Worried about attracting rats

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by SportChick, Jun 23, 2010.

  1. SportChick

    SportChick Songster

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    Mar 7, 2010
    Louisiana
    I live inside the city limits in a relatively small town. I am hoping to raise about 6 hens in my back yard. I now have a bunch of chicks who are really messy eaters. We tend to get rats in our vegetable garden and compost pile anyway. If I feed them in their coop then won't the rats chew threw the wood to get in the coop? Plus because of the heat, their coop floor will be made of mesh wire and the feed spillage will just drop under the coop. If I feed them outside the coop then it seems the rats will just be all over the run at night when the chickens are sleeping.

    Do I feed them outside and then take it in at night? Are they Ok to only eat during the daytime???

    I hate rats![​IMG]
     

  2. ondreeuh

    ondreeuh In the Brooder

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    Jun 9, 2010
    We have rats too - I've seen a couple live ones and found a couple dead ones my dogs have killed. [​IMG]

    Your best bet may be to cover your run with 1/4" or 1/2" hardware cloth. I am using 1/2" hardware cloth on the lower 2' of my run and skirted out 1', so that will keep them from walking right in, but since I'm using welded wire for the rest of the run they can climb up and get through that. I would block off the area underneath the coop because all that spilled grain will definitely attract the rats.

    I use a PVC feeder in my coop that has virtually no spilling or waste. It's a long shaft of PVC run vertically with a wye at the end. The chickens stick their head in the wye and eat the grain that comes down the tube.

    I think it would be OK to only feed them during the daytime once they're grown enough to not need to eat at night (no clue when that is - 2 months maybe?). You'd just need to be prompt about letting them out in the mornings.
     
  3. SportChick

    SportChick Songster

    348
    6
    126
    Mar 7, 2010
    Louisiana
    Any other thoughts about rats avoidance?
     

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