So... I almost got attacked by a rat today.

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by MageofMist, May 16, 2019 at 6:50 AM.

  1. MageofMist

    MageofMist Songster

    884
    953
    247
    Dec 9, 2016
    Britain
    I was outside on the doorstep with my hens petting and cuddling them and enjoying the weather, when they started doing disturbed clucking and gathered in front of the gate that separates the concrete part of the yard from the dirt part, and is only a foot away from the doorstep.

    I looked and saw they were all standing between me and a brown rat that was creeping behind a plant pot, and was staring right at me with it's back hairs raised, and even still moving closer despite the hens standing there with their necks flared and wings spread while clucking. The rat then jumped up and lunged at the hens, got jump-kicked by them in return and just seemed to vanish into the chaos.

    And I mean, it was literally creeping up on me from behind the plant pot, though the hens spotted it and put themselves between me and the threat and defended me. :eek: Has anyone else ever had anything like this happen? They are Silkie hens so it kinda left me in shock.

    After I calmed the hens down as they were distress calling from the ordeal, I checked them over and there were no injuries on any of them, and the rat was just gone without a trace.
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2019 at 7:34 AM
    Futuregreenefarm likes this.
  2. danceswithronin

    danceswithronin Crowing

    1,159
    2,533
    266
    May 24, 2018
    Alabama
    I'd be more thinking the rat was terrified and trying to quietly sneak around you since most humans kill rats on sight, but the chickens blew his cover, so he just broke through them and fled in a Hail Mary charge.

    Rats puff up to make themselves look larger in the face of a potential predator when they see no escape route and feel like they might have to fight.
     
  3. Abriana

    Abriana Spicy Sugar Cookie

    4,620
    44,673
    1,127
    Apr 26, 2017
    Fools Gold
    Yikes! My hens have killed a rat before. They were mad when I wouldn't let them eat it!

    A way to keep rats out of your chicken's area is to tightly secure all feed in containers that the rats can't get into--like metal trashcans or plastic bins with tight lids. Even put the feeder with the day's leftover feed in it into the container (if it's possible to move it).
     
    MageofMist and danceswithronin like this.
  4. MageofMist

    MageofMist Songster

    884
    953
    247
    Dec 9, 2016
    Britain
    The feed is secure so the rat can't get into it, and the chickens also have a feeder that drastically reduces the amount of scattered and wasted seed and usually it is empty by the time the hens come in, though the wild birds who visit their own feeder are rather messy eaters and scatter the seeds they dislike.

    Also the rat had an entire large yard behind it, so it wasn't cornered or anything and had plenty of space to run, though it could have just panicked at having 9 very angry hens form a wall in front of it.

    I know I would likely panic if I had 9 angry ostriches flaring their wings at me and staring me down. :lau
     
    danceswithronin likes this.
  5. MageofMist

    MageofMist Songster

    884
    953
    247
    Dec 9, 2016
    Britain
    I scouted the yard and see no burrows or anything, so I think it may have come from a neighbors yard.
     
  6. Gitche Gumee Guy

    Gitche Gumee Guy In the Brooder

    9
    32
    41
    May 8, 2019
    Keweenaw, Michigan
    Might be time to carry a good hefty piece of wood or a pipe around the yard with you.
     
  7. Shadrach

    Shadrach Roosterist

    5,381
    26,073
    1,042
    Jul 31, 2018
    Catalonia, Spain
    My Coop
    You get yourself straight off to hospital sweetheart.
    Almost being attacked must be totally terrifying and you're probably in shock.;)
     
    123RedBeard likes this.
  8. Folly's place

    Folly's place Free Ranging

    13,413
    12,637
    716
    Sep 13, 2011
    southern Michigan
    I'd also pull your wild bird feeders in for a month or more, to limit the food available for your local rat population. See one, MANY more are around!
    Mary
     
    123RedBeard likes this.
  9. Trux

    Trux Songster

    895
    1,747
    247
    Mar 26, 2018
    SoSoCal
    Tom-Cat rat traps work great, a little peanut butter in the bait holder and set them where the chickens can't get to them. My experience has been I catch two and there gone, I leave traps set for a couple weeks after the second then I pull them.
     
  10. MageofMist

    MageofMist Songster

    884
    953
    247
    Dec 9, 2016
    Britain
    I know I will for sure do that, or at least wear a good thick glove.

    It for sure spooked me as I did not expect anything like that to happen. It wasn't a fully grown brown rat at the least. If it was, I think I would have had a heart attack.:th

    I shall limit the amount of food I put in the bird feeders, and I will look up rat traps though I am not very fond of snap-traps.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: