Will a dog keep rats away?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by TerryQui, Sep 14, 2012.

  1. TerryQui

    TerryQui Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 23, 2011
    Columbus Ohio
    If so, what would be the best dog to get to keep rats away from my chickens? One that will not harm my chickens or yap alot out there.
    We live in the city and rats like to harm my baby chicks now and then. I am raising Serama's and bantams.
    I am tired of finding my yard dug with rat holes and then now and then a bitten baby.
    I don't leave food out there any more at night so they get nothing to eat.
    We live a city block from stores with dumpsters and long before we had chickens, we saw rats around here and possums.
    Now today I am mad. My little silkie is in the house on antibiotics but not eating and it has me really upset. I put traps out but they just come back.
    We can't have a cat out there as it won't stay in our back yard probably. Plus don't cats kill chickens too?
    Any help appreciated!
  2. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

    Aug 12, 2009
    BuCo, KS
    My Coop
    Many dogs will chase rats. The problem is that a dog that is predatory enough to chase rats, might not make the distinction and might also be predatory enough to kill the chickens.

    Cats are actually pretty territorial. No, they can't be confined by fencing in the way dogs can, but once they determine their territory, they tend to stay within it. Our cat stays right around our property and as far as I know, never leaves (we do have 10-acres but his territory includes only the immediate surrounds of our house). My experience with our cat has been that small chicks in the brooder are at risk, but once they are big enough to be out in the coop, he is afraid of them. Something about those beaks is fearsome looking and although he weighs far more than they do (he is a 20-lb cat with no fat on him) those feathers also make them look bigger than they are and he is convinced that getting close to them would be too big a risk.

    I had a problem with mice at our old house, and one night I took the cat into the coop. He was terrified and clung to me, but I sat with him to help him feel safe and after awhile a mouse whizzed by. That was all it took to get his interest and he jumped off my lap and went to try and catch it. After that, he did become fairly effective at keeping the mouse population under control, but never hurt a chicken. Fortunately because the mice came out more at night and cats are largely nocturnal, he could be in the coop at night catching mice while the chickens slept and he didn't have to worry about them so much.
  3. FireTigeris

    FireTigeris Tyger! Tyger! burning bright

    Cats don't often kill adult chickens. They might chase and kill chicks if they are mousers.

    most pet cats are not trained to be mousers by mom... feral cats, barn cats and specific mousers are.

    Dogs, of the terrier breed are bred to kill rats

    They are also apt to kill any other thing their size or smaller...

    You will not be able to leave a dog outside all night and not have it likely bark, alone the dog will be w/o the stimulation of a pack and might start making up his/her/its own rules.

    I suggest flooring your run/coop I used vinyl lattice


    It works and hoses off to clean up...

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by