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Rats.

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by sebloc, Feb 4, 2017.

  1. sebloc

    sebloc Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hello

    Ever since late summer, we've developed rats all around our garden. Not inside our house (as we know of yet).
    They're very small, bigger than a mouse but not as big as the average rat. We have no clue what kind they are, etc. We got them when we moved the chickens into the coop.
    They live under our wood pile, in our compost pit, all over.
    We've tried killing them with traps, buckets, etc. Any suggestions on killing them or getting rid of them? The chickens constantly run around their run in the day like there's something there. The rats are not inside their enclosure, but I'm assuming that's the next step. Not sure if they're attracted to their food or their poop (which we dump in the compost pit, aside from the table scraps).

    Thanks for any suggestions you can provide on getting rid of them. Not sure how many there are.
     
  2. Table4Six

    Table4Six Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Have you tried rat poison?
     
  3. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    Join the club. Rodents and chickens seem to go together. The chicken by products of spilled feed and shed feathers are perfect accessories to any rat or mouse abode. But poison should be the last thing you want to use for the simple reason that rodents will transport the poisoned bait and may drop some where your chickens are likely to eat it. You really don't want to take the risk, no matter how small.

    The best remedy to rodents is good housekeeping. I finally solved the problem of spilled feed by feeding fermented feed. There is no spillage or waste. No food is left over at the end of the day for rodents to dine on.

    There are electric rat traps that are wonderfully efficient and easy to use. They've improved spring rat traps beyond the old fashioned wood spring loaded type, and the new ones are safer and you don't even need to touch the dead rat to get it out of the trap to dispose of it.

    Ordinary buckets of water left around will inevitably invite more rodents than you would believe to drown themselves with no effort on your part. It always amazes me when I find rats and mice in my rain tubs under my downspouts.

    But, please, don't use poison. It's simply too risky.
     
  4. Lilki

    Lilki Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm following this thread, without much hope. I won't use poison, as I don't want to contribute to secondary poisoning of the local raptors.

    One thing you could do, if you haven't already, is give your county Vector Control a call. They give away several free (and very nice) traps. They can also assess your house or coop for weaknesses where the rats could enter, as well as signs of infestation.

    It won't cost you anything and could be helpful.. We got three traps out of it. They are the box traps. You can either bait them with poison or it also has a spring trap inside.

    The problem that we ran into is that the traps, no matter what we used, only worked a couple times. Rats are very, VERY smart
     
  5. Zoomie

    Zoomie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would suggest one of those treadle feeders. They stay shut until the chickens step on the treadle to open up the feeder. This way the rats have less to eat.

    They are there because it's a food source. If you can minimize that, they will move on. At one point my yard was overrun with ground squirrels, because of the scattered feed. They came for that, and then started destroying other things. We took care of the scattered feed issue; within a week, all the ground squirrels moved on to better feeding grounds.
     
  6. sebloc

    sebloc Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for all the replies everyone

    We know they aren't going into the run we have, as it is sealed shut with no openings.

    We've tried poison, snap traps, sticky traps, bucket traps, etc. We were thinking of attaching the end of the exhaust pipe and pumping them out of the wood pile. We've put rat poison in the bait on the snap traps, but stopped doing that a while ago.
    We just recently baited a trap and caught one.

    I think they're attracted to the poop we dump in the compost. Would there be a better way to dispose of it while still composting it?
     
  7. TheHoranFarm

    TheHoranFarm Out Of The Brooder

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    Hi, i use water traps to get rid of mice/rats. Here is a video on the trap i use (not my video.)
     
  8. Zoomie

    Zoomie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    @sebloc Huh that is interesting! Why do you think this? Have you seen a lot of rats in your compost pile? We have a lot of poop here, way more than most people because I raise livestock. We have mountains of it, it seems like... when I clean stalls, I dump it in one area to compost, and when we clean pens with the tractor, we make even more piles. Yet, no rats... So that's kind of odd, I would think that if poop attracts them I would have them here. I always just thought it was the feed that would attract them. Is there another food source? A bowl of food left out for barn cats, or a dog bowl full of food etc? Bird feeders?

    This is an interesting mystery! [​IMG]
     
  9. sebloc

    sebloc Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, all we have is chickens (outside). We noticed their tracks (during a snow storm) walking from our wood pile our compost pile.

    There's nothing we'd be dumping food-wise that would attract them, since we have been dumping compost for years now. Not sure.


     
  10. sebloc

    sebloc Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yea, I did something like that with the roll left from the paper towels. I put chicken feed and peanut butter on it, assuming they would fall in. We came close to getting one, but the water froze in the bucket resulting in nothing happening. Thanks though! I guess I'll have to try it in the summer.
     

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