What's the best gun for use on rats?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by goldeneggtees, Jan 17, 2011.

  1. goldeneggtees

    goldeneggtees Fluffy Butt Nut

    Mar 11, 2009
    Long Island, NY
    I can't take it anymore! We've tried poison, we've tried traps and they are still stronger than ever. They are becoming a major problem here and I see so many, I can literally just sit there and start shooting at them, at least it might control their numbers. I have holes in my coop from them knawing their way in as the hardware cloth around the bottom stopped them from having access.

    I have zero experience with guns, but I am a capable adult who would use it safely and wisely. I'm thinking a high powered pellet gun would do the trick. Any thoughts?
  2. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    Yep, a high powered pellet gun will do the trick. We use a .22 pellet rifle to do it, even the old .177 crossman from when I was a kid works on foot long rats.
    happyfrenchman likes this.
  3. goldeneggtees

    goldeneggtees Fluffy Butt Nut

    Mar 11, 2009
    Long Island, NY
    Thanks for the reply and info, now where would I go to purchase one? A hunting/camping store or can I order one online. Stupid question coming upÂ… Do I need a permit? I'm in NY.

    Has it helped you to shoot (and hopefully kill) them this way? Are their numbers a little lower and more manageable?
  4. Keara

    Keara Songster

    Sep 24, 2009
    Shooting them is not going to cut down on the population any more than your trapping or poisoning did. But it might make you feel better! [​IMG]

    The best thing to do is cut off their access to what they are eating, and make where they are nesting less hospitable. Honestly, as soon as we were more careful about turning the compost (where they were living), and made the coop/chicken feed nighttime ratproof we saw less rats.
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2011
    Naser and happyfrenchman like this.
  5. Stonerowfarm

    Stonerowfarm Songster

    Sep 16, 2008
    Cheshire, MA
    Just my two cents, but a live rat is a moving target. If you have had absolutely no training or practice, a gun would probably be a bad idea. Even one as light weight as a pellet gun. "Pellet" a small projectile that you are trying to shoot into a live, moving target. TSC stores have the green block poison that works pretty well. Maybe before you try shooting them, you could give it another try. We were overrun with rats last winter/spring into the summer. On the barn we used live traps and some nights would catch seven or eight at a clip. That kept the numbers down but did not eliminate them. DH put in a lock box with the green poison in it. Within days I was finding dead rats everywhere. Unfortunately the smell was horrible while they rotted away in the walls, but it eliminated the problem. In the small coop we moved the chickens out and attached a hose from the car exhaust into the shed and aspixiated them. Again, it worked really well, but it was a small, closed area. Again, the rats that died in the walls were stinky for a while but that's the price you pay. Perhaps if you put out a couple different feeding stations with the poison it might help.
  6. babalubird

    babalubird Songster

    Jul 21, 2008
    Or a good varmint dog. I've fought the mouse and rat problem at the city home and farm for years. I currently have a male dog who likes to spread the scent marks all over. He is very active and I suspect he has caught and dispatched a few but never actually saw him. But the rat and mouse population seems to have really plummeted and that's all I can think of.

    I guess good mouser cats would help too, but if the cat isn't a great hunter, the mice/rats seem to pick up on it and ignore him. I had my cat running around on one shelf in my tool shed with the mice running around on the shelf above her because she was basically a house cat and could care less about working for a meal.

    Just a thought.

    MISS MILLIE In the Brooder

    Feb 27, 2010
    my husband would think it would be awesome to shoot rats with a gun. He'd probably volunteer to come do it for you! HAH HAH!!

    but seriously, maybe the poison would be a better idea. You'd get more "bang" for your buck, so to speak. Bullets are expensive...

    I just posted a thread about an opposum that my husband found in the hen coop. He killed it, and some people were upset by that. I hope no one says we should attempt to relocate rats instead of killing them.
  8. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    Yeah... although it is fun popping rats, it is just that in the end. Fun. You do need to do a lot of practice to get accurate, and a quality air rifle which is accurate will be 100+ bucks if not 250+. You'll only get the dumb ones which sit long enough for you to hit, and you'll have to learn how to handle the air rifle as a firearm, such as know what is down range, finger off the trigger, treat as loaded, keep safety on and so on. Rounds for an air rifle are dirt cheap, like 10 bucks for 500 of them, when compared to a real firearm, but are still not a toy.

    Ideally, you'll have to hide their food source so they cannot get to it, and get rid of any nesting spots. That will be the first defense against the rats. A single mom can pop out 8-14 babies in one bunch, and each of those babies can go on and make another 8 -14 babies in two months.
  9. goldeneggtees

    goldeneggtees Fluffy Butt Nut

    Mar 11, 2009
    Long Island, NY
    Hi all, we have tried poisons - we had the black boxes (at least 7 of them at one time) with the green poison inside and were told no chicken could ever get their heads in there to eat any of the stuff. Wrong! A black box behind the coop was moved one day, I go over and the green poison (staked really well inside) was now out near the opening hole with peck marks in the poison. Thankfully, the chickens were fine.

    I have also had as many as 24 black boxes with traps set inside them littered all over the yard and have not caught one stupid rat that way. We were filmed to be on a show for Animal Planet on rats in the 5 boroughs and had 2 exterminating companies here with a film crew and they tried helping. Funnily enough, there were hardly any rats around during filming. Now, come winter, there are more rats than ever.

    Yea, it seems as if it's not a perfect solution but I sit there and can watch them come and go (they hide/live under our garden compost pile). I just can't take it anymore. It certainly would feel better to be able to take a few out. The hens are scared. I was in their coop tonight closing the trap door and you could hear the rats scurrying in the coop and under. The hens let out little screams.

    What I'm really afraid of, is if I completely take in all feed at night and leave the rats no access to feed, will they then go after the hens?
  10. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    They will likly go and try another source of food. Had and still have a rat issue ever since I went off to school and was not there to pull the food tins in the house at night. So during winter break, after pulling the food bins in nightly, the rats seemed to have gone away... until at least my little brother gets tired of brining in the feed bins. My hens were fine.

    Rat's aren't dumb and if they have seen traps, they'll remember them. I can only trap a few before they get wise, and have to wait a few weeks before setting again or nobody will go into them.


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