Time to go on the offensive...enough is enough.

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Rothy_058, Oct 21, 2019.

  1. Rothy_058

    Rothy_058 Chirping

    May 30, 2019
    South Wales, UK
    We've always adopted a policy of 'live and let live' and during our first summer here in the UK with chickens we have been aware that we were frequently 'visited' by rats that would pick off the uneaten crumb, pellet and seed that our flock of chickens left in the runs.

    We could live with that. And all has been well all summer...we left the runs open and the rats left the coops and sheltered areas alone and were happy just to hoover up the titbits left behind by our chickens....

    During the nights our girls have secure cages within a log cabin with wood shavings and meadow hay for bedding so they are well protected from predators and, I guess, live a life of luxury.

    The temperature over the last week or two has plummeted and we have seen a sudden change in the behaviour of our 'visitors' ... a hole was gnawed in one of the connecting tubes between the outdoor areas and the sheltered areas have been entered....some eggs have been taken and corn and crumb feeders raided.

    To top it all my wife's favourite bantam chicken was attacked this afternoon. We think she took refuge by perching on top of a water feeder whilst a number of young rats jumped up and took lunges at her neck....there was blood all over the feeder and the poor girl had lost a clump of feathers from around her neck but thanks to my wife responding to the commotion she heard in the garden and intervening our precious Mrs.Chicken (as we call her) looks like she will be fine. Her wounds were superficial and after bathing them with cotton balls soaked in antiseptic and a lot of TLC, cuddles and a meal of live mealworms she perked right up, so we reunited her with her lifelong partner...the slightest bantam you ever saw, we call Ms.chicken...who took over and looked after her.....she'll be fine, now.

    So, now I'm PISSED....Live and let live? phuck that! I've been to our local outlet and armed myself both with traps and poison bait. I baited the 2 runs with the poison blocks and a third in the gully between the tool shed and the perimeter fence earlier this evening....within a couple of hours all 3 lots of bait had been taken and the trap in the gully had taken out a juvenile rat.

    I've re-baited the same areas. i expect the poison will be taken again. It's a warfarin based product which makes the target's blood thin to the point were they start to bleed internally...resulting in an agonising death.

    Good enough for em' - they started this!
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2019
  2. NNYchick

    NNYchick Songster

    Jun 15, 2017
    Harrisville, NY
    One thing about exterminating with poison is that if the chickens or your other pets find a dying or dead rat they will eat it and get poisoned as well. It’s best to stick with traps only. I would be pissed as well.
  3. poison is indiscriminate and will continue to kill. anything that comes accost your dead rats and eats it will also be poisoned. eagles, owls, vultures, your neighbors dogs and cats...
    stick to the traps. rats are very smart and will grow wise to your traps and learn not to eat the poison. switch the trap types every so often, and in the meantime fortify your coop. rats will chew through wood so think metal siding for exterior and with heavy Hardware cloth covering everything else.
    good luck!
  4. Rothy_058

    Rothy_058 Chirping

    May 30, 2019
    South Wales, UK
    Fair point(s) in some situations....but a chihuahua couldn't physically eat a rat....and our particular ones wouldn't have any interest in that anyway... they have exacting standards and insist on 'Royal Canin' Also our plot is so small that any rodent corpses would be spotted instantly and be removed before the girls were let out...
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2019
  5. TwistedSteel

    TwistedSteel Songster

    Jul 15, 2013
    I`ve never heard of anyone effectively dealing with a rat infestation problem using only traps. Rats can and will reproduce faster than you can trap and or shoot them. Poison is necessary because rats are very intelligent and will learn to avoid most traps. Good luck in your battle against the vermin.
    Jac Jac, Erba, hispoptart and 17 others like this.
  6. Folly's place

    Folly's place Crossing the Road

    Sep 13, 2011
    southern Michigan
    Poison in bait stations that only rodents can enter is the only effective way to eliminate a rat colony. Most rodents will return to their burrows and die there, so will be unavailable for other critters to eat them and be poisoned too.
    I lost three nice bantam pullets to rats a few years ago, when they invaded my coop. It took poison, in addition to fixing their entry points, to get them all.
    Do fix your coop!!!
    Sometimes it's necessary to act, and get it done.
  7. Morrigan

    Morrigan Free Ranging

    Apr 9, 2014
    N. California
    Ditto that. Rat proofing your coop is the best defense. It also helps to remove all outside food each evening and secure it someplace that is also rat-proof. Take away food and a cozy home, and you are long way to solving your rodent problem.
  8. I'm really confused about rat poisons. I've heard that there are certain kinds that will not harm other animals that might eat a poisoned rat, but I don't know if that's true. I'm too afraid to try using rat poison because our dog might possibly eat a dead rat if he were to find one, and obviously I don't want anything to happen to our dog. Does anyone know the whole scoop on this issue?
  9. Folly's place

    Folly's place Crossing the Road

    Sep 13, 2011
    southern Michigan
    When I've had rat poison out in the coop or barn (twice in over 25 years!) I've had my dogs and cats confined away from access to those areas, so no 'accidents' could occur.
    It's essential that bait stations are used, so no other critters can get to the bait directly!
    Some poisons are more of an issue than others, as far as secondary toxicity is concerned.
    Ask your veterinarian about it!
    Rats and mice aren't benign visitors, and can carry nasty diseases affecting all of us, so 'live and let live' isn't appropriate concerning having them around either.
  10. AsaDotJava

    AsaDotJava Songster

    Oct 7, 2019
    Northern California
    It can take up to 7 days for a rat poisoned with warfarin to die... In that time, it could be moving about (especially in the first few days). It is then that it gets eaten and poisons also the predator.

    And yes, a Chihuahua absolutely could physically eat a rat... though the dog would not have to consume the entire animal to be poisoned, anyways.

    Your absolute best bet is to secure your feed and your birds. If you eliminate access to what the rats want, they will move on. Secure your feed in heavy metal garbage cans with lids. Secure your birds high up in an enclosure structure independent from any walls... grease the legs of it and pitch the roof so rats cannot climb up it or stay on it if they drop from the ceiling.

    Also, there are folks with terriers and lurchers that hunt rats in agricultural situations. You might see about locating one of them.
    Jac Jac, Shahnaz13, Jamited and 10 others like this.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: