rats. RATS! help! giant rats!

GoatHouseProductions

In the Brooder
8 Years
May 12, 2011
22
0
22
I have 2 goats, 6 ducks, 4 baby chickens, 2 cats, and apparently GIANT RATS!

I saw the evil lurking creature in the goat barn last night and MAN was she bold! And I just KNOW she's sittin on a nest and has babies and oh man I didn't think I was scared of rats until that moment. I was squealing like a little girl!

I don't want to use poison because of the animals.

I don't want to use traps because what if one of the quackers steps in it?

I don't have owls in my area.

A boa constrictor might eat something it's not supposed to and sounds like a lot of work.

The cats just aren't doing a good enough job.

WHAT DO I DO?!
 

Laurajean

Slightly Touched
9 Years
Apr 2, 2010
4,304
16
221
New Hampshire
Well, ideally you should have bait stations installed with poison for the rats, but they key would obviously be to install them away from the animals, yet nearby. I'm the manager of a Pest Control company and we install bait stations all the time at farms and areas with pets. They are special stations that only the rats can fit into. A chicken, cat, etc. cannot get into them. They are also child proof and opened with a key. If you hire an exterminator to install these stations, which I recommend, be sure to ask for "non-secondary poison bait", which means that if your cat eats a poisoned rat, the cat will not be poisoned. That's my advice. Also, unlike mice, rats are very difficult to get rid of. You should make sure that your feed, bird seed, pet food, etc. are all in hard tightly closing containers, not left out in bags. Also raise your chicken feeders a few inches off the ground so that the rats can't reach them. Hope this helps.
 

GoatHouseProductions

In the Brooder
8 Years
May 12, 2011
22
0
22
Thanks!

Possibly will look into professionals, but we're young students without a lot of moolah.

We're also enviro-nerd hippies and not super into the idea of using chemical poisons..."safe" or not, I just don't like the idea...

But I'm so conflicted! The last thing I want is to wake up with a rat family nesting in my hair...nor do I want any of my babies getting diseased...


so gross!!
 

Laurajean

Slightly Touched
9 Years
Apr 2, 2010
4,304
16
221
New Hampshire
Quote:I hear ya, and I'm certainly not implying that the poison is "safe", it's not! It's poison. But the non-secondary kind at least won't poison a predator who eats the poisoned rat, that's all. The best thing you can do, then, given your lifestyle preferences, is do the other things I suggested. Be sure all feed, seed, etc. is sealed up in tight containers, raise chicken feeders, "think like a rat" and seal, lift, remove anything that might make the area conducive to their thriving. Also seal off holes in the chicken coop or sheds, etc. If enough factors are removed, they will move on to better opportunities. I've done many home inspections for folks who are sure they have everything rat proof, and have pointed out many things that they are unknowingly doing that encourages them. So try doing your own inspection and get rid of or seal off anything a rat might like. I am not a chemical kind of person either, believe it or not, despite what I do for a living. I've never had to use poison at my home, but it's because I know a lot about how to prevent them in the first place. Good luck!
 

Katy

Flock Mistress
12 Years
Jun 29, 2007
16,317
80
331
Kansas~50+ yrs of chickens
I was once "anti-poison" too because of my barn cats and outside dogs until I was invaded by many rats. After trying all the safe non-poison methods and having very little to no success with them and talking to people who knew the risks vs benefits of using poison, I ordered some locking bait boxes and bought some "just One Bite". I've had good success with it and haven't seen any evedence of rat activity now for weeks. The vets I talked to said there was minimal risk of secondary poisoning and so far I've had many dead rats and no dead cats or dogs.
 

Judy

Crowing
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Feb 5, 2009
34,024
535
448
South Georgia
Here is a do-it-yourself version of having a pro come and do non-secondary-poison poisoning:

https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?pid=606272#p606272

You can buy the stuff at TSC, as well as a bait station -- which will need to be secured. Maybe not ideal, but....

I agree, no such thing as safe poison -- but this stuff is relatively so, if you read the research. I've used it with chickens, cats and dogs free to get at any dead mice/rats, with no problem. Yet, anyway. And it works. I use the green one, Tomcat.
 

PineappleMama

Songster
10 Years
Nov 23, 2009
5,731
21
244
Deep In The Left Atrium Of TX
How big a rat are we talking here? The ol' bucket trick might not work if they're too big??

Big bucket... water in the bottom... run a wire across the top with a can strung on it then put peanut butter on the can... mouse (and maybe rat???) goes to get the PB, can rotates and dumps them in the bucket, water drowns the bugger... but again, donno if that'd work with a big rat... might be too tall and could stop falling in/climb out... maybe a metal trash can would work??

Also heard of floating a coat of sunflower seeds on the top and when they dip down to get them thinking it's a solid surface they fall in and drown...
 
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purpletree23

Songster
10 Years
May 15, 2009
1,997
34
181
Tractor Supply and other stores sell a rat trap that works great. It's an open box that you place against a wall (most mice and rats travel near walls). It does have to be plugged in but the hassle of borrowing some outdoor extension cords is well worth it. The rat walks in and is electrocuted.

I love it because there are not little stashes of rat and mice poison just waiting for a child or curious pet to get into.

Good luck.

I just looked at Amazon and they have about a dozen designs to choose from. Zap Away!! Evil laugh.
 
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aprophet

Songster
10 Years
Jan 12, 2010
3,798
36
239
chesapeake Va.
Quote:either a trash can or rain barrel

I use 120 sized muskrat body grip traps to kill "wharf rats" here they are 1/2 to 3/4 the size of a muskrat here is a picture of the box I put them in



It is what our state requires to used baited body grips on land, for a rat you could tighten up the size of the hole a little bit more
 
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