War on Rats

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by dianehodges, Jul 28, 2011.

  1. dianehodges

    dianehodges Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 10, 2010
    My hen and her 2 newly hatched chicks were killed by rats The day after the hatching Nene was limping I took her to the vet and she was given an antibiotic The next morning she was dead Unaware of the rats I thought the chicks would be safe in a separate pen I had built for them The pen was reinforced with hardware cloth but the rats still got to the chicks and killed them to I have put out poison for the past week and killed more than 6 rats Hopefully I have gotten them all Now I am in the process of doing as much rat proofing to my coop as much possible Its going to be difficult because the coop is an old shed that has lots of holes and hiding places for rats I'm also keeping traps of poison inside and out side of the coop I have a cat but she does not seem to be interested in trying to kill the rats I can't blame her because some of them were very big Any other suggestion on what else I might be able to do Appreciate any help I can get [​IMG]

    1 army vet 1 roo Little Richard, 2 hens Lady Gaga & Henny Penny, 1 dog Red, 2 cats Punkin & Smallest
  2. mbrobbins

    mbrobbins Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 12, 2008
    Powder Springs, ga
    it's an unending battle. If you see one rat, there are probably 20 you don't see. also, if the cat eats a poisoned rat, she can die. there are different poisons available, and there are some poisons that don't effect the cat if she eats the dead or dieing rat. Most rats come in the night for the chicken feed, not for the chickens. You think it could have been a weasel or mink instead? Sorry about your loss. A friend of mine recently lost 5 chicks to a rat snake. It is so devastating.
  3. dianehodges

    dianehodges Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 10, 2010
    Im sure its rats They come out in the late afternoon Thats how I discovered them I can see the coop from my bedroom window I've stopped leaving any food out at night and I have gotten a galvanized can for storage Hopefully one of my other hens will go broody and I will get some more chicks Funny I was so hurt and angry because I had gotten so excited about the chicks Such is life Thanks for the information I will be vigilant [​IMG]
  4. RedDrgn

    RedDrgn Anachronistic Anomaly

    May 11, 2011
    West Virginia
    My Coop
    Definitely be careful when using poison. Wherever you place it, it should be out of reach of the chickens and the cat (or any other animals that you don't want to kill). Additionally, rats are super smart. If any of the rats exposed to your poison do not die (e.g. they become very sick, but recover), they will never touch that particular poison again. They do remember and they will teach their fellow rats to avoid it, too. So you should periodically change whatever poison you're using.

    I'd strongly suggest switching to rat-sized, spring-loaded wire traps (the old standard) and placing them in places that chickens and cats, etc. can't access, but the rats can (and rats can access almost anywhere). Mix up the bait you use so they keep investigating (and therefore getting caught).

    Like someone else said, the rats will primarily be after the chicken food. They will take a bird if they think they can, though, so they're definitely a danger...not to mention potential disease transmission. So try to limit their food access and keep the coop/run/etc. as clean as possible...maybe consider different feeder configurations to minimize food scatter/waste. Rats are opportunists, so the more they have to work for a meal, the more likely they are to choose an easier alternative.
  5. genevieve

    genevieve Out Of The Brooder

    May 19, 2011
    See if you can borrow a good ratting dog- a Patterdale or Jagd terrier will take care of your problem!
  6. dianehodges

    dianehodges Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 10, 2010
    Thank you, very informatine
  7. SentryFE

    SentryFE Out Of The Brooder

    May 30, 2011
    Just put out and leave out some poison. You can get those safe box's to put it out in.
  8. MEchickenfarmer33

    MEchickenfarmer33 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 29, 2011
    are they big rats like at the pet store or like little tiny field mice????? we don't have any big rats here in ME just little ones
  9. goldtopper

    goldtopper Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 15, 2010
    Near Bert Blyleven
    Maybe one of those multiple squirrel traps would work? Seems like I saw it on this forum. Can't recall the name, but rats are the same size as squirrels.
  10. Oldfort_mailman

    Oldfort_mailman "The Fortfather"

    Jul 19, 2011
    cleveland tennessee
    When the tornadoes hit our area at the end of April they tore down a couple of the older commercial chicken houses next door. They were beinrg used to store calves and feed so as you can imagine since my barn wasnt destroyed the rats moves in. The best success we have found is with a plastic based victor rat trap we bought at walmart. It has the wire slam-down-mashy thing but these are completely safe to set, no chance in getting your fingers with them. If using these you need to screw them down to a piece of plywood or board, however, because after we had got the first trap and killed a few, one absconded with the trap. My DW went yesterday and bought six more yesterday. They are $2.50 or something like that. I took two.pieces of plywood eight inches by two feet and attached one to each end through the holes that come pre-drilled in the trap. We had a dead rat on each end of one set and on another set one end was thrown and bloody but the other end was set. We bait with peanut butter and they just cant resist it. We tried poison bars coated in peanut butter but the poison was dissapearing but not the rats. We never see them in daytime any more. Guess hopefully their numbers are finally dwendling down. Hope you have similar luck.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by