Rats under coop - how to fill in??


Sep 21, 2021
We haven’t even gotten chickens yet but it seems a few rats have already moved in to the space under our half-built coop! 🤦🏻‍♀️

We’ve been building the coop slooooowly over several months. I feel like a dummy leaving space under the coop - just like 2-3 inches since the coop is up on corner blocks to level it. It’s a larger shed-like structure and too big to move. How can I fill in the space under the shed to make it less hospitable?

I was thinking maybe spray and expand foam, but would that be toxic? Leech into the soil?

I’ll be going nuts with hardware cloth as we build out the run, making it fully enclosed on 6 sides. And I’ve already built a layer of hardware cloth into the coop floor and lower walls but the coop is right next to a tree which makes burying an apron around the base of the coop difficult to prevent them from nesting under the coop.

I hate to think of the rats living so close to my chickens!! I’ve put out traps and they seem to die off but then a few months later my dog is going nuts again and so I think we keep getting more (we’re in Chicago and it’s just on the other side of the fence from an ally).

Would love any advice on filling in that under-coop gap!
Any photos of what you have so far? You can still apron around the coop, just lay the apron on the surface instead of burying it, or in spots where that's difficult due to the tree you can also tuck parts of the apron under the coop space instead, which isn't as rodent proof but better than nothing.

As my coop is fully inside my run, I tucked the apron under the coop entire way around so the chickens don't walk on the wire, and young chicks don't run under the coop.

The tree is the reason you have a problem. They will use the existing root structure to build their nests. We had a stump that was in our run and had to move the run, remove the stump, line the bottom of the run with hardware cloth and start again. You might have kill the tree if you can't move the coop
We put wire on the ground under and around the outside. So far no problems we hang feed and store in metal cans.

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