Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by crazyducklady23, Aug 19, 2015.

  1. crazyducklady23

    crazyducklady23 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 17, 2015
    So I am having problems with rats in my chicken coop and they are starting to kill off my baby chicks that hatch as well as steal eggs. I need to fix this problem immediately and have been doing some research. I have a 8'x10'x6'H chicken coop and it goes straight to the ground with an elevated floor inside. I believe the rats are living under the elevated floor. I plan to cut a small board from behind the chicken coop and place rat poison in there and then screw the board back onto the chicken coop so none of my other animals can get in there. I am going to plan on picking up the chicken feed at night and secure it in a container. I know I take a big risk with having poison so close to my chicken coop but I am not sure what else to do. Any thoughts????

  2. Binki

    Binki Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 9, 2015
    Ontario, Canada
    Please do not use poison - the rats can carry it to your chickens to peck at or other animals and if something eats the dead rat it will be poisoned and also, you'll have rancid rat bodies rotting below your chickens.

    I know you're desperate :/ is it possible to seal them out of the coop? Even if you poison them, if there's a flaw in your design, more will come.

    Apparently baking soda? Mixed with yummy food will cause the rat to die because they can't burp and the gas builds up inside of them. At least that's what I heard with mice!

    We had rats in our house (ugh) last year and they were capable of chewing through our wood cupboards, we got them with snap traps, find where they are coming in, they can dig as well!
  3. crazyducklady23

    crazyducklady23 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 17, 2015
    Thanks for the thoughts on it! I was looking on here more and seen a lot of people saying snakes are eating their babies as well as their eggs. I have not seen snakes up there i have seen the rats though. Could this possibly be a snake doing this?
  4. Binki

    Binki Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 9, 2015
    Ontario, Canada
    I don't have experience personally but yes it sounds right that snakes would also be able to do the same damage as rats to eggs and chicks.

    I would give a good look around to find how whatever it is is getting in - if you can seal it out then problem solved... I guess a rat trap with an egg as bait would work against both rats and snakes? You might be able to use a hollowed out egg if that's easier? But a snake won't touch it unless it looks like a whole egg...

    Snakes and rats can get into crazy tiny holes as well - like the size of a quarter :S

    I use 1/4 inch square hardware cloth (metal mesh) for my aviary - it keeps out mice, rats, snakes, raccoons, coyotes, etc.

    A lot of people use it for their coops because chicken wire is not predator proof - it merely keeps the chickens within it and I read some roosters have sliced it open to get at each other!

    Most people use half inch squares I believe. I like my 1/4 inch because not even a baby mouse can get in and when I throw in crickets, grasshoppers, moths etc., they can't get out so my birds get to hunt :p
  5. TrialandError

    TrialandError Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 23, 2015
    SW Florida
    I read somewhere that people use mothballs to keep out snakes I think
  6. crazyducklady23

    crazyducklady23 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 17, 2015
    Are they harmful to chickens do you know? If not i will have to try that!
  7. RonP

    RonP Chillin' With My Peeps

    Posted to another query.
    Hope it helps.:

    My understanding is that rats/mice are everywhere.
    They will congregate and breed where there is available food, water, and shelter.
    Look closely around any fast food restaurant and you will see rat bait stations.

    They will eventually come, the idea is to prevent them from establishing a colony.
    If you see 1, there are probably fifty.
    If you see two or more holes, expect dozens.

    Keeping a rat trap/bait station baited 24/7 hopefully keeps the population from establishing near your food source. Once established, they are very difficult to eliminate.

    Remember, chickens don't attract rats, food does.

    That said, I fabricated black 4 inch circular x 18" long drainage plastic pipe as a bait station.
    Placed along the outside of my coop, looks like drainage pipe (not unsightly).
    I put a t fitting in the center, capped, for easy viewing once a week.
    Inside I maintain commercial rat poison.

    My run has food scraps 24/7.
    My coop has food access 24/7.
    Water access 24/7.

    5 years, no sign of rats or mice...

    Hope this helps.

  8. Lhogue

    Lhogue New Egg

    Aug 18, 2012
    Mothballs do NOT work. I've been that route.
    Going to try planting mint around the coop next spring thou. For now using snap traps and rat proofing coop. No food in coop at night. I put out a small feeder about 20 feet from coop for the girls and then dump whatever is left in it back into barrel when they go in. I've gotten 5 rats so far with the traps. I don't want to use poison.
  9. Mims

    Mims Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 6, 2013
    West Texas
    Look up the 5 gallon bucket mouse trap. Google or youtube, either will get you results. I am using a big black trashcan right now, because I have rats outside, and want to make sure they can't escape.

    You can also set rat snap traps inside a wire dog crate, with the crate covered in hardware cloth, or something, so your chickens can't stick their heads in. Poison used anywhere near chickens scares the heck out of me.

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