Rodent control around feeders...

b2c2chicks

Songster
Apr 17, 2018
71
96
111
Virginia/Tennessee
what do y’all do? My last post got me thinking. We’ve always packed the large rat holes (outside of the coop, of course) full of poison every few months. It occurred to me the rats are probably back due to eggs disappearing, or being busted in the nest boxes on the ground...and I found one rolled in between where no chicken could dream of fitting...along with an increased amount of feed.

Are there other options to rid your coops of rats?
 

oldhenlikesdogs

Grateful
BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Jul 16, 2015
45,528
79,431
1,462
Wisconsin
We get rats coming in usually every fall. We put out the bait box, and generally they are gone until next fall here. Poison is the only thing that works here even though it makes me nervous every year.

Rodents is about maintenance as they come and go.
 

Folly's place

Enabler
9 Years
Sep 13, 2011
23,175
38,205
1,096
southern Michigan
Me too. We've worked hard to make our coop as predator proof as we can, and that includes keeping rats out. Mice are more difficult to exclude, and we do use bait stations for both. There's no way to keep every morsel of chicken feed off the floor, and the birds are roosting at night, not hunting mice!
Currently we don't have a barn cat, also not good. Kitties help a lot, at least with mice!
Mary
 

rosemarythyme

Scarborough Fair
Premium Feather Member
Jul 3, 2016
15,860
30,444
1,052
WA, Pac NW
My Coop
My Coop
Make sure to take in or cover up feeders at night and clean up spills around feed areas if possible, as that's attractive to rodents. Also, do you know how the rats are gaining access, i.e. do have an apron around your coop and run, are all holes/gaps 1/2" or larger covered up?
 

andreanar

Crowing
5 Years
May 16, 2014
2,832
4,887
437
Finger Lakes, NY
We use bait stations, cover every hole or crack with hardware cloth. We don't feed inside the coop, feed is in the run and picked up every night and stored in a metal can. We keep all debris picked up to avoid places for them to hide.
 

Al Gerhart

Songster
9 Years
Sep 29, 2011
738
636
241
Oklahoma City
Once your birds are large enough and heavy enough (both, not one!) you can use a treadle feeder to stop the rats from stealing feed. A well made feeder will have a spring loaded door to stop the vermin from pushing the door open and a heavy counterweight for the door to add mass that needs moved to open the feeder.

Once the feed is cut off, if you have enough rats or mice that you are seeing them (see one, you have fifty), the rats will begin to starve and they will leave. Rats are smart animals, they won't hang around with no food or bad food. Yeah, they can eat poo, dog or chicken, but they will like it about as much as we would.

That is when the poison suddenly becomes effective, hungry rats with babies to feed and no food. They will eat the poison. They will begin coming out during daylight hours to search for food where the cats and dogs can get at them. The bigger the population the faster they become desperate and leave or die.
 

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