1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    Not a member yet? join BYC here & then introduce yourself in our community forum here.

This is WAR. RAT HELP...

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by DominaPullorum, Jun 23, 2010.

  1. DominaPullorum

    DominaPullorum Songster

    Feb 3, 2009
    Central Florida
    Well, we've been gone for my brother's wedding for the last week...I come back, two of my phoenix babies are gone. I find one...mutilated to high heaven.
    This, i'm convinced, is the work of rats. There's nothing else that would do that. Does anyone have any advice on getting rid of these vermin???? PLEASE help me.
  2. shepherd

    shepherd In the Brooder

    Jun 19, 2010
    OK, there are many ways of taking care of your rat problem.

    One is to buy normal rat traps they are supersized little mouse traps, but they can kill your chickens if set in the wrong place.

    Another way of doing it is to buy live traps for rodents. Havaheart traps work great you could buy them online or you might have a store carrying them near you. A good thing about this way is theres no way of killing or hurting anything you dont want to. Then you can dispose of the rat/rats the way you see fit, and turn loose what you dont want to kill. This method is my personal favorite.

    If you have a .22 or some air guns you can just wait in the coop for them to come out and kill them that way. I have just walked into my coop before to check on my chickens at night and seen a rat as big as the chickens sitting under the roost eating their feed. Some rats dont care about you just the eggs and the chicken feed.

    Another option, and worst if you ask me is poison.
    If only rats get it its ok, but what if your chickens do. The poison really needs to be set wisely in and around your coop or you might not like the effects of the poison on your flock.

    With me rats have been in my coop for around 4 years now and its a never ending battle sence then. Every time you kill a dozen or so you think you got them all but they allways come back. Idk how many of them I have irradicated but its been alot. But all the ways (other than the poison) work well becuse i have used them.

    So good luck
  3. kelar

    kelar Songster

    May 22, 2010
    Rats are very smart creatures and establish territories for feeding and breeding where they feel relatively safe and well-fed. They tend to live & move in large groups, so when things get unfriendly, they all tend to move on, at least for a while. We have them moving in occasionally & always hit them full force when they try to take up residence. After trying all kinds of remedies, including live traps (which they were seldom dumb enough to go into), I use a combination of poison & the rat zapper ultra. They rat zapper electrocutes them instantly, but they tend to learn about this too, so it works at first and then it's hard to get them to go near it. If you get the rat zapper, do not get the original, because it will use way too many batteries. Get the new one that uses 4 D cell batteries. The rats at our place have tunnels on the perimeter of the barn & I place the poison deep into these tunnels where only something that is actually in the tunnels can get to it. The bad part is that they die under the barn and it stinks for a while, but at least the rats are dead. I usually only have to put out the poison once, and the rat problem is gone. It's usually several years before they show up again. As another poster mentioned, you must use poison very very carefully, but it IS effective. I personally don't like to kill anything, but I know what rats can do to chicks and the damage they will do to your coops and runs & if they show up, so it's definitely a war, take no prisoners.
  4. Just discovered rat poo in my coop, this morning. I wondered why the girls were eating so much!
    Thanks for all the good advice, and for everyone who has a problem, and posts and to the reply-ers who help us all, even before we knew we had a problem!
    Today is a day that will live in infamy (on our homestead). The day Rachel'sFlock declares WAR on the rat kingdom!

    Brightest Blessings
  5. Ibicella

    Ibicella Songster

    Nov 13, 2009
    Everett, WA
    Landscaping is the best way to get rid of a rat problem. Flush out any holes, repair any entry points, get rid of any wood piles, scrub, compost, and cut back trees. I was able to clear out a hoarder's rat-infested house just by doing this. Only caught two by snap trap. The rest just sensed their comfy days in the house were over and the colony was completely gone without a trace within a week.

    I also second the suggestion havaheart live traps. Rats ARE very smart, and if one rat ends up dead, the whole colony knows about it. Live traps lure them into a sense of security. Trap as many as you can live and then dispose of them. Snap traps also work well.
  6. HLAC

    HLAC Songster

    Aug 24, 2009
    Central Utah
    I know everyone disses on using poison, but I live next to corn fields and just two hundred yards from giant grain bins. So, I have a pretty steady supply of rats trying to set up home here.

    I use traps. They work okay... but I found to really make this place rat free, I had to use poison. I put the poison in holes and in pet proof boxes. My vet said the chance of one of the dogs get poisoned by a dead rat was incredibly slim, just to keep them out of the poison itself.

    So far so good. Rats still come here from the fields and elevator but they are killed off pretty quickly.
  7. shepherd

    shepherd In the Brooder

    Jun 19, 2010
    I have to disagree with kelar who said:After trying all kinds of remedies, including live traps (which they were seldom dumb enough to go into).

    If rats are seldon dumb enough to go into a live trap then why have i killed 25-30 rats with live traps. Answer that one for me kelar.

    I use peanut butter and cerial for my bait. Most people think cheese is the bait to use, but its a proven fact that peanut butter is the best for mice and rats.

    All you need is the right bait in live traps and you WILL catch the rats.
  8. Bartlett Farms

    Bartlett Farms In the Brooder

    Apr 3, 2010
  9. kelar

    kelar Songster

    May 22, 2010
    I can't speak to anyone else's experience, but maybe the rats around here are smarter or something:lol: We caught ONE rat in the live trap & that was it. We tried peanut butter, sunflower seed and a number of other goodies to entice them, but they didn't even go near it. In fact, they avoided that area altogether after that and made new access holes. I figured the one who got trapped spent the night warning his comrades [​IMG] The other problem with live trapping is that you then have to dispose of them & I'm sure not going to let them lose on someone else's property. However you choose to do it, they need to go. Like another poster, we tried everything BUT poison for a long time as I was dead set against using it, but eventually found it was the only thing that quickly put an end to the problem.
  10. jodief100

    jodief100 Songster

    Apr 21, 2010
    N Kentucky/Cincinnati
    We tried live traps, snap traps and all kinds of things. Nothing worked.

    Then our new puppy dug up all thier tunnels in the yard and we haven't seen them since. Puppy was (10 years old now) a malamute/shepard/wolf mix. Mals are notorious diggers.

    Rats are usually too big and too agressive for all but the biggest and meanest cats.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: