middle with peanut butter. He filled the bucket halfway with water and a squirt of Dawn to emulsify and opacify the water then leaned a 1x4 against the rim as a walkway. He poured out so many drowned rats next morning that YouTube banned the video for excessive graphic violence. I watched it before they pulled it. The problem with this is the same as with other traps—it may or may not work and even if it does, the rats figure it out, but then it’s relatively cheap. And if it works, you’re at least down by a few rats.
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2019
    Raenh, mamajos, Shezadandy and 4 others like this.
  6. FarmerGirl101

    FarmerGirl101 Crowing

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    With the tail although they may be bit better
     
  7. honanbm

    honanbm Guess it's just you and me, chicken hat

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    Cats will help. I have one really good ratter that does his job (when he's not sleeping like a fatarse on the couch).
    Also, owls. We have a lot of owls around here, and they are awesome with keeping the rat population under control. You can actually build owl houses to draw them into your area. I know, owls kill chickens and what not, but so long as your birds are locked up at night, they won't really be a problem.
    Of course, there's always poison.
     
  8. FarmerGirl101

    FarmerGirl101 Crowing

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    We do have some owls so a box will need to be built. What breed of cat would you recommend? Poison isn't an option as a lot of people have cats here so the rats will just kill the cats
     
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  9. honanbm

    honanbm Guess it's just you and me, chicken hat

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    Do ya'll have a barn cat program you might take advantage of? Our local Humane Society runs such an operation, and it is really a neat deal. The pound makes sure that they have some basic shots, spay/neuter, and that's it. The cats aren't pets. You give them a barn, garage, shop, something to live in, supplemental feed, and water, and they hunt. They are very effective.
     
  10. CalBickieMomma

    CalBickieMomma Songster

    We had a bad rat problem earlier this year. They had been living in the coop before I got my latest flock this June, and I wanted to get rid of them before the babies started living outdoors. Our property also backs up to a junkyard in one corner, so there is nothing we could do about that. The rats were even using the trees around the coop as their personal highway - I could hear them up there when I went out at night. Here’s how we got it under control....

    1.) My dad was using electric traps in his shop (they were bad in there), and we started cleaning up the random junk they were using as homes (pipes and such piled up around the shop, old logs and woodpiles, random piles of stuff that was lying around).

    2.) My dogs helped as well. They are good at finding the nests and my terrier hound mix loves nothing more than hunting and killing rodents.

    3.) I used one of those Tomcat hard plastic traps on the roof of the run with a cardboard box placed over it with holes cut in it (to keep other wildlife away and make it still accessible to rats). It worked really well.

    What I’ve learned is you just have to be keep on top of it and keep the area free of debris. Good luck!
     

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