Jul 18, 2019
Deep South East
In getting things out of my shed to decorate for Christmas, my son happened upon a rat in which he quickly killed. Further inspection reveals that it was a mamma that had 6 babies. Newborns to be exact! All of which have been killed. Should I be concerned of others? Expect a male? I removed all feed, etc from the shed months ago after discovering something was gnawing on the storage containers that we had initially had feed and scratch in. Now everything is in metal and locked down tight.
Rats will allways hang around chickens. Best way is to prevent them. You'll never stop them. Do you have a cat? Since I got my cat I haven't seen any rats for a year.
Try putting bait boxes down with poison inside
I had a rat infested coop. They had built nests in the ceiling and the walls. When I started renovating the coop tearing out the ceiling and walls, dozens of rats of all sizes poured out. I bought some rat bait stations and put them in our barn which is right behind the coops. The rats didn't seem to care for the bait that came with the bait stations so I bought some different bait and they liked it. I had also noticed tunnels around the coops that I'm sure were made by the rats. I didn't find any dead rats laying around so I assumed they went into their tunnels and died. The bait box has a little window above the bait so I can check it often. If you are worried about other critter getting in to bait it's very doubtful that they can get into the bait stations but you can put the bait station in a pet carrier or similar out of reach from anything except the rats. Since you found a rat with babies there are surely many more around. They come out mostly at night. Good luck...


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Rats are like any other animal, they will seek shelter from the elements, especially during cold months. I don't think one would ever get rid of them completely but keeping their populations at bay requires multiple approaches to be successful. A rat-proof feeder such as a Grandpa's Feeder is a good start. Eliminating outdoor trash piles where they can hide and making sure they can't access sheds, etc. If you feel you have a problem (if you see them running around during the day, you do) then I would recommend you look into the Ratinator Rat Traps. They work very well.
Trapping and poison do not work long term as new rodents will move in quickly. Do a forum search for Howard E's posts on rodent control. The short answer is get a treadle feeder, get your feed in metal barrels, clean up anything that allows cover while the rodents travel to and from the coop. Read the negative reviews on the treadle feeders to see if they actually will stop rodents. Many will not. Any negative reviews past a couple of a percent are a big red flag. A treadle feeder might do fine as a chicken feeder and get 75% good reviews and suck and stopping feed theft.
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