Would chickens kill and eat a rat?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by cposz, Oct 26, 2009.

  1. cposz

    cposz Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 5, 2009
    Twin Cities, MN
    I have reason to believe that mine have killed and eaten a mouse, but a rat?

    A friend saw a rat in his run, and the bait station he purchased included a warning that said the poison is toxic to birds and fish too, and that the poison would be toxic also to animals which eat a poisoned rat. Would a chicken eat a rat?
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2009
  2. Jermbubba

    Jermbubba Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 29, 2009
    depends how big the rat was, and what kinda chickens you got. its highly possible. either way.
  3. gumpsgirl

    gumpsgirl Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    Mar 25, 2008
    A rat is to big at full size for a chicken to eat, but the rat will eat the chicken. I know that sounds crazy, but full size rats will indeed kill chickens, especially if a whole colony moves in.
  4. A.T. Hagan

    A.T. Hagan Don't Panic

    Aug 13, 2007
    North/Central Florida
    If the rat were to die in the hen house there is a chance the birds might well eat it.

  5. gsim

    gsim Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 18, 2009
    East Tennessee
    If the rat dies from poisoning, the chooks may eat it. That is a real danger. I have 24" tall chicken wire all round the inside of my 6 ft fence, at ground level inside. Will stop chooks from poking their heads out for coon to snatch off, and will stop rats too, because when they try to climb up to where they can wiggle thru the 2x4 wire fencing part, they will hit my hot line with the 5-mile 4 KV fence charger working. In fact, I like it so much that I did 4 courses around the pen and included the gate. 70 cents a yr to operate. What a bargain!
  6. WalkingWolf

    WalkingWolf Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 1, 2009
    North Carolina
    Yes a chicken will eat a rat, kill I am not so sure of depends on the size. Never use poison around chickens, even if they don't get to the poison they will get to the dead rat.

    I use traps inside of small totes with a hole to small for the chicken. You can also get a cat that is of a smaller breed that will not attack the chickens. I have a neighbor that has a cat that kills the mice and rats. She used to chase my chickens but whenever I see her do it I shoot her with a airsoft pistol. It seems she is now leaving them alone, and I have not lost any chickens to her.
  7. missrose

    missrose Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 17, 2009
    Mesa, AZ
    Quote:LOL! how much does it cost?
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2009
  8. Wolf-Kim

    Wolf-Kim Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 25, 2008
    We had a bad rat infestation earlier this year, we finally had to resort to poison. "My" chickens seemed to not care in the least about dead or dying rats. They just completely ignored them.

    If you must resort to poisoning, ALWAYS check the run before sunrise and remove any dead of dying rats from the bird's pen. You'll find that dead and dying rats will sit in the opening to their tunnels, where you can finish them off and dispose of them. I was always sure to be out before the chickens came down from their roost, just in case.

    Our infestation was rather large. I started feeding the chickens a couple times a day, giving no more than what they could eat while I was standing there watching. Eventually the rats got so bold and hungry, that they would come out and eat with the chickens, as though they were part of the flock. Chickens could care less.

    Be careful, rats are notorious for stealing eggs and birds, both young and full grown!
  9. al6517

    al6517 Real Men can Cook

    May 13, 2008
    I have field mice that can get into the pens from time to time, yes I have some chickens that will attack these mice and kill them but then they just carry them around in their beaks. I use traps that trap them live without poison, but have had to use some from time to time outside the coops. Haven't had a problem yet.

  10. cposz

    cposz Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 5, 2009
    Twin Cities, MN
    Thanks for your advice, folks - all is helpful!

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by