In the Brooder
Apr 26, 2020
I had the same issue with rats under my coop and run. I put 1/2 inch hardware cloth under the run and a predator apron with the same around the coop and run. Knock on wood, this seems to be working so far. I haven't seen any new holes around the coop since. I also caught/trapped and moved one rat. I'm sure there were more, but that's all I caught. Good luck OP, whatever you try, I hope it works!


Dec 16, 2019
Another poster used a vac hose and ran the car engine filling tunnels with exhaust during the day when chickens were in the run.
I have something under my coop...but I’m not sure what it is..I have seen a possum...and I don’t want to hurt that tick eating sweetheart. I just cringe at the possibility of rodents.


In the Brooder
Jun 28, 2020
I have a live trap but it might be too big. It's big enough for coon and skunk sized animals and a rat might not trip it and possibly get out through the wires if it does get caught. Are there specific live traps for rats?
I had the exact same problem. I tried poison pellets and a variety of traps and finally caught two rats with the Victor 'Power Kill Rat Trap'. They were about $4 each and the only one that did anything at all. It was easy to set. I used a smear of peanut butter being careful not to touch it too much. There was nothing on the first night so I brought them in and then the second night both traps had a rat. I appreciated also that it looked like a quick kill, the 'kill bar' was flat across the head on each one. Be careful though. I'm sure they can break a finger. Good Luck.


In the Brooder
Mar 23, 2018
I had a terrible problem with rats too. The only thing that worked for me was a cat. I was fortunate enough to get one that was a good mouser from the local animal shelter. I had tried feral cats earlier, but they were of no help whatsoever. Anyway, this cat cleaned out all the rats from my coop in 3 days. I continued to keep the cat in the coop/run each night, and the rats never came back. Before I loosed this cat in the coop though, I made sure that it got along with the chickens and did not harm or harass them in any way.


A tennis ball sized hole is big for a rat. I've had rats in my coop and they've squeezed through the smallest little holes. In order to get rid of whatever it is it helps to be sure what it is. I'm very fond of my electrocution traps for rats and mice but they can't get wet. Since I do have a feeder inside the coop it's very tempting to rats and they've been very creative. It's taken a lot of work but I think I finally have it secured. I'll be interested to see if you do set up a game camera just to find out what it is.


11 Years
Mar 29, 2009
kansas city area
I have had a critter(s) underneath my coop for about a month now. From the 2 tennis ball size holes and the fan-shaped discharged dirt outside of the holes, I'm thinking RATS.
They avoid the snap traps and enclosed baited traps. I've also tried putting onions, black pepper and peppermint on cotton balls down the holes and covering it in. Every morning, the holes are open again! My unwelcomed visitors have so far been content to staying under the coop but I'm sure they will soon try getting inside with my chickens. On top of that, the holes are inside the run and right beside the hatch door where the chickens come out. I don't want to open the hatch because I'm afraid "whatever" will sneak inside the coop.
As a last resort, I've thought about pouring a jug of bleach down the holes in the hopes that it will gas them out or kill them. Has anyone ever tried this? Will the bleach fumes come up through the wooden coop floor to my flock?
I have great luck with the Tom Kat rat size snap traps...fresh apple is a good bait or this time of year, maybe peanut butter holding chicken feed/corn.


Dec 29, 2020
Thanks for the replies. I've thought of smoke bombs but because of the warning label, I'm afraid of catching the coop on fire. I live in the country in southern Ontario, surrounded by farmland. We've always had a small barn but I never noticed holes like this until I built the coop, although it could be just coincidence. Def not a skunk. There are opossums around also. I won't be able to flush whatever it is, out with a water hose until spring because we winterized our outdoor plumbing already. I can try buckets of water into a big funnel for now and see what happens. I've thought about the smell factor if I do kill something under there. I was thinking maybe lye or stall-dry and shooting it in the holes via reversed shop vac hose. But I'll worry about that later.
I also have those burrows under my gardening shed. They are from rabbits, red squirrels, and chipmunks that want to free load from my garden. I'm assuming critters like that just feel secure under your chicken coop, and yes, they'll eventually get into the coop as they have chewed through the wood of my gardening shed. Plugging the holes with rocks worked (sometimes!) as evidenced by the odor of decaying animal coming from the shed. I'm going to try hardwear cloth. I am pretty sure that whatever chemical you try will have to be repeated in the future.

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