Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by tjroth, Jan 21, 2019.

  1. tjroth

    tjroth Chirping

    Jan 19, 2019
    So here is your funny for the night. We are new to having chickens as we just got ours at the end of August. Not to far into this venture I was out cleaning their boxes and coop out. I had noticed that their feeder was empty which at the time I thought was odd because it had never been empty before. To clean their boxes out I have to climb up into that area. They weren't using the bottom boxes so I thought there was no harm in not cleaning them and just leaving the straw there rather than waste it. I climbed back out and went and got fresh straw. I filled the top boxes and then noticed what I thought was a feather in one of the bottom boxes. I reached in to grab said feather and toss it out. As I touched the feather it ran up my glove, up my arm and down my body. I was absolutely frozen because A. it wasn't a feather but a rat B. I had no idea if it was still on me ( hood of my sweatshirt, down my boots??). I very calmly backed out of the coop to see my husband standing near by. I told him we have a rat problem. The only thing he utters is "What makes you think that?" Folks...that is when I did swear!
  2. Texas Kiki

    Texas Kiki Did you candle today?

    Run for your life!

    Hardware cloth EVERYTHING.
    Pick the food up at night too.
  3. PollyGirl21

    PollyGirl21 Crowing

    Apr 15, 2018
    Prepare for war!
    batten the hatches, get all hands on deck!
    rough seas ahead. :lol:

    But yes, Texas Kiki gave some great advice.
    Shezadandy, tjroth and Texas Kiki like this.
  4. SniperGoose

    SniperGoose Songster

    Apr 15, 2018
    Central Pennsylvania
    Oh boy! They can be pretty hard to get rid of, but it is possible! Good luck on your battle :D
    tjroth and Texas Kiki like this.
  5. tjroth

    tjroth Chirping

    Jan 19, 2019
    We do pick the food up at night now. It hadn't occurred to us to do so (we obviously were not thinking because we have caught them in the green house!)! It got it's little neck whacked because they like gummy bears and peanut butter even better. We left traps out for several days. We've only had the one that we know of. I just thought maybe everyone could use a good chuckle! I could tell an even funnier story about my husband chasing a small rat from one end of the green house to the other and back again MULTIPLE times with a bb gun! Thought I was going to die it was so funny.
  6. Notaneggspurt

    Notaneggspurt Songster

    May 17, 2016
    My Coop
    Not saying your hubs is Elmer Fudd, but I had a total looney tunes scene pop in my head!
  7. tjroth

    tjroth Chirping

    Jan 19, 2019
    Right??? It was hysterical.
  8. Al Gerhart

    Al Gerhart Songster

    Sep 29, 2011
    Oklahoma City
    You need a rat proof treadle feeder with a spring loaded door and a proper counterweight. A feed lip will stop most feed raking and spilling but an extra tall feed lip will stop the rare bird that rakes feed like mad.

    Other than that, store the feed in metal cans. Close off the access to the feed and the rats will leave. Back it up with poison bait and the rats will be more willing to take the poison bait when they are hungry.

    Don't even try to rat proof your chicken pen. You would spend a lot of money and ultimately fail. Eliminating the places they can nest helps but without a large and constant food supply the rats will not stay.
    tjroth and PollyGirl21 like this.
  9. Folly's place

    Folly's place Free Ranging

    Sep 13, 2011
    southern Michigan
    It's not possible to eliminate some spilled food on the floor at night, and rats also eat eggs, and will kill chickens in the coop at night. :old
    Concentrate on rat proofing your coop (hardware cloth!!!), clean out things so you can see if any are still there, and set out bait stations in safe places, where nobody else can get to them. Only poison will eliminate your colony; you've seen one, and have many more!
    Pet rats are adorable, but wild ones are NOT.
    Shezadandy and tjroth like this.
  10. Eggscaping

    Eggscaping Enjoying Life!

    Dec 4, 2018
    Portland, Oregon
    But...poisoned rats can and do go a distance before dying. Pets or the neighbor's pets, or hawks or other things can and do eat them and then die a slow, painful death. :(
    NewBoots and Al Gerhart like this.

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