what is digging under my run & eating the food

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Debi214, Jan 19, 2009.

  1. Debi214

    Debi214 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have what I suspect is an opossum digging and getting into the runs to eat the chicken feed. It must not be very large because the holes are only about 4 inches deep. Whatever it has not touched my birds. Any ideas on what this creature is? I started putting out scraps outside of the runs to deter it which has helped - it is loving the leftovers! I plan on extending the chicken wire into the ground around 12" like suggested but haven't had the chance for the last 2 weeks.
     
  2. countrygirl_247

    countrygirl_247 Out Of The Brooder

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    It very well could be a rat:eek:
     
  3. chookchick

    chookchick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You probably have rats. The first think you need to do is start taking the food out of the run at night. If there is nothing in there to go after then they will probably stay out. Make sure your coop is rat-proof as they can injure the chickens and eggs. Don't feed them as you are only encouraging them to hang around and multiply. Skirting will help, but not much, for rats. If you decide to poison or trap, just be very careful that your chickens can't get into it. Rats are almost always around, we just have to not encourage them to hang out by providing them with easy meals.
     
  4. Debi214

    Debi214 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I never even thought about rats! I am going to take the food out of the run and keep them closed up at night until I figure out a better plan. Wow they must be big rats to need to dig such big holes to fit under.
     
  5. Alley

    Alley Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My coop is a foot off the ground with a heavy wire bottom and a 3 inch thick rubber matt on top of the wire. The rats dig under the coop but can't get to my girls. No matter what I do, they dig under the coop. The only time it doesn't is if I put the coop on the cement patio. I'm going to have to set traps as my yard now has tons of holes. Has anyone ever been succesful getting rid of them without using traps?
     
  6. Debi214

    Debi214 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We have to find out - because I hate rats! I don't want to use poison or traps either. I never thought that rats lived in woods. I do have a field but there is no cover there since it is winter. Ugh! Could they be coming from a neighbors house???
     
  7. MissJames

    MissJames Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:They are everywhere! And there's never just one. You can get a live trap.
     
  8. Debi214

    Debi214 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Where would I take them after I catch them in live traps? Do you have to drive far?
     
  9. rodriguezpoultry

    rodriguezpoultry Langshan Lover

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    Why drive when you could drown/ shoot w/ a BB gun?
     
  10. Alley

    Alley Chillin' With My Peeps

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    okay... dumb question but... you have the rat in the live trap. To let them go... you just open the door and they run out or what? I mean how does that work?
     

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