Rats!

lilyrose

In the Brooder
7 Years
Oct 9, 2012
28
0
40
What is the best way to rid coops and runs of rats. I have sealed the food and there is nothing left out at night.
 

Ol Grey Mare

One egg shy of a full carton. .....
7 Years
Mar 9, 2014
20,622
15,050
821
Oregon
My Coop
My Coop
Time to revisit the security of the coop and run -- if a rat is making entry so can another predator. Are you seeing them in both the coop and the run? Is the coop door closed at night? Seal up any opening larger than 1 inch with hardware cloth. Does the coop have a floor or is the floor bare earth? If the latter, are you seeing signs of digging as the method of entry used by the rats?
 

GGBEAR

Songster
5 Years
May 6, 2014
571
102
147
Rotherham
What is the best way to rid coops and runs of rats. I have sealed the food and there is nothing left out at night.
are u in uk?
I to had a problem not so long back it started in the winter when they have less natural foods we live right next to the woods they started trying to get in the feeder but it's a treadle so they burrowed under it and started sitting waiting for chickens and ducks to go.to it trying to get crumbs I tried traps bit these rats were pretty clever they didn't really go in coop as the last one was attacked by chickens in there but unfortunately if a rat can squeeze it's head in a hole the rest of its body can get through in the end my husband got riffle out and shot them needless to say no more rats but we done this as last resort because people tend to go stupid when they hear gun fire
 

MammasBabies

Songster
7 Years
Apr 13, 2012
83
14
111
Portland, Oregon
Try essential oil....peppermint. soak cotton balls and place around edges of coop/hen house (or your own house if they have been bold enough to move under it.) Friend swears by it and now I have to try.
Will post results.
 

Sara Ranch

Songster
Jun 7, 2017
910
944
183
I use peppermint essential oil on cotton balls and cotton pads around the house. Keeps the mice away.

I plant peppermint around the property (house, barn, buildings, etc) to also discourage the rodent population.

I think it does work. :)
 

MammasBabies

Songster
7 Years
Apr 13, 2012
83
14
111
Portland, Oregon
Still have rats. Darn, oil might have lessened the number near the coop, but not stopping them. Found 4 adults living in an old watering bin 2 foot by 4 and 4 foot deep. Has my jasmine growing in it....beautiful plant. I placed hose in it this morning and watched 4 adults scamper for safety.....wish I had a back up person to nail them when they bailed. They will probably be back. Hope any babies drowned.
 

Cari C

Chirping
Dec 2, 2015
56
11
81
Phoenix, AZ
questions about the peppermint oil ~ how often are you re-oiling to cotton balls? I have to be careful of incurring costs and these rodents come from all directions, so it's seeming like I would need a peppermint oil moat!! I have a large cement area, so planting peppermint plants will only work if I have them potted. Has anyone tried this around their nesting boxes? Does it deter the hens from laying if you do this too close? I am SO frustrated. Our Humane Society has a working cat program, but I worry about chicks then, sigh. It's always something with eggs around.
 

Folly's place

Enabler
9 Years
Sep 13, 2011
23,178
38,224
1,096
southern Michigan
Many cats won't tackle adult rats, only babies. Little killer terriers will get rats, but training one to ignore chickens is another BIG issue.
Traps generally are ineffective; you may get one or two, but then no more. And if you see one, there are MANY more present!
It's essential to have a totally safe coop at night, with no openings larger than 1/2" (one cm.) and no way to dig in. If rats can get in, they can not only eat feed and eggs, but they will kill chickens at night. I lost three nice bantams last spring that way!!!
The only really effective method is to use poison, very carefully, so nobody else is affected.
Mary
 

Cari C

Chirping
Dec 2, 2015
56
11
81
Phoenix, AZ
Many cats won't tackle adult rats, only babies. Little killer terriers will get rats, but training one to ignore chickens is another BIG issue.
Traps generally are ineffective; you may get one or two, but then no more. And if you see one, there are MANY more present!
It's essential to have a totally safe coop at night, with no openings larger than 1/2" (one cm.) and no way to dig in. If rats can get in, they can not only eat feed and eggs, but they will kill chickens at night. I lost three nice bantams last spring that way!!!
The only really effective method is to use poison, very carefully, so nobody else is affected.
Mary
Mary,
Please, any advice you have is greatly welcome. I live on 1/3 acre, I have 2 coops, but I do not lock my chickens up, they have free run of my back yard. I have used snap traps, but I only catch mice in them, the rats are too big & the rat traps are wicked, I'm sure a chicken would lose a leg. I finally gave up and bought a few bait stations. What advice do you have on doing it safely??? Within days of setting up the bait stations, my eggs have stopped getting stolen, they were taking almost all of them daily!!! I very sadly lost my favorite hen this week, she was only 2. I did a necropsy, she had not ingested a mouse. Her crop was full of crumble & some other food. The bait I used in the bait stations is the same color as crumble though. I had the bait stations in my feed area, I know the chickens can not get at the poison inside of them, but I am wondering if the rats could have taken pieces out with them. What is safely?? I have been battling for my eggs & potential chicks for over a year and this has been the only thing that has worked, except I have lost 2 chickens during that year. The first was given to me as an adult, I don't know how she died or how old she was; but my girl this week, that was hard. I have owned all kinds of rodents as pets, but outside ones, ugh, aside from the egg stealing, they have ruined my belongings I had stored in my garage. I swore I would never use bait, but they are wreaking havoc. I am at a loss. Thanks. -Cari
 

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