Roosters banned and chickens restricted because of RATS in my town

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by lilyegg, Oct 14, 2016.

  1. lilyegg

    lilyegg Just Hatched

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    Hello,

    I live in a chicago suburb and our town's rules on chickens are as follows:

    -no roosters (no reason given)
    -only 6 hens allowed

    Obviously there's difficulties with both of those when ordering the minimum for chicks from hatcheries and sexing errors.

    I've contacted the mayor to ask if we could figure out a way to amend the current ordinance that bans roosters and allows only six hens. I mentioned that roosters and hens defend their flocks from rats and may kill them (because we have bad rat problems) and included information about rat-infestation preventative measures (such as treadle/no waste feeders, hardware cloth, clean coop, etc), and she sent me this email:

    "I am interested in decreasing the rat population, not sending them to the next block. Currently our chickens seem to be increasing the rat population. If adding roosters could decrease it, that might be the ever elusive right thing to do.
    Thanks for the information."

    I assume the coops in our town that are "increasing the rat population" aren't taking the right caution to prevent rats for accessing the coop.

    I'm worried one of my chicks may end up a rooster, and also I want to be able to have more than 6 hens. We have a huge backyard and we're building a decent sized coop that could allow for more hens. I also think our flock will be safer with a rooster to protect them. I would be putting a no-crow collar on the rooster to decrease noise, as well. Compared to the sounds in my town right now, however, they're much louder than any rooster's crow. We live next to busy streets and are a mile away from the train and highway.

    So, I need some more information on how the roosters and increased flock size could help combat the rat issue. Is it hopeless, or is there a way?

    Sincerely,

    I want my town to see chickens (both hens and roosters) as awesome, LEGAL, helpful pets.
     
  2. LongRange308

    LongRange308 New Egg

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    The rat population is likely not because of the chickens. I dont think Chicago has many chickens, and its run by rats..

    Sorry, just couldn't help myself.

    In all seriousness though, I would contact the department of agriculture. They may have some studies on this sort of thing.
     
  3. Howard E

    Howard E Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My suggestion is to abandon any notion of keeping roosters. On balance, the noise they make in an urban setting will cancel any benefit of protection from rats, which I doubt they do anyway. Work with your city folks......don't fight them. Be ruthless with fighting the rats.......at least the 4 legged kind. Make your place the sink hole where they go to die.

    2nd part........assume the mayor has the best intentions regarding the rats, but is clueless.....about rats or chickens.

    Do your best to keep only hens..........just plan on picking up 8 to 10 sexed birds from a feed store......they also get their chicks from a hatchery........and cull the 1 or 2 roosters as soon as they croak the first attempt at crowing. You could keep 8 or 10 hens under the radar and have less hassle than 2 hens and 1 rooster.
     
  4. lilyegg

    lilyegg Just Hatched

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    It's illegal to kill any roosters in my town, and I don't know a lot of people who want roosters in my area. I know I could probably keep a few more hens than the limit. I'm just sad that I'd have to get rid of an animal (or more than one, depending on sexing errors) for their gender, which is why I want to work with the town on allowing roos with collars. I'm on my way to abandoning the idea of keeping any possible roos that come from a batch of chicks I get but I tend to look for even the slightest sliver of hope and keep going with that.


    Yeah. I don't think there's a block in the city or around the city that hasn't seen at least 5 rats before. It's nasty, and we have city-wide trap setups, but I was just hoping that perhaps roosters could be seen as good guys for killing some of the rats that come onto properties. Oh well! Rats just have to make things difficult.
     
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    My Coop
    There's no doubt that ill kept chicken feed can contribute to an increase rodent population....
    ......but it's infinitesimal when looking at the wide view.

    Cock/erels are not going to be a deterrent to rats, sorry.

    It's illegal to slaughter a food animal in your town?
    Making a meal of one or two cockerels under cover shouldn't be too hard to get away with,
    just gotta very securely and discretely dispose of the guts and feathers.
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2016
  6. lilyegg

    lilyegg Just Hatched

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    I could do it discreetly, yeah. We have a farm on the eat coast and I'm not unfamiliar with chicken slaughter but we've learned to love these babies as a family and have spent so many hours bonding with them. They're the sweetest things. I guess I'm just trying to come up with a way to keep them and I realize that although I knew one of my pullets (or two or three or even all) could end up Roos, I didn't want to think about it!
     
  7. lilyegg

    lilyegg Just Hatched

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    I was also thinking maybe the way to get rid of the rats was to get more chickens in Evanston to attract them to properties, then set up a bunch of traps during the night, without the use of poison for obvious reasons, but then trap and kill them around the backyards where chickens are kept.
     
  8. Howard E

    Howard E Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Believe it or not, the solution to the City's rat problem may come from an unexpected source........weasels.

    https://www.dnr.illinois.gov/conservation/wildlife/Pages/LongTailedWeasel.aspx

    Numerous sources say that when given a choice/chance, weasels will feed or rats and mice almost exclusively.

    A similar relationship exists in western states with large prairie dog populations. One of the best natural predators to keep populations in check is the black footed ferret, a member of the weasel family.
     

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