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View Full Version : Get OUT of my Coop!!! Rat problem : {



2DogsFarm
May. 1, 2011, 06:13 AM
Any ideas for preventing rats from getting into my chicken coop?

Coop is a metal toolshed and no problem until this winter when the little b#$tards tunneled in and made themselves to home.
They are not bothering the hens or eating eggs, but I do not pay for layer pellets to feed vermin :mad:
They are so bold they now appear in broad daylight to help themselves to the buffet.
Plus the shed floor is cement pavers over dirt & the tunnels have made these uneven. Makes walking in there an adventure...
My hens were apparently bred by Disney & ignore the rats.

I have found a rodenticide called Assault that claims no secondary poisoning - it is not an anti-coagulant - but I am still nervous about using it in the coop.

Any suggestions?

Bluey
May. 1, 2011, 06:51 AM
I have a neighbor that swears by cats keeping mice and rats down.
I explained to him that they don't, really, the rodents just don't come out as much for him to see, but they are there, poisons are the only alternative, other than making the place rodent proof with buried wire.

He has to replace the half wild barn cats regularly, something keeps eating them.:(

Another neighbor learned that lesson long ago, as we did, tired of feeding cats to our wildlife.

Poisons are not a very good solution with pets around.:no:

There is really not a very good solution, other than making the chicken place as rat proof as you can with "hardware" wire.

Our problem with rodents is that rattlers come after them, so now we have the rodents munching on all and everything and the rattlers hunting rodents.:eek:

JSwan
May. 1, 2011, 09:14 AM
Ewwwwwwww!!!!! Wherever there are chickens, rats are sure to follow. Yuck yuck yuck yuck.

I will not use poisons or snap or glue traps. Too worried about non target species.

The Rat Zapper works great, though. Very safe, no worries about fire or anything.

It's a little pricey but safe and effective.

candico
May. 1, 2011, 10:34 AM
I second the rat zapper. Use the layer pellets as the bait. I found that using anything else seems to make them suspicious. I've totaled over eighty rats zapped over a year. Will also zap ground squirrels which can get carniverous during springtime.

Bluey
May. 1, 2011, 11:37 AM
I have the rat zappers, but have only caught three mice in two years.
Either we don't have much of a problem, or we have a line of Einstein bred rodents.:p

Also don't use poisons, not with a little rat terrier dog, that by chance may eat some.:eek:

We just don't feed any grain to anything, other than as a treat, rarely and keep that sack in the garage, not the barn.

With chickens, hardware wire all around will help some.
Rodents will kill and eat chicks, if you raise some, so be sure to protect them until they are half feathered out.

UrbanHennery
May. 1, 2011, 12:47 PM
I had a massive rat problem under my hen shack and broiler shed last fall / early this winter. The barn cat helps keep them down, but he won't go after the really big adult rats (don't blame him).

I made the shed as rat proof as possible, moved the hens in there (it has a concrete floor while their shack has a wood one), and put out poison and buckets full of water. And then Mike and I also would set up with the pellet gun.

All in, I think we got about 20 big huge dead rats plus a lot of smaller ones and babies. In the empty shack, I put out a lot of poison because it's fully enclosed and birds and such can't get in - only rodents that tunnel or fit through the 2"x2" wire.

By making sure that the poison was secure (we used bait boxes) and fenced away from the dogs and cats, we kept everyone safe. As far as I can tell we didn't have any non-rodent deaths other than an adolescent possum that tried to move into the rat tunnels once the rats where gone.

Four months later and we're still rat free, with no poison out at the moment.

The other big change I made was that I switched from a whole grain layer ration to a pelleted feed. It's more expensive, but apparently also a lot less attractive to the rats and other rodents. I've always (and continue to) keep all grains and feeds in galvanized garbage cans with lids.

2DogsFarm
May. 1, 2011, 11:14 PM
Thanks all.
Once it stops raining every other day here, I plan to pull up the pavers & put hardware cloth underneath before replacing them - with a 6" apron of wire going up the walls.
I'll also put down a layer of gravel as pavers were laid right over dirt before.

My feedstore guy claims as long as the chickens don't eat the Assault it will not hurt them, but I am still too worried about possible 2ndary poisoning even if it is not anti-coagulant.

My little barncat - otherwise The Verminator - will not go near the coop.
She checked it out when they were half-grown, heard them talking Chicken Smack & has not ventured back.

I already feed layer pellets, the only grain in the coop is the handful of scratch (50/50 mix of BOSS & oats) I toss to the flock & believe me, it all gets eaten.
Pellets are stored in a galvanized pail with a bail over the lid inside the coop with extra stored in the garage.
Feeder in the coop is full only during the day - no feed left out at night as the hens don't need to eat when they go in to roost.
I thought of getting one of those treadle feeders but the rats will probably figure that out "toot sweet".

I may gift myself with a Rat Zapper.
A birthday gift only a farmgirl could love...

diontasha
May. 2, 2011, 12:25 AM
I have found that "ratack" in my feed room keeps things under control. I don't have any barn cats, nor do I find my dogs looking for any extra food(they are free fed.. which may be the key) A couple of years ago there was a big problem with vermin due to the cull of chickens, and that year I did have quite a few, but before long the ratack took care of them! I actually can smell them when they are in my barn, and am terrified of them..even mice!

maribell
Jun. 5, 2013, 03:45 AM
Hello,

I had problems of rat before, so I tried to purchase a rat proof chicken feeder from this link http://thecarpentershop.net/mediumplywoodchickenfeeder.html

Since I got this feeder, I 've never seen rats around my chicken coop

GotGait
Jun. 5, 2013, 08:50 AM
What about those restaurant rat traps that are a box with a rat sized hole - like a giant roach motel.

Bacardi1
Jun. 5, 2013, 01:08 PM
Uh - a brand-new poster posting on a 2-year-old thread, & whose post contains a link selling something? I smell Spam - & not sizzling in a frying pan along with a couple of eggs. . . .