Rats!

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by chicksandchores, Mar 21, 2019.

  1. chicksandchores

    chicksandchores Songster

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    I really need some advice on how to eliminate rats. I live in middle Tennessee, on 17 undeveloped acres. Until we got chickens, we had only had issues with mice in the house and those were caught and eliminated in snap traps or glue traps. Since getting my first chicks a little over a year ago, about five months in or so, we have developed a rat problem. And I don’t mean a small issue with one or two here or there, I mean a HUGE rat problem. Their droppings are everywhere, they’ve taken over an entire nest box for their toilet, they’re in the walls in the house (I live in a trailer so it’s not hard for rodents to get into it), I see anywhere between one and five in the nest box they’ve taken over when I go out to lock my chooks up late at night, they’re EVERYWHERE and they are absolutely HUGE! I can’t keep them out of a single building on our property! We put out poison under the house where the chooks can’t get to it and that will help for a week or two after they eat it and die off, but then you’ve got the smell if they expire under or around the house, and then they’re back! I’m losing my mind! Please help, any advice is GREATLY appreciated (because all of my cats are lazy freeloaders)!
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2019
  2. matt swenson

    matt swenson Songster

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    i have a night vision scope on an air rifle. 22 cal. knocks um dead. not cheap. 200 hundred for the rifle and 480 for the scope. but you can get cheaper scopes. to be honest wacking rats is fun.
     
  3. backyard pigeons

    backyard pigeons Crowing

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    A 10 pump pellet gun :) they are tough to get rid of, but there are ways. But pellet guns might be the best way.
     
  4. DrakeMom

    DrakeMom Songster

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    My dad put sticky traps in our chicken coop. One day I found the cutest mouse in the trap and much to my dad's dismay I let it go!
     
  5. OhZark Biddies

    OhZark Biddies Crowing

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    My Coop
    I’ve never had to deal with a serious rat issue, but eliminating their source of food first, is often recommended... this might mean not leaving feed out at night, etc.

    Are they eating chicken feed or pet food? If so can that be secured in metal garbage cans or something similar?

    What kind/brand of poison did you use?

    What kind of traps do you have?

    A bit more info might help with some more specific recommendations.
     
  6. chicksandchores

    chicksandchores Songster

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    They’re eating the chicken food that’s left in the feeder. I have the bags of feed and scratch securely stored in garbage cans with bungee cords across the tops of the lids. We use D-con bait chunks broken into pieces so more than one rat eats it. We have tomcat glue traps and one giant snap trap (maybe vermin-x?) but they seem to have grown wise to the snap trap and the glue traps mostly stay inside the house since my chickens are fully free range and I have one indoor/outdoor cat. The bait is carefully placed where none of my pets or birds can get to it but that’s harder to do with large glue boards. I believe they may also be getting into my outdoor brooder and eating the chick food, which causes me some concern for my little ones.
     
  7. OhZark Biddies

    OhZark Biddies Crowing

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    Here's a little reading for you, lots of suggestions here:
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/rat-control-101.1283827/page-2

    Another thing I've seen recommended on here is to use a tall trash can with a bit of liquid in the bottom (some use antifreeze as it preserves the dead rats and keeps them from stinking) and use a "walk the plank" style trap that you can find on Amazon.com or other places, these traps cause the rats to fall into the container and drown:

    [​IMG]
     
    Tycine1 likes this.
  8. Tycine1

    Tycine1 Crowing

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    Also, if drowned and not poisoned (and not in antifreeze) you can feed them to your chickens... sometimes it takes a bit for the girls to get the idea that they're food... but soon thereafter, they'll do the killing for you. Lots of protein, while the supply lasts.
     
    OhZark Biddies likes this.
  9. matt swenson

    matt swenson Songster

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    if you have a rat problem, you have to get serious. because the damage they'll do will climb into the thousands. first off cut off all their food supply. feed your birds the bare minimum, so the clean up ever crumb. rats will even eat the dust the chicks leave behind in the feeder. so no more bulk feeder out. when the rats run out of food they will start eating their "stored food". this is most likely where your decon is now. don't uses small poison pellets. use whole blocks nailed to floor or whereever. this forces the rats to chew up the bait and they are more likely to ingest a fatal dose. you also need a dozen. old fashion snap rat traps. bait these traps but don't set them. keep baiting them for a week. then set them all in one night. rats are smart and if the first time one goes in the snap trap it's killed the others will avoid the traps. You can add other traps too but use the same method. as i said before shooting them is also a great solution. put out bait piles of feed with a red light on them, (if you don't have a night scope). the piles should have a board over them, so the rats feed safe eating (no owl attacks) but give you a clear shot. only put out the bait for a few hours and clean it up before going to bed or the rats will just wait till your asleep.
    the older rats, the breeder are the smartest and it will take awhile to get them. it's all out war, but you can get it under control. Then take preventive measures to keep it from happening again.
    lastly, i know how nasty a dead rat in the walls is, but it's so much better than the damage live rats will do to your building, droppings urine chewing wires and even through pipes.
     
  10. chicksandchores

    chicksandchores Songster

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    Thanks everyone for your input, it’s greatly appreciated! I’m likely going to try a combinations of methods at once, starting with feeding the bare minimum. Thanks again!
     
    OhZark Biddies likes this.

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