Rats

ChopperBambi

Chirping
May 1, 2020
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167
86
So we are introducing the Grandpa's feeder to our chickens. We have the standard size. Currently they have a feeder bowl that we take up at night. However we definitely have a rat. We've disturbed it at night a few times when we've come down and I interrupted her one day moving her nest of babies, during the day, out of the run and into our neighbors yard. Shudder. Ugh. Now tonight we were talking about our rat trap approach, and my husband and I were talking about how big this rat is. I mean, we can HEAR this thing when it runs. Only seen one at a time, but duh, she just had babies. The chickens managed to steal and eat one in front of me (that was wild). But my question is, is this thing heavy enough to open the Grandpa's feeder?!?!? It says on the website you have to be around 1lb to open it... Wdyt??? Is this fat thing a pound?!?! Because I have a feeling it is. Gah
 

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Weeg

Crossing the Road
Premium Feather Member
Jul 1, 2020
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Small town in Western Washington
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I bet it will be fine! Try the traps and DO NOT use poison. Make sure they can't get to the water to. Do you know were her nest is? Fill in the hole to her burrow and nest with steel wool, then hardware cloth. Grandpas feeder is a good choice, I love mine! Do your chickens know how to use it yet? I tough mine my propping it open for a few days, then I un proped it. They figured out that if they stepped on the pedal, they got food, by then they had it in the bag. Good luck!
 

Ninjasquirrel

Crowing
May 11, 2018
3,554
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Northwest Indiana
If you have one rat you most likely have more than one. It is also possible that this particular rat is pregnant which will mean more trouble. You need to catch it now before it becomes more of a problem. Rats and mice love chocolate and peanut butter. A reeses cup is great bait.
 

cmom

Hilltop Farm
14 Years
Nov 18, 2007
29,415
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Florida
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If you have one rat with babies you probably have many more you don't see. Hopefully the feeder will work for you as well as trapping. I not telling you to use poison. Poison isn't always a bad thing if you use the poison responsibly. I did have a coop that was infested. It had walls and a ceiling in which the rats made nests. When I renovated the coop dozens of rats poured out. I did put some traps out but there were so many rats and then I was seeing them in our barn which is right behind the coops. I tried many things before I resorted to poison. It doesn't have to be where the chickens, pets or children can get at it. I use bait stations inside cages in the barn where nothing but the rats can get to them. Rats are good climbers and will travel so the bait stations can be placed where only the rats can get to them. My bait stations have a little window above the bait so it can be checked daily and nothing can get to the bait except the rats. The rats here did dig tunnels around the coops. I didn't find any dead rats laying around so I suspect they went into their tunnels and died, buried themselves. No more rats. I still have the bait stations with the baits in them that haven't been touched in a very long time but I still check them now and then to see if there is any activity. Again try everything else first and hopefully something will work for you. Good luck...
 

Weeg

Crossing the Road
Premium Feather Member
Jul 1, 2020
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Small town in Western Washington
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I would suggest ONLY using poison as a last resort. It seems like an easy solution to a big problem, but use traps and cut off feed first before going there. There are better ways. Thanks of you experience Cmom!
 

ChopperBambi

Chirping
May 1, 2020
51
167
86
We don't bring the water in at night. Their coop is only a sleep area sized for 4 chickens their size, so food and water are in their run. We have been taking the food up at night.

Was thinking snap traps nailed to wood, baited with chicken feed, under a milk crate at night (in case of skunks, raccoons, etc)

My husband dug down and filled the under stairs area she was nesting in with concrete. There are no covered, hidden areas for her to tunnel, so we noticed a new one pop up and destroyed that one too. She can't get into the run at night apparently because she tunneled under the 3 inch lip the other night to try and break in. Actual coop she can't get in, and it's off the ground. TBH I think this particular part of our yard was previously filled with rats and by clearing yard for the chickens we've been forcing them to move. I noticed no more rat poop on top of the fence.

Ok cool I'll switch them to the Grandpa's feeder and start setting traps at night. 🤢
 

ChopperBambi

Chirping
May 1, 2020
51
167
86
Oh and the rat (s) are getting into the run because we open it during the day and have access to a yard area
 

ChopperBambi

Chirping
May 1, 2020
51
167
86
I bet it will be fine! Try the traps and DO NOT use poison. Make sure they can't get to the water to. Do you know were her nest is? Fill in the hole to her burrow and nest with steel wool, then hardware cloth. Grandpas feeder is a good choice, I love mine! Do your chickens know how to use it yet? I tough mine my propping it open for a few days, then I un proped it. They figured out that if they stepped on the pedal, they got food, by then they had it in the bag. Good luck!
Thanks! They don't know how to use it, we tried and failed to teach them before and then we were building a fence so had to keep them in their run for a while, which is too small for the feeder. I'll start again as soon as I clean it out. It got all moldy!
 

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