1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

white belly wood rats!!

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by wildflower, Mar 14, 2008.

  1. wildflower

    wildflower Out Of The Brooder

    69
    0
    39
    Mar 26, 2007
    San Diego, CA
    They are like giant mice, and have invaded in force! We have a coop that is wired above and below. The whole set up is one year old as well as the 12 hens. One evening I went out after dark to shut the girls in and I saw at least eight huge rats running up the wire outer yard up into a tree. I have been seeing rat poop in the coop and outer yard. Last week I opened the nest area to gather eggs and one ran out from below the straw in a nest!! I have found two broken eggs this week with just a bit of the shell left. I am so sickened. I am worried about the health of my chickens and rabbits as well. I have started putting all food away at night and have caught two huge rats in traps.......discusting!! I put 5 more out in the outer inclosed yard locked all rabbits and chickens in the coop so they wouldn't have access to the traps, I guess there were witnesses to the previous deaths because not any luck, only one was sprung. I used peanut butter this time, squished shredded cheese the time before which was sucessful. please, any advice? I won't use poisen as I have an organic invironment and other kids and animals. We are getting two baby goats in a week and I need to solve this, I can't even imagine those creepy rats crawling over the babies.........oooooooooh! I am picking up a live trap tomorrow and will relocate, but I really hate killing.....we have had rats for pets and I just feel terrible killing anything. I don't even kill snails (the chickens do.....Thank you) Help!
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2008
  2. CUDA

    CUDA Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,272
    23
    181
    Mar 4, 2008
    Michigan
    These rats aren't pets, and will kill your chickens, you can count on that. When you get a large infestation, it is really hard to knock them out. Poison is your best bet unfortunately if you want to get them but here is an idea for ya. Put out a plastic barrel half full of feed, and leave it out in the open, uncovered, and make sure there is a good way for the rats to get into it. Let them feed off it for a few days, and get used to it being a source of food. After they get used to feeding there, take the feed out, and fill hit half full with water, and put some feed in it to float on top. The rats will jump in, then drown. Trust me, it works. Good luck!
     
  3. wildflower

    wildflower Out Of The Brooder

    69
    0
    39
    Mar 26, 2007
    San Diego, CA
    That is a great idea!!! Thank you.....I do understand they aren't pets, that is why I have been smashing they're little brains in the rat traps......I just hate it! I does have to be done.
     
  4. Zookeeper9000

    Zookeeper9000 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 1, 2008
    Gladstone MI
    My Dad (rest his soul) who was born in 1907 ( I was the 13th child by a minute LOL born when he was in his 60's) use to tell us about a year the rats took over on a farm he worked on in Montana. He said that you couldn't walk for stepping on them. The way they got rid of them is they caught one live then heated up a wash tub and they put that rat in it that boiling wash tub tail first and left it to scream. The other rats were seen running away and they didn't have a rat on the place for the 4 years he worked on that ranch. I guess it was like rats leaving a sinking ship. Me I don't think I could do it but I know one of my brothers did and he said it was the only thing that worked for him and he still doesn't have a rat on the place and that was at least 10 years ago. Good luck with that problem
     
  5. jab91864

    jab91864 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 3, 2007
    Northern Michigan
    I've heard ppl say that peppermint oil will repel them from coming inside if you swab (paint) it along the area. I know ppl who swear by it. Would be worth a try, but I would keep trapping !!!

    Best of luck

    Julie [​IMG]
     
  6. chcknrs

    chcknrs Chillin' With My Peeps

    646
    1
    151
    Mar 7, 2008
    Kelso, WA
    You can try powdered lynx or fox urine, but it might upset the chickens. Rats don't like cats, so I would try lynx. I heard it works for deer too, so I will be trying it.
     
  7. GwenFarms

    GwenFarms Chillin' With My Peeps

    827
    1
    151
    Feb 26, 2008
    Get you a cat out there. Its a pretty simple solution. Go to the pound and kill two birds with one stone. Save a cat and get rid of the rats. I have the best farm cat in the world. The only time I see a rat is when he leaves one on the steps to thank me for taking him in. I've had him for about six years and we had this problem before getting him. You have to be more careful with your chicks when you have a cat, atleast I do with mine, but the rewards are worth it. Not to mention a cat adds aesthetic appeal to your barnyard [​IMG]


    One more thing about cats is that just the smell of a cat being around is enough to keep the rats away. Once he kills one it will run many off, a kinder, quicker version of the boil a rat thing. Its not as if you have to wait for him to kill each individual rat.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2008
  8. Wolf-Kim

    Wolf-Kim Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,832
    17
    221
    Jan 25, 2008
    Quote:Between the two of those I would go with the lynx urine. If you use fox, you may get rid of the rats but now you've started a urine marking war with the local fox. [​IMG] LOL. You don't want to trade the rats for a fox, the fox will be far more detrimental to your flock!

    -Kim
     
  9. AK-Bird-brain

    AK-Bird-brain I gots Duckies!

    May 7, 2007
    Sterling, Alaska
    I'd get a kid with a BB gun and give him .25 cents for every one he can get.
     
  10. GwenFarms

    GwenFarms Chillin' With My Peeps

    827
    1
    151
    Feb 26, 2008
    Quote:I've gotta kid who would go for that! Hmmm...wonder how much shipping would be to ship a 140 lb kid from here to Cali??? [​IMG]
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by