What took the trap?

PtldChick

Songster
8 Years
Jun 15, 2011
627
8
111
Portland, OR
I have a mystery (at least to me).

I put out a rat trap last night and it disappeared. I made sure all the chickens and ducks were safely in the coop, placed out a trap with PB and put a corner under a cinder block to prevent the crafty rats from flipping it.

This morning I went out and one of my dogs ran out in the yard and picked up his dead rat to show me - good dog, Bo. A girl, too, so he just killed hundreds of Portland city rats!
The dogs cannot get into the chicken area, and the rat showed no signs of being caught in the trap. Hoping maybe I got two in one night, I went into the chicken yard and...no trap! I've had a trapped rat get dragged a few feet away and eaten by other rats before, but not this time. Gone...not in the chicken yard, not in my backyard, nowhere....

I live in Portland proper, so the most common predators would be rats, possums, occasional raccoons and pets. Maybe an owl? A friend up the street thinks she's heard one outside her window....longshot. My chicken yard enclosure is a combination of my house, 6' ft wooden gate, and garage, my neighbor's garage, three feet of 6' wooden fence between the two garages, and 6' chain link kennel fencing. No sign of anything digging under the chain link. The gate is over concrete. The 3 feet of fencing is behind bamboo, hard to get to to see, but no huge holes. Most likely it came over the wooden fence or the roof (or maybe the chain link fence - but the dogs patrol the yard at night, usually anything that comes in gets killed).

What type of predator would, and has the ability to carry off a rat and a trap (I'm assuming something was caught in the trap for it to be gone), most likely over a fence or up a wall? I need to be able to deal wiith this predator in addition to the rats, especially as fall and winter are coming.

Puzzled in Portland.
 

Bear Foot Farm

Crowing
11 Years
Mar 31, 2008
5,543
286
288
Grifton NC
It's possible a rat could have been caught by the leg or tail and carried off the trap.

Most any predator the size of a mink or larger could have done it too, or even another rat

I drill a small hole in mine and attach some strong twine and a heavy piece of wire to stake them down
 

HappyRoo

Songster
8 Years
Aug 24, 2011
61
11
102
Grafton Ohio
If the Dang things are that Big I would be moving out or get me a Very BIG CAT my Gawd I hate Rats, Possums, skunks, even snakes I can Deal with But Rats! No way! I don't even see mice on my property, I LUV CATS outside!!
here kitties, kitties "Free Kittens Ya'll" A dang burglar can't make it Past my Dixie , and Pixie and there off springs!
 

PtldChick

Songster
8 Years
Jun 15, 2011
627
8
111
Portland, OR
Quote:A friend and discussed and wondered if a possum got a body part trapped and left with it. If an animal did carry it off on a body part, what happens to the animal? Does their body part eventually come off? Do they get coyote arm?

Good idea to drill a hole. I'll try that next time, I have plenty of garden staples to do the trick - don't even need the twine!
 

PtldChick

Songster
8 Years
Jun 15, 2011
627
8
111
Portland, OR
Quote:The one my dog caught was decent size. Body about 7" long nose to tail base and the tail longer than that. I figure there has to be more than one because of the squeaking I had heard before I set the trap. I doubt a rat was squeaking to itself - maybe it's rat love season. There's always more than one, especially here.

Back to the feed store for more big-trigger traps.
 

Ole rooster

Songster
8 Years
Jun 25, 2011
2,083
36
196
Milner, Georgia
Rats can take a trap. My brother in law back in Mobile had a rat in their house that was particularly fond of Italian food. Every time he cooked some, out came the rat. He put piece of pizza on trap and went to bed. He had no sooner gotten in bed when the trap went off. He runs in the kitchen and the rat was running across the floor with the trap on it's head. The only way he killed it was the rat couldn't get through his hole with the trap and he was shot in the kitchen with a .22. Rats are tough creatures.
 

PtldChick

Songster
8 Years
Jun 15, 2011
627
8
111
Portland, OR
Ew...did he use a mouse trap or rat trap? The ones I have seem like they could break your finger if it snapped on them...I couldn't believe how much bigger they were than a mouse trap the first time I bought one.

I doubt one could survive for long with it on it's head...hard to eat that way.

I guess that's why they're everywhere - survivors.
 

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